Just over the past few days there has been a flurry of stories related to who will, or will not run for president next year.  We presumably know the Democratic candidate, so now the focus is on the GOP, and possible alternate party hopefuls.  

One of the pronouncements we hear a lot from these candidates is that he or she will “run government like it’s a business.”  A pretty interesting notion when you consider that so many of our candidates have law backgrounds.  So…do we want someone who has run a law office to govern our affairs?  Have you seen their rates?   

It got me wondering.  Okay, run government like a business.  But what sort of business should it be modeled upon?   A lemonade stand?  A factory?  A non-profit?  A brothel?  A construction firm?  A doctor’s office?  A casino?  A dot-com?  A farm?   The slightest glance at this list will evoke a range of opinions.  Not all of them pleasant.  Just like politics.

In high school I had to read Being There by Jerzy Kosinski.  It is a fine story about a man named Chance, a gardener, who through some remarkable turns winds up advising the president on policy matters.  If you haven’t read it – or seen the movie – it’s quite good. Anyway, the reader is never quite sure of Chance’s mental capacity – all he knows is his garden.  So naturally, his advice makes use of verbs like prune, water, or mulch.  And the public loves it.    

So I ask….what kind of business would you run government like?

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Dave Coulter

I have been a horticulturist for thirty years working in the Chicago area and beyond. I have lived in Oak Park for over thirteen years. My writing has recently appeared in the journal Ecological Restoration...

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