Sunday, October 14, 2007

Big Business Myths

The film, Michael Clayton, reminds us of a tragic myth spun out of control during the Reagan years: Government is bad, but business will save us. Business is efficient; government is wasteful. The men and women of business can do a better job than congress and government agencies.

No doubt, government is often unwieldy and cumbersome, but after living in a corporate city, Detroit, for 16 years, I learned quickly that big business is incredibly wasteful, self-serving, inefficient, more unwieldy and cumbersome than government, and often just plain stupid!

Business can build cars, albeit not always good ones, but don't ask business to provide moral leadership. Business experience translates poorly into the realm of government. Government needs women and men of vision, philosophers and dreamers, who construct a moral realm to challenge and guide business and the whole of the Republic. We need prophets, not profits.

Our love affair with corporate capitalism is waning, and not a moment too soon.