Saturday, July 28, 2007

THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE A PROFIT

I have heard the point that businesses, if left unchecked or unregulated, would devour one another up, or something similarly devastating, because all they were after is profits. Actually, it's only the murderers, thieves, crooks, liars and cheaters who would gobble up everything in their path if left unchecked by a government protective of individual rights. In a world where no one, not even the government, has the power to steal, lie, cheat or force an individual out of his right to his life and his property, the only way to make a profit is to trade value for value.

Businesses have no power over their fellow citizens. They cannot choose what we buy nor dictate to us what we may sell. They cannot tell us what styles of clothes to wear, what kind of food we like to eat, or what types of music we love to listen to. Businesses can only offer choices to those with whom they wish to trade based on what we do or do not like, want or need.

There are, however, plenty of pseudo-businesses who lobby the government to do exactly what I described above. Under the guises of "public good", "unfair competition", "level-playing fields" and "foreign influxes", for-profit entities collaborate with politicians to, when it comes down to it, tell us what and from whom we can and can not buy. They push legislation to ban imports, create government mandates on how one may manufacture a product to favor their own enterprises or what type of services are allowable or required by law to stifle their competitors, and earmark taxpayer dollars to subsidize their ventures. The last of which limits the choices of the individual by taking his dollar from him through some tax and determining for him where and for whom his $$$ will be spent. Not to mention the slice the government itself gets from his dollar for the trouble of pointing the gun, taking the tax and earmarking it.

Now the methods I described above are legitimate powers of government. Banning imports, mandates and the use of taxpayer dollars, but only in the name of the security of our individual rights to life, liberty and property in the absence of self-regulation on the part of the private sector. Beyond our security, however, these governmental functions often become the means one person, group or entity uses to live at the expense of another's life, property or liberty.

When government loses its focus on securing individual rights equally under the law, that is when businesses and the people really begin to devour one another in the pursuit of profits, wealth or glory. When men don't trade value for value in the pursuit of profits but accumulate wealth by the means of a gun, then it's no longer about profit making but who can get over who first.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB

That’s what the private sector tries to do. Of course, businesses can appoint family and friends to important positions within their companies, but two important conditions influence their decisions against cronyism and nepotism: profits/losses and competition.

Businesses will appoint a person based on whether or not he increases the company’s profit from a particular position, whether that person is a family member, friend or some Martian alien. The Board of Directors of many corporations don’t continue to appoint the descendants of the original owner to their CEO posts. Sometimes, even the original owner could be voted out of the top spot. Who they appoint for important positions are those who they believe will make the most money for the company. It's all about the bottom line, right liberals?

Leadership posts and even whole bureaucracies and personnel structures in the private sector could change overnight depending on the severity of a company’s financial losses.

The ASG, on the other hand, reveals deficits and losses year after year, and it continues without any change in directorships or personnel.

Government is static, unchanging and unyielding even in the face of unaccountability and losses to the people, the taxpayer. Yet in the private sector, losses shut down firms who waste, are unaccountable, and cannot adapt to the changing wants and needs of the people. Ironically, losses actually saves us, as a society, alot of money by shutting down waste and from plain stupidity by putting a stop to methods and processes that simply don't work.

The other important condition is competition. Government is just one entity while the private sector is many businesses, many talents and many great minds. Government does things one way, comes up with one plan (maybe with a B and a C), and makes one size to fit all, because it’s only one entity. The private sector is many entities with many ways, with many plans (with B’s, C’s, and D’s) and with plenty of sizes to go around.

And if one company picks the wrong person for the wrong job because of cronyism, nepotism or any reason other than profit, then watch the right people in the right jobs in other businesses beat their sorry asses in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas.

So can we bring these two very important conditions of freedom into government functions, to make government better? Well, if we’re going to do that, then we might as well not make it a government function in the first place.

Having someone who is a "God fearing" individual, like some have written to Samoa News, doesn't do us any good if that person didn't have to openly compete for the position to demonstrate that he truly is the best qualified for the job. Moreover, it doesn't matter if one is "honest" and has "integrity" if all he does is lead our government into debt.