The “business of business” and the “business of politics”

After seeing social media clogged with political rants as well as my daily social interactions being consumed, and everywhere I go I receive unsolicited opinions about people’s political views. This has given me the push to share a few details about what people I am hearing and how things work based on empirical data and life experience.  The topic of running a country like a business and acting as the CEO of a country is what I have been bombarded with.  There are a few key terms that are needed to ensure the points are understood and outlined here: bondholder, shareholder, and stakeholder.

Small Business

How businesses should operate versus how most businesses do operate are not the same.  While this may seem obvious, the issues are still significant.  Most businesses strive to drive the bottom line and focus on shareholder relations.  In small businesses, the focus is on short-term cost-cutting like avoiding investing in personnel, succession planning, marketing, process improvement, and overall strategic planning which usually produce slow grow, product inconsistency, high turnover, and overall failure. The small business issues arise usually from a lack of financial resources or a poor understanding of profit and loss. While some businesses are able to be successful while utilizing a few core competencies they rarely reach full potential.

Larger businesses and corporations

Larger businesses and corporations do suffer from many of the same issues small businesses have for sure.  One of the added challenges to big business is the shareholders and market speculation.  Shareholders often focus on the bottom line and the return on their investment, and not investing in personnel, succession planning, marketing, process improvement, overall strategic planning.  The large business or corporate issues arise from investors seeking short-term returns with the greatest payout without regard for long-term performance.

Public Relations

How a country operates looking at democracies particular the U.S. the government’s role is to ensure security for the citizens and those citizens are eligible to run and lead the nation. Unlike a business, the country does not use investing in personnel or succession planning in the same way a successful business does. If a country was run like a business the amount of time and money that would be used in maintaining strong relations with the investors would not produce a wealthy population nor a safe secure environment.  Some easy example is when the stakeholder are not taken into consideration.  For instance companies with personnel issues such as Foxconn and Apple, Walmart and low wages,  Wells Fargo and cheating sales goals, and dozens of other companies with class actions suits for discrimination, safety violations, and many other deceptive practices. The most obvious sign of how a country should not be run like a business is term limits for political office. If the country did not have term limits like business employees marketing could be used to manipulate the population into losing more freedom and opportunity than are currently available.  This would resemble a monarchy or any ruler that looks to control news and media.

US debt and bonds: about two-thirds of US debt is held by domestic investors, social security, military retirement plans, government agencies, corporations and individual investors. The rest, about one-third, is held by foreign countries and foreign investors…

The amount of US government debt held by foreign entities equals $14.1 trillion… the largest foreign holder of US debt is Japan, which owns 1.31 trillion. China, the second-largest holder, owns $1.115 trillion.

https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2017/03/15/us-deficit-and-debt-explained/

Leadership and Power

If a country was run like a business the bondholders would have more power in deciding what the country should do. That means that China and Japan would have the strongest most influential relationship because they hold the largest amount of foreign debt. While the U.S does have good relations with those nations the U.S. also have favorable relations with countries with less of a financial investment in the U.S. directly. Also, we would have a really hard time doing business with the amount of debt we generate every quarter. The turnover and impeachment rate for almost every elected official who is unsustainable, some companies bring in new leadership almost once a year before the board finds someone they will tolerate. While in the U.S. the elected officials stay in office if they do great, good, or terrible,  as long as they didn’t get caught breaking the law they usually stay, and can often be reelected. Business and government have similarities and neither are consistently successful or reasonable, but they are far from the same and should not be treated as such.

Citizens

If Governments do a poor job of supporting the stakeholders of the country, then businesses do a terrible job at it. For the thousands of businesses that are successful none of them have made it to the level that the government has for keeping the citizens safe and providing necessities and rights. Ideally, we would be anarchist living under a social contract of peace, love, and a free market, which is as likely as me being a 19th-century pirate and winning over the people with my soothing public speaking ability(Has Not Happened). Every citizen should be involved and aware of the government and no one should try and take that right away and give it to businesses.

Freedom

Businesses have more rules and regulations regarding everything from dress code to language that is acceptable to the behavior of employees is even dictated by the culture of the business.  If people want a country run like a business social and civil uprisings would be a common occurrence.  Just like walkouts, boycotts, and viral videos have a massive impact on businesses for mistreating the stakeholders such as Uber, Pepsi, United airlines, and the list goes on and on.  Regarding government, protests are still a viable option, when the citizens boycott a vote it is the citizens that lose out more than the government. Specifally considering the extermes of retaliatory actions for both arenas.

Business is great for creating wealth and opportunities for people who are willing to work hard, invest in education, and sometimes just lucky.

Here are links to the information that was I used to support the terms.

Bondholderis the owner of a government, municipal or corporate bond. Investors may purchase bonds directly from the issuing entity or on the secondary market if the original bondholder decides to sell prior to maturity. Bondholders are entitled to a return of principal when the bond matures and, with the exception of those who own zero-coupon bonds, periodic interest in the form of coupon payments.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bondholder.asp#ixzz4cOjFVI5B

Stockholders: An individual, group, or organization that holds one or more shares in a company, and in whose name the share certificate is issued. Also called shareholder.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/stockholder.html

Shareholders:is any person, company or other institution that owns at least one share of a company’s stock. Because shareholders are a company’s owners, they reap the benefits of the company’s successes in the form of increased stock valuation. If the company does poorly, however, shareholders can lose money if the price of its stock declines.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/shareholder.asp#ixzz4cOikbUmC

Stakeholders: person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization.

Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives and policies. Some examples of key stakeholders are creditors, directors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers, unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources. Not all stakeholders are equal. A company’s customers are entitled to fair trading practices but they are not entitled to the same consideration as the company’s employees.

An example of a negative impact on stakeholders is when a company needs to cut costs and plans a round of layoffs.

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/stakeholder.html

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