Monday, September 09, 2013

When Analogy Goes Awry

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Analogy is a valuable tool in a writer's arsenal.  But care must be taken when using them as they can often carry implications that are not intended by their creators, giving a wrong understanding of the concept.  Or, in some cases the implications are entirely intended and meant to lead astray.

I'm not sure which of those categories the likening of running a government to running a business fits.  But whether it was well-intentioned or not, it creates a confusion in the minds of those who have to think about policy issues whether it is the policy makers or the voters who chose them.  That confusion leads to some wildly wrong-headed policy proposals and obfuscates the discussion and debate about them.

It's simple really: governments and businesses are two different entities.  The first, in a democracy like ours, is run for the people, by the people and of the people where people and the common good are considered valuable in and of themselves. While the other is autocratic, if not totalitarian, and run for the profit, by the profit and of the profit and people are no more valuable than any other tools and just as dispensable.

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