What makes one think a government employee or elected representative is more virtuous than a private sector employee or CEO? What’s the difference between the government workers and the private sector workers?
The difference is that government workers and elected representatives get to decide what’s best for people and make the rules with absolutely no accountability. Government workers – especially unelected bureaucrats, don’t answer to anyone.
But when it comes to the private sector, you have to answer to the consumer. One can do business however they want – honestly or dishonestly, shrewdly or poorly – but only market forces will determine if they succeed.
In matters of business, people speak with their wallet. If someone is ripping people off, they will inevitably be caught and discredited. If someone makes a revolutionary quality product, people will buy it and the maker will succeed.
Conservatives think people – all people – are smart enough to know what they want. But there are others who don’t think people can think for themselves. Those people think we need graduate school-educated bureaucrats to make decisions for the masses.
It’s not that conservatives inherently trust anyone who’s running a big company. In fact, conservatives know that people are not angels and all vulnerable to temptation. We also know there are many market forces and laws in place that will deal with those who are scamming people or breaking laws.
Those who are for bigger government tend to believe that all corporations are greedy and would destroy anything that got in their way to make a buck. They believe executives are so short-sighted in their greed that they think they’re immune from any damage they may do. Somehow, executives running big corporations won’t be affected by the air pollution they may create.
They belive that once, these CEOs were good people, but when they got the corner office of the corporate headquarters downtown, they turned evil and forgot everything they’d ever been taught by their parents and school teachers.
The thing to remember about all corporations is that they nearly all started out as small “Mom and Pop” companies. We didn’t all wake up one day with a Starbucks on every corner and Microsoft Office loaded on our computers. Starbucks started with one store and Microsoft started in a garage.
There are earnest politicians, to be sure. What makes a great politician?
The same thing that makes a great manager. Great managers know their job is to remove all of the obstacles so their employees can be free to do their jobs the best way they know how. Give people freedom to create and solve, and they will rarely disappoint. Great politicians advocate for deregulation and laws that minimize government interference.
Bad managers, like bad politicians, micromanage. They assume people are too stupid to do their job properly or without their help. They create and enforce rules and policies that try and equalize the workplace but end up stifling everyone.
Government workers are no more or less virtuous than private sector employees. But government workers can do more damage, and can make it far more difficult to remove them. Because of unnecessary unions, they essentially can’t be fired. And free market forces are not as readily in place to remove them. Sometimes, elections can’t come soon enough.