23 May 2011

The voting public viewed as "employees" of government

An unfortunate analogy offered by the curent governor of Florida:
“I understand there’s people that like things and don’t like things,” Scott said. “It’s really no different than in business. Because in business everyone doesn’t agree with everything you do. All your employees won’t say, ‘Oh yeah, I think you should exactly do this instead of that.’”
One supposes that the comparison came to mind because prior to being elected governor, Rick Scott was CEO of a hospital corporation.  The difference now, of course, is that the public are not like employees of the government - rather, the governor and state officials are employees of the public.


  1. and one major problem with the employer(the public) is the same as many employers.. we want them to do more and more for us, and we don't want to pay for it.

  2. No Mike, people don't want "more and more" and I'm tired of hearing that meme as a justification for higher taxes.

    Most people are not actively looking for the government to play a larger role in their lives ("more and more"). However, when politicians offer benefits to some subset of the population, generally at the expense of another subset, it's really difficult for people to say no. In fact, I'd claim it's a basic human survival instinct to take a "free lunch" when it's offered. Then, through the wonders of mismanagement and bad incentives, the taxpayer gets hit with a huge bill. To make matters worse, you paint taxpayers as greedy and shortsighted when they speak up about it.

    There's a simple solution to this problem: governments (state and federal) should stop promising benefits that are 1.) completely outside their mandate to do, and 2.) are fiscally irresponsibly long term.

  3. Bret: You are ignoring the fact that overwhelming majority of the deficit is from three sources: Tax breaks to a level below any level since BEFORE Reagan, an enormous National security apparatus, and 2.5 wars. These are not benefits...unless you are talking about corporate benefits.

    There is no such thing as a free war.

  4. (Editor's Note): This is a repost due to the fact the Blogger annihilated my last post.

    Jaundice Di (or is it Juandice I?): I agree on two of three points. Although I was ruefully a supporter of Afghan War, I've since seen the error of my ways. And I've never been a fan of the freedom-destroying, bureaucratic nightmare that is TSA, DHS, and most of the DoD.

    Unsurprisingly, I can't support the "tax break" bit. People deserve their money, regardless of their income level or the privileged class they occupy***. If the top income levels currently receive a disproportionate amount of tax breaks, then my remedy would be to give the middle and lower income levels more tax breaks to compensate. Perhaps I'm one of the few who thinks that we would be a wealthier, more humane country without the IRS.


    ***(I do make an exception for rent-seekers. Those who have petitioned government to get rich deserve to be drawn and quartered. This applies both to the corrupt defense contractor and the rich landowner that gets huge wind-farm subsidies).


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