cold war poster

We need a business man in the Whitehouse…

We need a business man in the Whitehouse…  I have heard this statement hundreds of times throughout my life from a variety of people. The argument of course is the idea to cut the wasteful spending, costly bureaucracy, and focus on putting our dollars to work.

As smart as this statement may sound, and it has sounded sort of smart to me in the past, sure, and it has been said to me by people I consider smart also. But, when I stop and think more deeply about it, government is not business, and it never should be business. Business, especially business today, focuses one thing, the bottom line.

So I must ask, where is the bottom line in helping the elderly? What is the bottom line in feeding the poor? What is the bottom line of offering public school education to all children? Fact is, government is not supposed to be about the bottom line, government is supposed to be about serving the citizenry  with the things that make a society strong and successful for the long run – like education, quality child care, health care, and modern infrastructure, and the things that make us civilized, such as museums, and libraries, and public art, and national parks.

Sure, having a better grasp of costs, such as those associated with highways and building projects would be great and is warranted. I too have seen the reports of $500 toilet seats, $300 light bulbs, and what not, having someone in government working to monitor wasteful spending is important, that person however should probably not be our commander in chief.

The Whitehouse is probably best represented by wise statesmen, generals, professors, those with a true desire to serve ALL the people, and for the good of our nation.

Paying for parents to be home with their children for the formative first years of their life may seem extravagant, until you consider this creates stronger family bonds and more well adjusted children, children who are happy and eager to learn, parents who are present in their children’s life and not a flash out the door to work everyday, returning just before bedtime. The bottom line calls this an unnecessary expense, but a healthy society calls it investing in the future.

In fact, at the height of the Cold War, my mother says she was exposed to numerous propaganda films showing how the Russians were so awful because both parents worked and the children were all dumped into cold and ugly state care facilities, with rows of cribs and no one to attend to or entertain the children. It was shown as a social ill of communism. Yet, here we are.

Or, what about the elderly? Bottom lines would suggest they are past usefulness and maybe ought to be thrown away, but a healthy and strong society understands the wisdom of the elders, appreciates and rewards them with quality care and support until the ed of their days. Why, because of all they contributed, and because they are human beings, and everyone on this planet ages.

Much the way Communism in practice is vastly different than its utopian theory, Capitalism has run amok. It is no longer acting as the freeing open market system that allows anyone to pull themselves up by the bootstraps to success in a caste free society, to the point where business and profit matter more than people, it’s become “corporatism”, where many are nothing more than wage slaves working two and three jobs at the lowest possible pay just to keep a roof overhead, and old money nepotism is makes success nearly impossible for the smart and ambitious kid from a working class family.

While Capitalism has opened the door for many to create successful small businesses, it has also churned many underfoot. It doesn’t mean the USA or Capitalism is doomed, it just needs careful monitoring, protections for the people over profits, and updates to insure it works for all as we continue to advance and grow. We as Americans, and as human beings, need to consider the things that we all love about life, and what life really is about. Everyone wants a good life, freedom and to do well for themselves and their families. Now, how do we insure that for all people? Certainly not by putting failed bankers in charge of our treasury, or oil companies in charge of our energy or environment. It comes from real representation from our communities – from you and from me. We must have a truly representative government of the people for the people in order to have a successful civilization, one that will be regarded as a high water mark of humanity even a thousand years from now.

Who do we want our leaders to be? People like us, knowledgable diplomats, benevolent scholars, or ruthless businessmen? Now is the time to really think that over and act accordingly.