A lot of people bemoan “big business” and place a large amount of blame for economic woes on the shoulders of such companies like Wal-Mart, oil companies, and insurance companies. Do these people realize that government is big business too? Government accounts for about 17% of United States employment. During the “Great Recession” private sector employment has dropped by around 6.9 million jobs. During that same time period, government employment has risen by about 110 thousand jobs.
Some people will say, so what? Well, in order to employ this amount of people, the government, local, state, and federal, need money to pay salaries, benefits, rent, utility bills, etc. A normal business, say a restaurant that employs 40 people, needs to sell a certain amount of food and drink to afford all these things. The government gets money through taxes and fees. Not only that, you have a choice whether or not to go pay $34 for a veal chop at your local eating establishment. You don’t have that choice with paying taxes and other fees. We won’t even talk about the extra government services that cost money.
Essentially, government is a business and has most of the same issues that other businesses have. Only they don’t live in the same reality. When the people stop eating at that restaurant, the restaurant has to: cut back, raise prices, go out of business, or borrow more money. The borrowing can’t go on forever. Right now, tax receipts are way down. What is the government doing about it? State and local governments are looking at cutting back on certain things. The Federal government is expanding at an insane clip. This isn’t reality based. Remember principles? To get a tomato plant to grow you have to follow certain steps. Same with running a business. Government isn’t following these steps. The other shoe has to drop at some point.
Take the healthcare bill. They are claiming a bill that will cost billions is budget neutral. How? The only ways to be budget neutral when spending money is to: have the money to spend (we don’t), cut costs and services, raise prices and fees to make up for the loss of money. This is how a business works. So either the government is going to cut medical services and/or raise prices and fees, or they don’t care about adding onto our debt. Again, the other shoe has to drop. And anytime a politician says they are going to get rid of “waste and abuse” ask them why they haven’t done so already. Why wouldn’t you get rid of that if you could or cared to? If the government healthcare plan passes, get ready for increased cost or worse service. (If insurance companies or doctors are charged fees, they will pass them on. This is another reality of business.) Do you want either of those options?
Another interesting thought. With private businesses, the more you pay the better service you usually get. With government business, it’s usually the opposite.
So the next time someone decries “big business” and how stores like Wal-Mart crowd out the smaller “mom and pop” stores. Ask them what they think of one of the biggest businesses of all, government.
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