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You get what you pay for

Re: “Run government like a business? Not so fast,” April 5, 2017

Dear Editor,

Mr. McNaughton is correct when he states that a government should not be run like a business. The two entities have entirely different objectives, the achievement of which require different means to their respective ends. To run an administration with the sole objective of minimizing expenses and maximizing profits is not only irresponsible, but runs a high risk of excluding or overlooking the needs of many in society. With a focus solely on the bottom line, a government will tend to ignore issues which in its estimation do not provide a suitable return.

Many successful companies operate on a highly competitive basis. Although this is suitable in the private sector, an environment more attuned to consensus building and co-operation must be present in government in order to ensure inclusivity for all members of society. In addition to all the many aspects of governing, social safety networks, foreign aid, health care systems and accommodation of the needs of minorities in particular would all be in jeopardy if a government was unwilling to spend on them or to borrow to support them when necessary.

Also, too many people expect and want tax cuts which run the risk of preventing a government from receiving sufficient tax revenue to pay for the government services society insists on. Government services given to others but not required by an individual taxpayer are often mistaken for mismanagement of tax dollars. While true government mismanagement of money is to be avoided at all costs, the fact remains that if taxpayers expect certain government services to be there for them, the government must be able to rely on reasonable revenue streams to pay for them. You get what you pay for.

Bill Oxley