Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Show of hands

OK, who here thinks the private sector is a ruthless arbiter of efficiency and that the civil service gets away with levels of ineptitude and incivility that would make Jack Welch and his acolytes cry?  Show your hands. 

No, Mr. Cruz, your hands

Thanks.  I want you to keep your hands up.

Now, of those people who think the private sector is all about efficiency, that there's feedback loops built into modern financial capitalism that ensure firms never go too far astray from the right way of doing things, that business is self-correcting whereas government is not: how many of you have ever worked in business?  Election campaigns don't count as businesses.  No, sorry, lobbying shops don't count as businesses either.  If you've never accepted government money, you can keep your hands up.

You want me to be more precise?

OK: How many of you have worked in a company that wasn't dependent in some way on public-sector largesse to make the business model work, whether it was in the university system (even "private" universities, as we know, are dependent on the government), or government lobbying - oops I mean think tanks, or some kind of election consulting?  Or I guess even legal work counts, because if you're suing the government you're still dependent on it.

Why am I asking?  Because I'm curious, based on the day I just had, how many of you anti-government people have any actual business experience, have ever actually worked inside a company for money trying to make something happen.

No, your dad's company doesn't count.

Please keep your hands up.

Alright that's what I thought. 

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