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The Business Side of Government
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Mitt Romney wants to run the government like a business. He claims that to do so would be more efficient and productive. People like me who have worked for a long time in both government and the business world would probably find that assumption a bit of a stretch. The private sector is just as incompetent as the public sector, particularly in larger companies which operate pretty much like the government does anyway. The only difference is that when a private company makes bad decisions it eventually runs out of money and goes out of business. The government just prints more money and keeps going. There is no indication that Romney will order the Treasury to stop printing money when he makes bad decisions.

Mitt is missing the point — the government is increasingly acting as if it were the private sector, with competition going on to determine who gets to tell the “real” bin Laden story insofar as it has not been already leaked by the White House. There was a report earlier this week regarding a flurry of emails within the intelligence community to determine who would get the Central Intelligence Agency’s “CTC treatment” to produce a movie on the killing of Osama bin Laden. CTC is the Agency Counter-Terrorism Center, which means that the lucky winners would get the inside scoop on what went down, probably to include a walk through and maybe even the right to film some background footage incorporating all the bright lights, bells, and whistles of the Counter-Terrorism Center itself. Regarding the winning team Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal of The Hurt Locker fame, CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell gushed, “we’re here to help with whatever they need.” Agency Public Affairs Officer George Little was thanked personally by Boal, who appreciated Little’s “pulling for him…it made all the difference.” Little replied, “I want you to note how good I’ve been about not mentioning the premiere tickets.”

Well, one hand washes the other and the fusion of the real world fakery of the intelligence community with the fake world reality created by Hollywood should have been expected. Presumably Bigelow and Boal will make lots of money and Little will get his tickets. It’s all good business.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Mitt Romney 
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  1. SteveM says:

    Re: “The private sector is just as incompetent as the public sector, particularly in larger companies which operate pretty much like the government does anyway.”

    I worked both sides of the fence, and that’s not even close. Intel validates Moore’s Law year in and year out. FedEx and UPS are almost living organisms. Amazon’s scope of services is breath taking. Private industry geniuses knock out MRI product design. That comparison is not even close…

    P.S. I will concede that Government (plus its contractor agents) do kill and destroy better than private industry. But then again killing and destroying is a lot easier than creating and nurturing.

  2. Clint says:

    During his 22 years in the CIA – three and a half as head of a 18-man Osama bin Laden unit – Mike Scheuer told his bosses at Langley on 10 occasions that he had a clear opportunity to kill or capture the terrorist chief. On all 10 he was told to hold his fire.

  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The numbers are a little fuzzy but it looks like at least 2/3 of new business enterprises fail in their first few years of operation. A one in three chance of success is not a very compelling argument for Romney’s prescriptions.

  4. The private sector has become very good at efficiencies to economically benefit the fewer and richer, but beggar huge swathes of the ex-middle class.

    If that is the objective, then all is well, from the perspective of the elites, which not coincidentally operate seamlessly in government and big business.

  5. Apologies SteveM, I expressed myself badly. What I meant to say was that it is just as easy to find incompetence and waste in the private sector as it is in the government. Many private sector companies do, as you note, perform exceptionally.

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