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Auchter's Art: Running government like a business

Jul 22, 2016

Artist's POV:

I've worked in the business world for quite some time now. From private to public companies, startups to established corporations, employee to contractor. I even had my own company for a dozen years. So I think I have a fairly broad understanding.

Still, I've never really bought into the idea that being a successful business person necessarily will make you a good public servant.

Sure, things like the desire to be in charge, being a good steward of resources, knowing when to inspire and when to delegate — those are going to be helpful whether you're CEO or governor. But functionally, the two jobs are very different animals. An elected leader needs to embrace the integrity of a purposely restricted system (laws); private business owners are ultimately only responsible to themselves.

It scares me when those promoting the idea don't seem to be aware of the differences (or willfully ignore them).

Ironically, many of Donald Trump's standard business practices align more readily with the worst behaviors of a government bureaucrat: reneging on deals, aggressive deficit spending, opaque and authoritarian rule.

I just don't see how "I will run the government like a business" would be an easy sell to Michigan voters.

Especially when Governor Snyder already seems to have, um, poisoned those waters.

John Auchter is an editorial cartoonist. Views expressed in his cartoons are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.