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Five Things That Might Happen If Our Government Was Run Like a Business (Humor)

Those right-wingers keep going on about how better off we’d be if we ran government like a business. Even some lefties buy into this idea. For some strange reason, we still believe the business world is more efficient, productive, competent, and straight-forward that the U.S. government even though they’re anything but. As John T. Harvey so aptly explains in his Forbes article, “Why Government Should Not Be Run Like A Business”:

“The problem in a nutshell, is that not everything that is profitable is of social value and not everything of social value is profitable.”

That’s right. If we ran government like a business, Alas for citizens and consumers (who are often one and the same), business and government have grown more and more alike in recent years, and not in a good way. Thanks to relentless cost-cutting measures so companies can pay their top brass more as we tax them less, citizens and consumers face reduced services, lower quality goods, long lines, labyrinthine phone trees, personnel shortages, out of stock items, and a generally lower quality of life.

If we ran government like a business: Five scenarios.

Below are five examples of what life would be like if we ran government like a business (at the local, state, and federal levels.

(1) Calling 911.

If we ran government like a business, calling 911 would be pointless because your kid would die or that burglar would strip your home bare long before any help arrived.

You: Hello, I need to report a … um … HELLO?

Automated Phone System: Good evening. You have reached Emergency Services at Nine-One-One. For English, press one. Para Espanol, oprima numero dos. If this is an emergency, please hang up, and dial Nine-One-One. Or visit our website at 911.gov.

If you’re calling about a crime in progress, press one. If you’re calling about your idiot neighbor cooking meth again, press two. If your house is on fire, the Fire Department is currently closed due to adjusted resource allocations. But you can press three for the Volunteer Fire Department. If nobody answers, please call Flo’s Lounge at 867-5309, and ask for Bob. If you need an ambulance, press four, or repeat the previous procedure, and ask for Bob.

(2) Renewing Your Driver’s License.

If we ran government like a business, DMV workers would earn fat bonuses to upsell you.

Clerk: Good morning, how may I provide you with excellent service today?

Customer: Hi, I’m here to renew my driver’s license.

Clerk: Great, how many licenses will you be renewing today?

Customer: Um … just one?

Clerk: We have a Friends Special today, if you can get two friends to renew their licenses, we’ll give each of you a 30% discount on your renewal fees.

Customer: I don’t have any friends.

Clerk: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. But we’re also offering a three-for-two ACTION PACK deal so you can pay for two types of licenses and get one free. Most folks who come in here go for the Motorcycle and Truck Driver’s licenses, along with the one they normally get for driving their car.

Customer: Wow, that sounds like fun. But I don’t know how to drive a motorcycle or a truck.

Clerk: That’s okay, you can add a couple of training sessions for what you normally spend on a cup of coffee every day for the rest of your life. Plus, you can’t possibly drive any worse than my 90-year-old aunt who accidentally ran down a pedestrian because her foot couldn’t reach the brake pedal. And we gave her a truck driver’s license, though we withheld the motorcycle one.

Customer: Oh! How awful, I’m sorry to hear that!

Clerk: It wasn’t so bad. He was an organ donor, and Aunt Bettie needed a new liver, so I see it as a win-win.

3) Registering Your Child For Kindergarten.

If we ran government like a business, basic services would be free, but for the full enchilada, you’ll need to become a premium member.

Parent: Hi, I’m here to register my son for kindergarten this fall, and drop off the paperwork. We’re so excited!

School Administrator: Great! Hmm … okay … birth certificate, vaccination records, emergency contacts … Looks like we’re all set. And will you be upgrading to Preferred Parent™?

Parent: Um, what is “Preferred Parent™?

School Administrator: The Preferred Parent™ upgrade entitles you to exclusive benefits, like first choice for teacher conference time slots, online access to personalized progress reports for your child, and having your phone calls returned by the teacher and school administrators.

Parent: Sounds great, how do I sign up?

School Administrator: Just pledge $500 per year to our PTA and sign this waiver form.

(4) Getting A Business License.

If we ran government like a business, workers would “wear multiple hats” in “fast-paced, multi-tasking environments,” customer service positions would be offshored, and customers would need to accept substitutes when items are out of stock.

Applicant: Hello? Anybody here? Hello-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! [waits 15 minutes for clerk to appear]

Clerk: [breathlessly] Sorry to keep you waiting. My boss just laid everyone off, including herself, so I’m the only one here. And things were crazy in the Zoning Department.

Applicant: No prob. Anyways, I’m here to apply for a restaurant license.

Clerk: Sorry, we’re out of stock for restaurant licenses.

Applicant: Do you know when you’ll have them again?

Clerk: I’m not sure, our rep in Bangladesh says there was another factory fire. Would you like a beauty parlor license instead?

 (5) Declaring war.

If we ran government like a business, we would conduct wars like leveraged buyouts funded by the victim nation’s own resources because even wars have to pay for themselves.

President: So, ya really think they got WMD’s?

Vice President: Yep.

President: And they’re part of the “axis of evil?”

Vice President: Yep.

President: Well, I’m the Decider, and I’m leanin’ towards war … but how do we pay for it?

Vice President: After we free ’em, we set up a “democratically-elected government,” and get ‘hold of their oil, We’ll make out like bandits.

President: Okay, so we take ’em over, and then use their oil to pay for taking ’em over, right?

Vice President: Yep.

President: But what if we don’t win and get stuck owing all that money?

Vice President: Then we’ll just say we’ve got a deficit and need to cut all our government programs.

President: Wow, that’s some kinda strategery ya got goin’ on there. Way to go, Big Time!

Oh wait…That’s not funny.

Featured image: cc 2007 Gryffindor via  Wikimedia Commons with sign added.

Comments 5

  1. Excellent; but I would laughing harder if it were not so true. Maddow had it right all along. So how can we educate the poor and the stupid in this country, because that is their vehicle. This is sick. Time for woman president, I think. Would anyone else belly up?

    1. Great satire! Thank you, Elizabeth!
      And, it runs deeper than the presidency … and the entire government, GALA:

      On the serious tip: the entire workingClass is trapped in the quicksand of tyranny.

      We have, unwittingly, conceded our democracy to traitors. The right-wing power structure is owned by the superClass. They worship “The Corporation,” a “living person. “The Corporation,” enjoys more rights & freedoms than human beings … with none of the responsibilities! Like an alien imaginary android with only one prime directive … more profits, more wealth, more power … into perpetuity. No value for human life, any life for that matter, and no value for our life support resources/systems … unless, and only as long as, they produce significant enough profits.

      I am going to say some things, here, too many of us do not choose to believe … nevertheless, we all … really need to pay close attention … then do you homework, and stay on top of our perpetual the superClass power structure warfare of economic enslavement of the American, and Global, workingClass.

      We need to begin, immediately, assuming our responsibilities as a democracy … and clean house in congress; indict Congressman our outgoing house chair, and his coconspirators … for “High Crimes & Misdemeanors:” Treason … for their unwarranted obstruction of government functionality, by openly and publicly refusing to even work towards serving the will of the workingClass majority, as expressed in electing President Obama, and his platform for specific areas of economic reform for social change … for the WorkingClass, in specific.

      Boehner and his cartel of coconspirators are traitors! Not only have they defied the workingClass mandates of the 2008 Election of our President, but also my deliberately & publicly acting to sabotage our electoral processes. They have withheld crucial information from the American workingClass for decades, probably, centuries. Without that information and awareness, a democracy cannot function. We cannot make intelligent political decisions … we cannot operate a functional democracy.

      Boehner, many of his predecessors, and their cartels of co-conspirators have replaced our democracy with a plutocracy. They are traitors.

      And I am not a doomsday theorist, and I am not insane …. not enough to be discounted☺

      The American workingClass has succumbed to the very threat President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us to guard against before leaving the Presidency. The President cautions, “http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/dwightdei164039.html”

      The phase for this threat today, is … “Corporate Military Empire!”

      I am Creig Dickerson, CEO @ Common Denominator Productions. We advocate abandoning austerity-prone, and in many very subtle ways … inhumane, resource-access management methodologies. We advocate for The Jacque Fresco Resource-based socio-economic alternative to monetary theory and practice. Monetary systems are primitive … and perpetuate primitive outcomes, such as, perpetual warfare (over access to valuable/vital common resources), and corruption across the board throughout society.

      In a nutshell … The Fresco Resource-based economic paradigm engenders the humane traits in humankind, merely as an outcome of eliminating monetary systems altogether. Our addiction to chasing wealth, as Jesus Christ warns us, is pretty much, at the root of the preponderance of our evils. The truth-be-told … The Word of God, through Jesus Christ, spells it all out. Remember Jesus fasting in the wilderness and rebuking Satan for offering Jesus…. Mammon (great wealth/love of it) … and Jesus responded … What does is the net gain, if one obtains great wealth and loses his or her soul? For, he goes on…. one cannot choose Mammon and “The Word of God,” at the same time … for one will love one and despise the other. You cannot follow Mammon and The Word of God at the same time!

      The Fresco Resource-based alternative is the perspective that has been missing from the public social or political platform … because it represents … the end of empire … the end of the superClass …. The end of Mammon …

      Our American, now global, economic paradigm is, literally, destroying us! We begin stopping it by terminating the “living person status of “The Corporation.” We retire the name, and its agenda. Then we revive the functionality of the original intent of “The Corporation” … A temporary charter for a group of citizens performing a social function as, specifically, directed in the charter. These task teams were not allowed to own other corporations, make but a set limited profit, and when the task is complete, they disband.

      This action would, should, go on to abolishing our entire caste systems … indeed, taking the punch out of racism, and etc.

  2. Really, this is not very humorous nor to the point. DMV may in fact be better privatized. You may not know this but there are also many private schools. Plus, 911 service now in some places follows exactly your script. Or maybe, given your last example, you are trying to say that Government is already a business? Oh, Ho Ho, so funny. Nobody has ever before made SUCH an astute observation. Except, of course, pretty much everyone.

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