If Government Were a Business

WARNING! The following is a stream-of-conciousness opinion article that may or may not be easily refuted by facts. It’s a thought experiment more than anything, and if you disagree with it, well you’re perfectly entitled to that opinion. I have done zero research in making this argument and thus if you can credibly debunk it, fair enough.

So, it seems that as a society, we’ve gotten the idea in our heads that government needs a businessman to run it. I forget where I read it the other day, but I saw an op-ed that made the case that, if government isn’t a business, why do we want businessmen to run it?

I know the whole business angle tends to lead to the idea of privatizing everything, with the idea that private enterprise can do it better. This applies to stuff like health care, which up here in Canada is taken for granted as being an essential right and thus something that needs to be available to all. Whether or not the system is well-run (it could use some reform, I just don’t know how exactly that should be done), no Canadian politician who wants to be taken seriously would advocate abolishing Medicare.

(Aside: This patent “reform” that foreign parties want to foist on us could help in getting our costs going sky-high, given it would lengthen the amount of time medical patents apply in Canada, but that’s another story for another day)

In fact, it’s the US health care system that got me to write this thing – someone I know online who requires certain medications to function could get royally screwed over by the system potentially when she gets older, so I figured now’s as good a time as any to articulate this thought experiment.

And said experiment: Let’s assume for a minute here that government IS in fact a business. What does this entail?

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