It’s no surprise to most Americans that Donald Trump is oblivious about the way government operates according to the U.S. Constitution, or any non-dictatorial form of governance. Trump is still under the delusion that because he gets to live in the White House, he gets to run America as its do-nothing except profit CEO like he does his hotel empire. An empire, by the way, where uses other people’s money, offers and does nothing except take profits, all while wreaking economic damage on any and every one remotely connected to his “project;” including the poor saps giving him investment money. Trump hasn’t declared bankruptcy seven times for any other reason than to screw contractors, suppliers, labor, and the banks fronting him money.
Trump has been raking in tens-of-millions of taxpayer dollars for Trump business-related profits, so now he wants to transform the government into a business and abuse the people his son-in-law Jared Kushner referred to as “our customers.” Of course Trump will not be the only profiteer off the taxpayers, there is a long list of corporate heads and business executives lining up to advise Kushner on how they too can profit more off of America and its people in an admitted privatization scheme, a term that may be a monumental understatement.
In another blatant act of nepotism, it was announced yesterday that Trump appointed his daughter Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, to another very senior government position with an unprecedented level of authority rivaling the United States Congress. Kushner will “lead a SWAT” team to overhaul “the people’s government” into a business in the CEO Trump mold.
Kushner said the “new office” will be comprised of an aggressive team to “run the government like a great American company.” The “team” will be staffed with strategic corporate consultants, CEOs and former business executives to “harvest ideas from the business world” and “potentially” privatize government functions; privatization decisions will rest with the SWAT team-leader Jared Kushner. Kushner will report and answer directly to Trump from his West Wing office barely a few feet from the Oval.
One of the issues Trump cannot, and will not, accept is that America is a representative democracy and governed by the people via three separate, but equal, branches of government.
That democracy and separate but equal branches is what Trump and his corporate cabal regard as “friction” against achieving “their” corporate goals. Friction is something a corporate CEO would never have to deal with. The Trump’s means of getting around that “friction very quickly and succinctly” is running America exactly like a business. One of the Kushner team’s advisors, Stephen A. Schwartzman, is a chief executive of the investment firm the Blackstone Group and he said:
“There is a need to figure out what policies [regulations and agencies] are adding friction to the system without accompanying it with significant benefits [profits]. It’s easy for the private sector to see where the friction is, and to do that very quickly and succinctly.”
As anyone conscious understands, the Trump team will eliminate whichever policies, regulations, departments and agencies they deem are “adding friction” to their corporate demands for “significant benefits” for the privatized “company.” Of course Republicans will give Trump whatever he wants to privatize America because that has been one of their longstanding goals, and particularly so since the ascendancy of the Koch brothers.
One of the primary tasks of Kushner’s office would be directing that government functions be privatized, and deciding which “existing contracts be awarded to new bidders.” It is likely that any new contract awards will go to members of Kushner’s team of business “advisors.” What Trump intends in setting a Kushner-led SWAT team on the people and their government is to transfer even more of their tax dollars directly into corporate coffers with no input, or “friction” whatsoever from the people, Congress, or the Supreme Court.
As Bob Cesca at Daily Banter wrote, “a government functions on democratic consensus, while a business runs on the plans of its CEO.” Cesca cited Forbes writer John T. Harvey to further explain why a government cannot be run like a corporation, no matter what Trump, Kushner or Republicans claim. Mr. Harvey wrote:
“Bear in mind, first, that ‘efficiency’ in the private sector means profit. Hence, to ask that the government be run like a business is tantamount to asking that the government turn a profit. The problem in a nutshell, is that not everything that is profitable is of social value and not everything of social value is profitable. Reality TV, pornography, fashion, sports, and gambling are all of questionable social value, but each is quite profitable and exists in the private sector. Meanwhile, few would argue that the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, police department, fire department, libraries, parks, and public schools are of no social value, and yet they could not exist if they were required to be profitable.”
All of those endemic economic and social issues of transforming a government “of, by, and for ‘we the people’” into a “company” founded on profiting off its “citizens” for the financial benefit of a CEO ultimately means that America will be an authoritarian plutocracy; with a tyrannical dictator as its CEO.
As many commenters have already noted, the concept of “a business” is inherently contrary to a democracy or any form of representative government. In any business, the CEO, boss, or whatever they’re called is the first and last word on everything without input from employees, the “customers” or ethics rules; what Trump’s business people regard as “friction.” That is all well and good for a business to be run by a dictator, but it cannot work in a democracy which is precisely why the Trump-Kushner business executives intend on eliminating regulations, departments, agencies and likely branches of government they consider friction to their well-oiled profit generating machine.
Trump warned he would eviscerate the government, and his Heritage Foundation cabinet appointees were chosen specifically to achieve that purpose on a departmental level according to Trump advisor Stephen Bannon. However, the idea of giving his son-in-law, a business executive, purview over which regulations, agencies, and departments to either privatize or eliminate is another story altogether. America is a country and its government exists solely to advance the “general welfare of the people” as well as to serve the people’s best interests; what Trump considers “friction” to eliminate.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.