Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Separation of Business and State

We've all heard of the Separation of Church and State, but what about the Separation of Business and State?

The entanglement of state and church was recognized as unhealthy to both sides of the relationship. Religion would flourish best when free of government entanglements. So too would business.

That was something the Founders were well aware of. It is something that we need to recognize today as government and business have become entangled in a deeply unhealthy relationship that is corrupting to both government and business.

Government entanglements have encouraged Rent Seeking behavior by businesses. Many businesses now find it cheaper to lobby, than to compete. The entire culture of corporate lobbying saves businesses the "trouble" of producing a better product, damages the rights of consumers, and corrupts government through bribery.

Meanwhile government feels increasingly entitled to regulate business, which makes American businesses less competitive. There is no better way to destroy an industry than to lower its efficiency level to that of a government enterprise overseen by bureaucrats with lifetime jobs who can't be fired by any means short of an Act of God.

The more the entanglement between business and state deepens, the more the corruption spreads. Consumers and small businesses are shortchanged, tax dollars are spent on pork and kickbacks to corporate donors, and elections and legislative sessions become soccer matches between competing corporations, each looking for loopholes that will let their "man" score a goal.

Government was never meant to play such a role in the free market, and like a State Church, the merger of Business and Government is having disastrous effects. The mass of bailouts is ushering in a new wave of government oversight, even as complaints mount about the corporate perks executives are using their bailout money for. And that is the problem.

The free market is the most efficient way to punish corporate stupidity. The government is not. Artificial schemes for having the government regulate corporations ignores the fact that the United States federal government has repeatedly proven incapable of regulating even itself.

Yet the merger of Business and State creates its own form of centralized religion in the form of Socialism, faith in the power of government to resolve all problems through centralized control. Time and time again this path has led down into the swamp and muck of incompetence, poverty and tyranny.

The free market provides its own form of checks and balances through success and failure. Government by contrast creates checks and balances through democratic elections. Both are good systems for their own side of the street. The free market needs cold and hard reality checks. Government needs citizen representation to avoid becoming a tyranny. But when you overlap the two, you get the worst of both worlds.

Government lacks any cold and hard reality checks. They rise and fall based more on popularity than results. This makes government a spectacularly poor tool for controlling business. You don't have to be right to be President. You don't need to show results, and you don't need to have a clue about what you're doing. You just need to stay on the right side of the polls.

Government is by its very nature inefficient, only representative. Business by turn does not need to be representative, it only needs to be efficient, innovative and show results. It can be utterly ruthless, because its goals are results oriented. When you try to combine the two, you get the inefficiency of government plus the ruthlessness of economic enterprise mingled into one. Ruthless incompetence, sound familiar? We call that socialism.

And that is why the Separation of Business and State needs to be back on the agenda.


Keli Ata said...

Shavua tov:)

An excellent article about a very important subject. The Obama adminstration is obviously pushing a Socialist agenda but it's also happening on a smaller scale in American cities.

Here in Buffalo, the North District councilman is pushing for the city to hire a City Manager, who would handle the business end of running the city.

We already have a duly elected (though utterly incompetent and corrupt) Mayor to run things in the city.

Basically, we have a spineless councilman who sees the corruption and rather than expose it and deal with it he instead furthers the cause of Socialism by having the Common Council "elect" a new mayor while the actual mayor is still in office.

We're expected to follow like sheep and not wonder if the City Manager from the private business sector won't throw city business contracts to his friends in the private sector.
B'H we don't have a city manager yet and I hope this gets 86'd.

Lemon said...

The list is out on the states that manage you most. NJ and NY top the list of course.They micromanage everything.
But Alaska, South Dakota and New Hampshire top the list for freedom of the individual.
I hear Alaska calling me!!

Government is too large, too intrusive, too much and is growing by leaps and bounds . too bad.

Anonymous said...

"If a government were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, within five years, they'd have a shortage of sand." Milton Friedman

(French Canadian)

Keli Ata said...

Micromanage is an understatement in Buffalo under the regime of our first black mayor.

Some examples--calls in the Buffalo SWAT team (and the SWAT teams from two other cities and suburbs) to handle a loud frat party in his neighborhood. Several SWAT teams for kids drinking on a porch and playing loud music.

A disgruntled constituent writes a few angry though not threatening emails and the mayor obtains a search warrant for the guy's house and confiscates his computer, keeps his little sisters in locked in a room. The guy isn't charged with any crime but told by a cop that he did something to really po the mayor.

Naturally the search warrant was signed by a judge who is a personal friend of the mayor.

The mayor will not allow anyone put a department head to speak to the media. In other words, everyone under his direct control.

I hear Alaska calling me too! Or maybe I should go a little further up to the True North proud and free?

Keli Ata said...

I'm not into conspiracy theories but everything Obama is doing does make me question whether there's truth to what people are saying about his appointees and involvement with the Builderberg Group.

It does seem to have the allure of a secret society.

Keli Ata said...

Little correction--the True North strong and free!

Anonymous said...

Keli Ata,

I don't really believe in The New World Order or the Bilderberg society. But I do beleive that Obama is part of the world wide Communist Party. Obama is CLEARLY a communist.

(French Canadian)

Lemon said...

Keli, tanakh (bible) speaks of conspiracies and says that yes, they do indeed exist.
Obama, though he seems to lean left, has repeatedly spoken of a new world order. So did Bush Sr. and Jr. and Bill Clinton.

Woodrow Wilson warned of this new world order, as did Eisenhower and Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. They knew it was about central banks trying to gain control of the nation for their own profit.
Eisenhower called it the military industrial complex that would become dangerous.
Whoever the president is, he jumps to the tune of the men with the money in the end.
Today these men have far too much say in government.

On my site I had a video linked to by Walter Chronkite in which he says he would sit at the Satan's right hand to get a one world government.
These men are ruthless(as was Boaz,,hehehe).

Frankly Opinionated said...

Separation of Government and business: I have said for many years that there is nothing at all that government does that private business can't do better, more efficiently, at less cost. From Highways, to Bridges, to running large companies, to Schools, and especially to running a family. Unfortunately, we have bred a society that would like to have government wipe its butts. This society does not care how much mess the government will leave, nor how poorly they'll do the job. Americans at large, are even too damned lazy to even write their representatives to instruct them as to how to represent them in the running of the country.
As long as Americans are proud of how their representatives go to Washington and loot the treasury, all in the name of their district, we will have a government that feels it is right to invade business. In order to get "pork" for ones home district, the government MUST invade the private sector. As long as voters are so dumb as to believe that "big business", (those that employ us), should be taxed and penalized for employing us; we will continue to see this march toward socialism. Ask any working Venezuelan what he thinks of Socialism. Ask any working American what he thinks of taxing the very company that hires him and provides a way for him to feed his family what he thinks of the government taking over his boss' company. I would suppose that any slacker, anyone who is taking a ride on the welfare train, anyone who is too damned lazy to work within a "merit" system would be elated with what the Menage A Trois of Prez Hussein, Stretchface Pelosi, and Harebrain Reid are doing to our economy.
If on the 10th of March, 2001 President George W. Bush could be blamed for the economy; so can Prez Hussein be blamed now. Business and its investors saw this coming, and their reaction is visible on wall street. I know of more than one person who it taking his/her money out of the country, and putting it to work elsewhere. The Unions and State government did it to the Auto Industry, and now other economies are following.
Hit my signature above to see how I really feel about this mess.
nuf sed

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