By Chris Rossini
President Trump is creating a new "White House Office of American Innovation" (read: a new bureaucracy) with his son-in-law Jared Kushner at the helm. Kushner said over the weekend: “The government should be run like a great American company.”
Sorry, can't happen.
It's literally an impossibility.
Let us explore the many reasons why:
First, government gets its "revenues" by force. It taxes everyone that happens to reside on the turf that government calls its own. If those individuals do not hand over their money, they run the risk of being thrown into a cage by the government.
What a way to generate "revenue." No wonder so many misfits are attracted to this way of life.
Companies, on the other hand, must earn their revenues. Individual consumers must voluntarily hand over their money to the company in exchange for a product or service.
Each consumer has the ability to say "No" to the transaction.
If a consumer doesn't like Wal-Mart or McDonald's, they are free to never (ever) step foot in either establishment. Wal-Mart and McDonald's are completely powerless to do anything about it. They can't lay a finger on you, let alone throw you in a cage.
When it comes to government, however, a taxpayer can HATE Donald Trump, Barack Obama, or George W. Bush with a venomous passion, and it doesn't matter one bit.
You can scream and shout until your voice box collapses, but you will cough up your taxes. Otherwise, off to the the cage you go.
Companies go out of business all the time. It's very difficult to satisfy consumers profitably. Consumers are extremely fickle, always looking for the best deal. Consumers always want it cheaper, faster, and better.
If a company is not able to keep their finger on the pulse of ever-changing consumer desires, they have to close their doors. There is no incentive for failure.
Government, on the other hand, thrives on failure.
When government fails, the incident is used as an excuse to take more money from the taxpayers. Budgets go up! The exact opposite of market incentives.
The federal budget goes in one direction: UP.
This bizzaro setup cannot be "fixed." It can't be "tweaked" to work more efficiently.
Government doesn't have market signals like profits and losses. Companies can quickly see what consumers really want versus what they don't. Profit and loss statements cannot lie.
Government is all political. No profit & loss statements.
It's pretty much all lies.
This is why government should have very few (and almost no) responsibilities. Ideally, it would be so insignificant that you forget it even exists. That's at least how it originally was in the "land of the free."
Unfortunately, after 240+ years, the "land of the free" has morphed into a land where government is viewed as a Mommy or Daddy. It's expected to be in charge of every photon and electron. Not even private conversations are allowed outside of its watchful eye.
While the market, when left alone, will weed out failed companies, Government keeps crony companies in business!
The market is ruthless. It shows no mercy. You either satisfy your customers profitably or you're gone. There is no "too big to fail," or "too small to fail," or anything in between.
This is a major reason why crony corporations hate the free market. It's extremely hard. It's much easier to buy a politician.
Crony corporations get bailed out and continue to operate at everyone's expense. Many get bailed out knowing full well that they're going to be bailed out again in the future. So they live it up with reckless abandon at all times. Do you think major Wall Street firms and Military-Industrial Complex corporations are worried?
Government cannot be made to work like a "great company." There's a better chance of seeing a wide open field of unicorns.
The only thing that can be done is for someone to come in and abolish, slash, and cut. Everything gets cut across the board, and it has to be done over, and over, and over.
That's not Trump and that's not Kushner.
That's also not what Americans want right now. The belief in government omnipotence is still very strong.
After all, Trump is a BIG government guy. He doesn't hide it.
Liberty, freedom, individual rights, private property, voluntary interactions...These are not the words that ever come out of his mouth.
Trump is in office to shuffle the deck chairs on the U.S. Titanic.
When Trump's term is over, the federal budget will be higher, the federal debt will be much higher, the welfare state will continue to asphyxiate the American taxpayer, and God only knows what wars he's going to drag us into.
When Americans can someday clearly understand the difference between government and "a great company" we'll have reason to be optimistic.
When government is no longer viewed as Mommy or Daddy, we'll have reason to cheer.
We're not there yet.