Friday, January 27, 2012

Government as a Business

When Republicans emphasize the need for a president who has “business world” experience, they are merely asking for a leader who understands the importance of the private sector in growing our economy. In this regard, there is no better “business person” than President Obama.

As the Assistant Manager of a small business myself, I have learned that all businesses are virtually the same. Regardless of the product, every business needs to take care of their employees and provide superior customer service. In a recent interview with Fortune magazine, Google co-founder Larry Page highlighted the importance of a company to “be a family… When you treat people that way, you get better productivity. Rather than really caring what hours you worked, you care about output. We should continue to innovate in our relationship with our employees and figure out the best things we can do for them. You treat people with respect, they tend to return the favor to the company.” Ranked as one of the top best companies to work for, Google’s success speaks for itself.

In the same way, a government can be considered a business, with the American people as its employees. And just as Google’s management takes care of its employees to increase productivity, the federal government should take care of its citizens to foster widespread economic growth.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, A Cure for Cancer, this is not done by socializing every aspect of society. Let us not forget that businesses -- not government agencies-- are the true engine of job creation. But when they stop hiring or are deregulated to a point that unfairness occurs, we need the government to enact policies that allow the free market to occur. This, in turn, actually strengthens capitalism.

The government must continue to invest in the American people by educating them and keeping them healthy. In a strictly business sense, those who are uneducated and without healthcare are unprofitable and unproductive. While our foreign competitors are increasing their high school and college graduation rates, an uneducated American workforce cannot compete in the global marketplace. And although we are spending more than any other industrial nation in terms of healthcare, we are not earning a sufficient return on our investment because not every American has equal access to proper care. Furthermore, those who are forced to delay medical care because they are uninsured/underinsured cost taxpayers an additional $1000 per emergency room visit.

Also, just as the employees of Google have a shared sense of responsibility to the success of their company, the government can promote this sentiment by having all Americans pay their fair share in taxes. However, with the wealthiest paying a much smaller percent of their income in taxes than the rest of Americans, this sense of “family” is undermined.

So what needs to be done? As top CEO, President Obama has taken action.
-He has stimulated the economy to prevent another Great Depression;
-Invested in infrastructure to create immediate employment;
-Kept the American auto-industry afloat to ensure global competitiveness;
-Provided proper and fair conditions in the private market to grow businesses;
-Reformed the private health-insurance market to avoid a government-run program;
-Ended the costly Iraq War to invest in the American people;
-Eased the student loan process to educate our workforce;
-Asked the top 1% to pay the same tax rate as the rest of the 99%

As the President mentioned in his State of the Union, “We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Now let’s ask Congress to get to business!

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