business news in context, analysis with attitude

I suggested, with tongue only slightly in cheek, that I sort of wish that Costco CEO Jim Sinegal were running the economy - he runs a profitable and efficient company but also believes in values like health care.

One MNB use responded:

Yes!  Let’s get experienced business people running our government!  We’d actually get something done!

That was the original intent of the founders of this unique country – for people in the private sector, to take a few years “to serve the public”.  It was actually a plan of “giving back to the community” by serving, at a lower pay rate than the person was earning in the private sector as a business owner.  Then, return to the private sector.

It was never – EVER- intended for government servants to make a career out of it!  And by creating careers out of being “public servants”, create unique AND SEPARATE social security and health plans for themselves, different from the rest of the citizens!   This is what we have today.  (And don’t get me started on the pay raises they vote for themselves!!)

We see the “results”.  Government inefficiencies are now expected, they are a joke, and a travesty really.  It’s gotten to the point where the “public servants” in government are so out of touch with the real world.  They are supposed to be reflecting “the will of the people”.  That would be US, you, and I, and your readers, right?  When 79% through polls say they don’t want a bailout of banks and auto companies AND THEY PUSH IT THROUGH ANYWAY, and when about the same percent of the people – the majority – don’t want the “health care bill” pushed through, are they going to push it through ANYWAY?

You touched a nerve, can you tell?  But what self respecting successful business owner is going to stop and ‘serve the public’ at this point?  In CA, we have Meg Whitman from eBay running for governor – she’s getting my vote from what I know about her now!

One, one should always be careful about selective polling numbers.

Two, not all business executives are created equal.

Another MNB user wrote:

As a 23-year vet of Price Club/Costco I can emphatically say that what we do is all about our customers and employees.  Yes we have our issues like everyone else but the company philosophy is the same today as it was when I started as a teen.  The company is the best choice for any college age student to work for because of the commitment to the employee, a better wage, better hours as a food retailer and consistent work weeks.  From Jim Sinegal down the exec line they get it... and we ALL benefit (even those competitors that have our card in their wallet).

More comments about the possibility of cutting back on mail delivery in the US...

MMNB user Kevin Watkins wrote:

"You could cut deliveries to three days, and people under 30 would be unlikely to care. Or notice."

Except for maybe that Netflix envelope that arrives just in time for a Saturday night screening.  At least for the immediate future...

That is a short-term concern. Downloading will make DVDs obsolete. But that’s a different debate.

MNB user Kerley LeBoeuf wrote:

We retired to a rural community in eastern Virginia just off the Chesapeake Bay. Population of Lancaster County, VA - 11,500. # of Post Office buildings in the county - nine.

A model of inefficiency.

I was in a library yesterday, and was thinking how libraries may be endangered by the internet. Maybe the post office ought to think about closing down many of their buildings and opening postal counters in libraries all over the country. Just an idea...

MNB user Gary Harris wrote:

I was commenting to my wife the other day that I’ll be 57 this year and am sneaking up on 60 in a hurry. That said, we wouldn’t miss a few days of mail at all. I can’t say the same for my Mom, though. She’s been living with us for 10 years now, and it’s become kind of a joke everyday about ‘did anyone get the mail?’ to which I usually reply, ‘Did it come again today? Didn’t they just deliver some yesterday?’

And my wife has threatened to install a shredder in the kitchen, just so we don’t have to haul the junk (most of our mail) to the office to shred the credit card offers then haul it back to the garage for recycling. Most of the stuff we want delivered to our house can be done less often, like bills, or on demand, like stuff we order online. Perhaps the postal service should look at tweaking their business model to accommodate more commercial package delivery and less spam. The public will want that for quite a while.

Another MNB user wrote:

The US Government under President Obama (or any future Prez) may very well allow the USPS to scale back a day. There is no possible way that a President and a Political Party that believes government growth, not in the private sector growth, will allow government jobs to disappear. The goal of the USPS (as with every government function) is not to function efficiently or at a profit but to provide jobs and services to those they govern. As with ALL governments, the objective is to control the populace they govern. There is no reason to feel that because we are in the USA that the end goal of Government as a whole is any different.

I cannot share your total cynicism.

Sure, government run amok can be a problem. Both sides of the aisle are guilty of intrusiveness at different levels. But I have to believe that there are people of all political persuasions who get into government not to exploit the system, but to actually make the world a better place.

To think otherwise would be to give into despair. Which certainly is tempting sometimes. But not today.
KC's View: