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America, Inc.: The Campaign Platform of “Business”

Curtis Dale Riddle

Curtis Dale Riddle received his juris doctor from the Florida A&M University College of Law, graduating with honors. Upon receiving his bar card he hopes to pursue a career in criminal and family law.

Latest posts by Curtis Dale Riddle (see all)

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Aside from it being my birthday, yesterday morning was like the start of any other weekday for me.  I woke up, poured

myself a glass of orange juice, got online, and began reading my morning addition of Google News.  One article that struck my interest bore the headline, “Romney Writes the President a Letter.”  Within two clicks of the mouse and five minutes, however, I completely regretted giving the article my undivided attention.   Published in the Fayetteville Observer, Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, wrote a letter to President Barak Obama calling his handling of the economy a “disgrace.”  Romney stated, “if you won’t or can’t lead our country out of the economic morass you’ve deepened, then I would suggest that it’s time for you to go.”  In light of reading such bold, Shakespearean, and conservative over toned rhetoric, I am compelled to discuss Mitt Romney’s plan to create jobs and stimulate the economy.  Ready, set, go and that successfully concludes Mitt Romney’s plans to create jobs and stimulate the economy… any questions?  If you are left scratching your head fret not, it isn’t head lice!

In Romney’s letter to President Obama, he suggested that due to his experiences as a “business man,” he knows better than the President on how to create jobs and balance government spending. After reading Romney’s letter, however, I have concluded this is another case of the candidate pot libeling the Presidential kettle! It seems as though this election cycle’s campaign slogan has evolved, over the last four years, from being about “change we can believe in” to “business we can work with!” Romney stated that he “knows a thing or two about how jobs get created.”  Romney went further by stating he knows “how government policies can kill private investment and stifle job creation.”  Personally, I found this particular statement to be both hypocritical and comical considering that, aside from the obvious fact Mitt Romney is running for our nation’s highest office and if elected he will be signing off on and participating in the creation of “government policy,” during his tenure as CEO of Bain Capital, most acquisitions of large companies made by his firm often resulted in massive job layoffs.  Finally, the most appalling statement made by Romney, in my opinion, was his placement of blame on the President for the nation’s credit downgrade.

Romney blamed President Obama’s stimulus bill for causing the credit downgrade.  This is completely false.  The S&P downgrade was a direct result of their loss of confidence in the federal government due to the quibbling that occurred between members of Congress over the 2011 fiscal budget.  Truth be told, had President Obama not hauled all of the congressional leaders into a conference room with his cabinet, more than likely, Congress would still be quibbling about the budget.

Image Copyright DonkeyHotey (Flickr), 2011

Can government policy stifle job creation? Absolutely; however, so can private business policies.  As a matter of fact, I would go as far as to say that cut throat business practices and risky business investments do more to stifle job creation than government policy.  One largely implemented business practice is employee layoff.  The first order of business in any business that is struggling is to layoff employees.  This helps cut down on business expense and bring the business back to profitability.  There is a serious problem, however, with implementing this business practice in government.

Government agencies are generally created to execute legislation, executive orders, or laws intended to govern its citizen’s welfare, safety, and moral interests.  These agencies are not created in order to ensure profitability.  When the business doctrine of layoff is implemented in government, the consequences are more adverse, severe, and detrimental.  Aside from the direct adverse affect on the government employee who lost his or her job, services provided for by the government (i.e. education, urban planning, law enforcement, legal aide, and emergency services) become unavailable.

Take the State of Florida, for example, whose residents recently elected “businessman,” Rick Scott, as Governor.  One of Scott’s first orders of business was to supervise the massive layoff of state employees.  We are not talking about micro-managerial positions that had long since needed to be phased out.  To the contrary, Governor Scott supervised the termination of legal secretaries, judicial assistants, teachers, law enforcement officials, paramedics, fire fighters, prosecutors, and public defenders.  All of whom are now either left unemployed or forced to take on two or more minimum waged part time jobs in order to match the income they once derived from one job.

With the presidential primaries rounding the corner, it is critical to the preservation of democracy that Americans understand the role of government in our society.  Ask yourselves whether or not you want to elect a man to office who will justify every crippling piece of legislation he signs by stating, “it’s just business?”  Ask yourselves if America can afford to elect and re-elect people who have completely lost sight of their job descriptions as government officials?  Unlike nations, businesses rise and fall everyday.  Unlike businesses, nations do not have the luxury of bankruptcy court to wipe the slate clean.  A successful businessman may have been responsible for 50 failed business ventures before finally creating one that is successful.  America cannot afford to ride the business roller coaster.  Americans have more invested in government than just capital.  Moreover, Americans cannot afford to place the responsibility of executing the laws of the United States faithfully in the hands of people who condemn the ideology of government itself.

 
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