The effects of corporate style governance

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by blackfox, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #1
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/nobody-knew-governing-could-be-so-complicated/520824/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+AtlanticPoliticsChannel+(The+Atlantic+-+Politics)
    While this article certainly has merit in it's own right as a topic of discussion, I was reading it earlier and struck by a thought: Isn't this how Corporations work? They don't create law, they just repeal and obstruct those laws to their benefit. Consider this excerpt from the linked article:

    What struck me, almost as an aside, is how successful this can be as a modus-operandi - but not for actual Government - which is charged with upholding, amending, and updating the law. How I missed this for so long is a perplexing thing, as is the reality it leaves me with...that we are left with (at least) half the Government that knows how to successfully market themselves, but can't govern.

    Am I off-base here? I'm home sick with the Flu - so I could certainly be - but it just seems so obvious. So then the question is "where from here"?

    Opinions?
     
  2. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #2
    I do have the worst luck posting threads here. I actually thought (again) this was more interesting than another Trump thread...but oh well.
     
  3. Technarchy macrumors 604

    Technarchy

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    #3
    I think when it comes to law there is a massive new game changer politicians have to contend with and that's the internet.

    In the old days it was basically impossible to know what was in a bill.

    These days bills are picked over with a fine tooth comb and posted on the internet in layman's terms. Millennials are increasingly independent, so there is no party allegiance and they are progressive; they are more than okay with pooping on the DNC and GOP when either embrace corporatist policies.

    It's not just a matter of Yale and Harvard old white men from wealthy families to sit in a room and decide the fate of the people. The constituents are actually paying attention, and if you're dumb enough to try and pass a bill that defunds medicaid and gives tax cuts to insurance companies that over pay CEO's people will notice.
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #4
    I really enjoyed the article actually. I thought it was really interesting.
     
  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #5
    I spotted this article earlier today and thought it extremely interesting and one which offered much food for thought; mind you, I would not have thought of starting a thread about it, so thank you for doing so and for linking the piece in question.
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #6
    I think the issues we have are hard. We need to listen to ordinary people more, and we need to have a better safety net and we need to make government more accountable. The latter we should take from private business, which at least with small companies does a better job there.
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    It's a Saturday. People are out doing Saturday stuff.

    But I too found the article interesting. Though one aspect might differ on is that Republicans haven't necessarily forgotten how to legislate, they don't see the value of governing. One example of that is the trump administration's philosophy of deconstructing the administrative state. Another example being the Freedom Caucus, some of which expressed the desire to see the federal government removed entirely from the issue of healthcare. All of this is a product of the Reagan era, where he popularized the idea of government as the enemy, one that would always fail to competently serve the needs of the people.

    So you don't just have legislators who've forgotten how to legislate. You have legislators who don't believe they should even be legislating, who would ideally like to weaken and dismantle government so it didn't legislate at all. That's why they're so good at obstructionism, because the act fulfills their goal of seeing government weakened and incapacitated.
     
  8. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #8
    Would be nice if the government ever took responsibility for their mistakes.
     
  9. Technarchy macrumors 604

    Technarchy

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    #9
    I don't think our issues are all that hard or complicated. The issues begin when government tries to solve problems by making their donors rich as a priority first, and solving problems 2nd.
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I began paying attention to government as LBJ's Great Society programs began taking effect. What stands out is that as government has expanded its role in our society, it has become far more complex. During all this, over these recent fifty years or so, many new special interest groups have formed. With more laws you have more lobbying groups seeking favors of one sort or another. Obviously, the lobbyists with the most money have the most influence.

    In a sense, pity the poor Congrescritter: He's bombarded daily with demands to "Do something!" but with little credible input as to a proper course of action. Dealing with lobbyists? Who's factually correct, vs. who's BSing him for financial advantage.

    Governing was much easier when the government did not reach so broadly across the nation. The blowback has pretty much ended what I see as rational governance. (I think of such idiocies as the Patriot Act, the NDAA and the TSA, just for starters.) Look at the nitpicks: Congress, pontificating on the design of washing machines? The amount of water through a shower head? The amount of water per flush of the toilet? Such nonsense is an avoidance of governing.

    It ain't gonna get better with age. Too many people want government to give out more "free" stuff or do some sort of "kiss the ouchie and make it well". Ain't gonna work. And in the meantime the debts grow ever-larger...
     
  11. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #11
    i think the situation is mirrored in more countries than you think. Here in Austria for many of the years since 1945 our government has been made up with the so called "great coalition" from the two big center left/center right parties which usually meant no big changes since pretty much all decisions were compromises.
    None of the political parties are happy with it but it works, sometimes better sometimes worse.

    the last 20 years though even between the coalition partners one can easily see a a stronger "us vs them devide" or "who scored which point" which of course means decisions are pushed further out than necessary or delayed or not even taken at all. Inaction of course feeds the more fringe parties (right wingers, greens etc.). And with the pressure from those fringe parties the bigger parties are force into action more.

    The US system hugely favours the two main parties and makes it nigh impossible for a 3rd party to emerge. So it might take quite a bit of time for the current system to change.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    takao, in today's world it looks to me as though politicians can be divided (90% of them, anyway) into mildly statist on the one hand and strongly statist on the other. Almost all of them strive to extend the amount of control over the citizenry. The power has always existed; it's the extension that has created so many social problems--and fiscal problems.
     
  13. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #13
    To be fair, they do sometimes. They have gone back into legislation to correct language that caused untoward and unforeseen consequences. Leaving aside the issue that we end up with spaghetti code that spawns a whole industry of lobbyists who are experts on the tax code, the Social Security Administration laws etc etc.

    One could argue that with respect to the tax code, many of the adjustments were to the benefit of the few... but surely not all of them. They have no choice but to fix outright mistakes, and sometimes little one-liner fixit bills are put up within days of legislation that went into law without someone realizing "oops, we left out the word NOT in paragraph 20 subsection c..."

    To the extent that government skates on accountability, that's on us. How many people do you know who really do more than vote, if they vote, as far as civic involvement is concerned? I know lots of people with college degrees who have never in their life confronted a congressman over legislation that they constantly bitched was ruining their life. We cannot have it both ways. Change requires involvement. It looks from the recent demise of AHCA, we are starting to learn that lesson. That whole thing woke up a lot of people and since we all know the ACA still needs fixing, I doubt everyone's going back to sleep now.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #14
    I raised a complaint with my local council because they made an excessively long road diversion around some roadworks. I couldn't even get them to apologise - even when I made a formal complaint. That's awful.

    Now I accept that that isn't the worlds biggest deal, but why not apologise and admit the error?
     
  15. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #15
    Aside from our tendencies to litigate every damn thing, it's our damn sound bite culture. Someone's going to get sued, or else someone's going to get a quote and stick it in text overlay of some campaign ad. Either way the message to the discerning observer is that if something happened, and we're not saying anything happened, it's not our fault.

    "We could have done that a lot better" sounds good when they owe you the apology for a poorly patched pothole.

    It looks and sounds even better, oh much much better in an opposition ad next time around, followed by "he could have done it right the first time too, so vote for John Smith in November if you want things done right."

    That's on us too. I don't know why we fall for those ads.

    Anyway we have lost understanding that there's value in admitting error. That has negative and far reaching consequences that are too rarely remarked on: scientific research is about pursuing a hypothesis and building on the related knowledge base when it turns out to be wrong as well as if it proves correct.

    Nowadays companies don't want to put money into R&D because if they go down "the wrong path" then they have "nothing" to show for it. So they compete with each other to buy some similar company instead, figuring buying something that must have gone down at least one right path beats risking shareholder wrath over making a mistake. Of course that can only end with two dogs looking at an empty bowl, but that's later on so it must be someone else's problem. Really it’s the biggest problem of the planet and it’s a problem right now.

    No one is ever officially wrong about anything any more. In English we don't have the directly reflexive tense common to many Romance languages, but we'd abuse it like crazy if we did: the dish let itself fall onto the floor... the health care legislation let itself become so unwieldy that it had to be pulled from consideration... the traffic detour let itself become such an annoyance...
     

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