Ross: When running a country like a business goes wrong
We are “witnessing history” according to the journalists covering the impeachment hearings. But I wish they’d stop saying that — it makes me nervous. Events that make history typically involve nations falling apart, and then historians proclaiming “they should have seen it coming!”
I am hoping that we are not witnessing history, but something much less momentous, like a real-life experiment that a lot of Americans have actually wished for: The government being run like a business.
Since most of us work for businesses, we understand that in a business, everything is a transaction and the boss gets the last word. Some bosses are tougher than others. Right now, we have a pretty tough one, so when he finds a nation ally that doesn’t play ball, ut’s like a factory that’s not meeting its targets. The boss wants to invest somewhere else.
If there’s an employee who thinks she knows more than the boss, the boss brings in outside consultants to make her look bad so she can be plausibly fired. It also serves as a warning to other potential troublemakers.
And if there’s a whistle blower? The boss tries to find out who it is, and then discredits him. That, we are learning, is how to run the government like a business. As long as the stock market is setting records, most people will go along. If it takes a dive? The boss hops in his private jet and pulls his golden parachute, and then we call it history.