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On Friday night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, an interesting question was posed: Should Steve Jobs be running the country?
I’m not sure if it should be Steve Jobs per se, but I have always wondered if perhaps the president of the United States should be more of a business man than a life-long politician. Unfortunately, you need the savvy of a politician to get elected, but wouldn’t it be better to think of the role of the president as a CEO? Essentially that is what the government is, a giant corporation.
The reason this subject even came up was that during a recent report, it was revealed that it now costs two cents to make a penny, and nine cents to make a nickel. The government suggested that we should switch to cheaper materials, an idea that has been floated around since the Nixon administration. Apparently the lobbying group for the coin-operated laundry mats of the nation was against it because if the expense involved with them refitting their machines. Somehow this was reason enough to kill the idea of changing the way we make our coins.
Are you kidding me?
Is this how wishy-washy our government has become? Oh, we can’t possibly change the way we make our coins because places that do laundry will get angry! Is this some large voting block that I am unaware of? Government does things all the time that make life harder on businesses, but the one time it would help cut the costs of our ailing budget, we rethink it?
This isn’t a problem with just the Obama administration, this is a problem with government in general. Note that this has been going on for decades now, not just the past couple of years. Our government is notorious for giving in to special interest groups like this to the determent of the country as a whole. Yes, presidents have numerous advisers, but they are usually lawyers, politicians and other assorted people with no business pedigree to their name. Even if it wasn’t a CEO as president, what about an official position in the cabinet where someone with a focus on business can simply go, “Are you nuts? You’re prepared to do such-and-such, which will cost us more, just to keep some whiny small group happy?”
There was a Kevin Kline movie called Dave some years ago where he replaced the president due to being an impersonator when the real president had a stroke. To make the First Lady happy, he needed to find $125 million in the budget to fund a plan of hers. He brought in an accountant friend of his to go through the budget, and he found it by cutting things like an advertising campaign that essentially was about making Americans feel better the choice they made in buying an American car. That’s what we need is someone who can look at some of the insanity that goes through Washington D.C. and go, “Really? You think this is wise spending?”
The sad thing is … I know it will never work. I’m not going to delude myself and somehow think this person wouldn’t get sucked into the moral and ethical vortex that is our nation’s capital. It is, however, a nice dream to think that someone could walk in and just start fixing some of our sillier problems like the one about our coins, but I’m afraid it will remain just that, a dream.
I, for one, would be willing to give iMerica a shot. (in the interest of full disclosure … the first 424 words of this post were written last night as I laid in bed … typed out on my iPad)