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Running Government like a Business

Politicians who come from the business world like to claim that they are going to “run the government like a business”. There are two problems with this: The first is that running a business is nothing like running a government. If you doubt this, just do a search for “why government should not be run like a business” and read the resulting articles from places like Forbes and the Harvard Business Review.

The second problem is that most businesses (especially ones that are large) are actually not particularly well run. Would you want a government that is run like the largest US industries, like automotive (GM), cable TV (Comcast), big oil (Exxon Mobile, Halliburton), big banks (Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America), or US airlines (United, Delta, Spirit)?

And when we do elect a businessman like Donald Trump, just look at the things that happen. We had a sobering example of that this week, in an article from the LA Times.

Two years ago, Donald Trump signed orders to hire 15,000 new immigration and customs officers, and border agents. A year later, things were not going well, so Customs and Border Protection (CBP) did something that many large business often do, they outsourced the job to a large management consulting firm, Accenture Federal Services. Accenture was paid $60.7 million to recruit, vet, and hire 7,500 people for CBP. A government report says that “Accenture claimed it would have the capability and capacity to perform all steps of the hiring process within 90 days of awarding the contract.” But more than a year later, they have hired a grand total of 33. Just 33. Period. That’s over $1.8 million per person.

The problem seems to be that nobody wants the job. CBP currently has more than 3,000 job vacancies, and most years they lose more employees than they are able to replace.

What’s the next step? Doing what American businesses do every time they need people for a job that no American wants? Which would be to hire a bunch of illegal Mexican immigrants to guard the southern border. After all, that’s what Trump himself does.

And speaking of illegals:

Matt Bors
© Matt Bors