Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Government as Business

Been doing some reading on entrepreneurship and got to thinking about the whole idea that government should be run like a business. When you think about it, that is really a flawed concept since the two constructs are vastly different. Could Carbondale city government run more efficiently?Most likely but government and business differ significantly.

Consider.  I run a business here in the 'dale but my needs are quite different from the needs of Thai Taste half a block away from me or Wal-mart on the east side of town or Murdale True-Value on the west. Each of us focuses on our own organization's needs and take actions that we believe will enhance our operations. I do not take into consideration the impact of my actions on Wal-mart, just as I am sure, Wal-mart's management does not take into consideration the impact of its actions on me. As long as they remain within the law, business is free to take whatever action it wishes without regard or consideration for other businesses.

Carbondale city government does not have that freedom. It is charged with balancing the needs and desires of a large number of consistencies, many of which are at odds with each other. Consider Carbondale bars. In order to increase profits, the liquor store owner wants to sell as much alcohol, within the law, to as many people as possible. However, people consuming alcohol have their inhibitions lowered, causing them to act more recklessly, endangering themselves and others. City government is tasked with balancing the desire of the liquor store owner to increase profits, with the homeowner who does not want drunk people throwing up in their yard. Eliminating alcohol sales is Carbondale would be one way of accomplishing that, at the cost of a a good chunk of the business sector. Requiring home owners to maintain vigilance on their own property against trespassers. Government's job is to create a reasonable balance between the desires of the two groups.

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