Centralized Government

May/22/2010 14:23PM
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Anyone who has ever worked for a big corporation has been involved in the centralized/decentralized debate. Consulting firms have existed for years by just dealing with this issue. A consultant once told me that you sell a client on the idea that they are too centralized and then come back in ten years and convince them they are too decentralized.

The founding fathers of this great country wrestled with this idea when they debated the terms of the Constitution. Having come from a place where the King ran the show, they wanted none of that. They feared, knowing the nature of man, that it would happen despite their best efforts. Slowly, over time, it is happening. Obama has put the pedal to the metal to make it happen tomorrow.

In a corporation the argument goes like this. The General Office with all the bureaucratic staff lays down the premise that the Regions/Districts just don’t have the horsepower to make good decisions. The CEO agrees. Pulling in power closer to him makes it easier for him to control the business. So, all the power comes into the general office. The field just executes their wishes. Decisions go up the line and come back down in due time. Does it work?

How did it work for GM? Supposedly, GM failed because it became mired in bureaucracy and was too slow and ineffective to deal with the more nimble competition. The restructuring of GM is intended to decentralize the decision-making to create better decisions closer to the action and make them happen faster. Of course, with the government really running the company, can that really happen?

BP runs on a centralized model. Lot’s of meetings, many trips to London, great pressure on goals, and little, if any, authority at the local level. London is like Washington wants to be, the big guys make the decisions and the minions in BP execute the plan. Hows that working for BP and the Gulf Coast?

It does beg the question, how much longer are we going to watch while Obama makes our country into GM or BP? Nothing the government runs works very well. Someone always brings up the military, but those in the military right now might shock us with their assessment of how it’s working. After all, an administration that wants to put Kagan on the Supreme Court after her boycott of military recruiting at Harvard Law, is sending a mixed message to the troops. An administration that says we are fighting a war on terror and puts young ladies and men in harms way but won’t utter the word terror seems confused. Past the military, we can go through the litany of things the government can’t run. My favorite right now is Freddie, Fannie, and the FHA. Hidden from pubic scrutiny like an old washed out tattoo on a preacher, they attack every financial institution but these, the one’s they run. The main root of financial ruin in this country gets a pass. Now they will run health care.

Not done, they want to run our air and water. They want the entire country unionized. They want to pick and choose the laws they enforce and don’t enforce, ask Arizona. Government workers have the poorest attendance record in the world and they want to add millions more. Why? Surely, they don’t really believe they can do all these things and do them well?

It’s not about doing things well. It’s about power. Take the states out of the debate. Smash the competition that wants to decentralize. Lock up the people and the power forever for the greater good of the party. Let the chips fall where they may. These gentlemen sit in rooms and convince themselves they are the only one’s smart enough to run the country. The rest of the population is ignorant. With their model they can do what’s best for everyone. This is what I call the great pitfall of centralized government. No one ever tells the emperor he is naked. This is what the founding fathers worried so much about. They feared in time this country would become just like the one they fled. Someday we would have a king and a kingdom.

That day has come. So the public has to decide the rallying cry, is it God Save the King, or is it Down with the King.

We’ll see how this plays out in November.

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