As an observer of people and systems, I spend quite a bit of time railing against the inanity of government: local, state and federal. This weekend I found some perspective on the issue. Perhaps I am late to this realization but Newton and his law of motion “A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest” or something like that…(I studied History, Political Science and Law) inform my epiphany.
Government is a body at rest. Lethargy reigns. Stagnation remains the rule. Business, on the other hand, constantly moves. A business that remains stagnant becomes outdated or dies. Government abides no such constraints. The United States Constitution with its attendant amendments, statutes, regulations, and the several States, with their smaller government bodies exist because as a nation we have agreed that those should exist, not because these particular items are productive or marketable.
Taking this obvious revelation, consider promises made by the dominant party presidential candidates. Facing a governmental body at rest, i.e. a Congress trapped in quicksand, are the promises of change within the government realistic? Can one person in the executive branch effect change among 435 Congress members and 100 Senators in the legislative branch? Doubtful.
The parties and the candidates persist in their promises to resolve oil prices, to fix problems with sporting games at varying levels, to green the environment, and to stop a war for which a majority voted. But business moves onward and upward. Oil companies, if faced with a tax on profits, will find a detour or go out of business. Quite simply, this country depends on capitalism for innovation and variety. The providers of innovation must make a profit or move on to another product. Unlike government, which takes it’s “profits” or “taxes” at the point of gun behind the shield of a badge, business must make money.
If the government nationalizes any industry for the purpose on moderating profits or imposes taxes to “punish” the businesses’ windfall, this country will be taking a dangerous step away from representative government and our basic foundations.
At this point, voters control must be focused on legislative branches of government at all levels. The presidential candidates once inaugurated, will have less influence over change than he had as a senator. To effect change, real change, voters must find elected officials who will eschew the stagnation of government, but acknowledge that the stagnation exists. Voters must find elected officials who will combat stagnation and lethargy, not just spout hot air, while maintaining the status quo. Elect candidates who understand that innovation brings change, that status quo creates an unending quagmire.
Until the inspiration and innovation of business entrepreneurs find a way to impact government, this country will remain “at rest” and no amount of discussion about change will change the inertial forces at work.