The passage of time and the new technologies brought along with it have a way of distracting us from the fundamentals of government. This current presidential election provides an example of our expectations of government and its leaders. Americans expect government to deliver economic stability while government’s leaders exhibit a high degree of morality and good behavior. A lot of these expectations stem from what I believe to be a misreading of the U.S. Constitution and a failure to peel the layers of the “Madison Avenue” advertising campaign that hides the true intent of the human behavior that created the United States.
The “Madison Avenue” advertising campaign expressed in most American’s surface interpretation of the U.S. Constitution leaves Americans believing that government is supposed to be virtuous, moral, and caring of its people and that government’s leaders are also the citizenry’s leaders and these leaders are supposed to exhibit the high morals that ordinary citizens exchange among themselves.
This expectation of virtuous, moral behavior from elected officials is being expressed by a significant portion of the American electorate who believe that incumbent U.S. president Donald J. Trump is corrupt, contemptuous, and lies. Plenty of examples of less than becoming behavior and assertions of illegal activity have been shared via the media with a significant amount of these assertions and accusations stemming from Mr Trump’s prior life as a public citizen.
But even during his current tenure, Mr Trump’s detractors have argued that Mr Trump’s behavior rose to the level of impeachment and removal from office so much so that his opponents in the U.S. House of Representatives issued articles of impeachment against him last fall, pursuant to Article II, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution.
I think his detractors confuse Mr Trump’s puffery skills, skills no doubt honed as a marketer of everything from hotels to golf courses to casinos to pizza, with lies intended to cause physical, mental, or emotional damage. I personally do not see this as the case. While I would not pursue sitting down to a glass of beer with Mr Trump, spending precious moments dissecting salesman puffery is a waste of time. Detractors enjoy distracting the general public away from sources of information that would give better insights into what really matters in an American’s life: the ability to earn a living, obtain affordable housing, maintain the health and welfare of the household, and expand a moat of wealth around her household.
The distraction I am concerned about is the one that clouds government as a source of trade or contracts. Government after all is an amalgamation of rules and institutions that minimizes collateral damage that the citizenry may cause to government while government is carrying out its true role. One of government’s roles is to maintain an environment where it is easy to extract resources from human and natural resources in order for those who trade in this jurisdiction can earn revenues, profits, returns on and to capital.
Another government role is to inject public capital into the political economy. Government spends on procurement and research and development. It backstops business loans and student loans. Private companies receive billions in grant funding or loans to help carry out government’s social and economic policies.
Anyone watching the stock markets right now is aware of the volatility being caused by the uncertainty surrounding who will become the next president and more specifically their fiscal policy and regulatory proposals. Added to the puffery coming out of the White House, attempts by the Democratic-controlled House to keep the President in check, and the 3 November 2020 election quickly coming over the horizon, the focus needs to remain on what opportunities can be created or evaporated as a result of the election and where opportunities appear, how best can you position yourself to meet them.
The noise surrounding moral behavior in government and what political packages can a candidate offer you need to be cleaned up so that you can tune in to the economic opportunities that matter. Take, for example, the President’s alleged actions regarding Ukraine. One should leave the morality questions to the college philosophy professors or the unpaid political pundits that pervade social media and instead ask themselves the following questions when trying to identify an opportunity resulting from a government action:
- Is the government action legal?
- Does the government action create a government program or a fund?
- Do these programs allow for delivery by private entities?
If the action is legal there is a foundation upon which you can explore any contract opportunities with the government. You want to be sure a program won’t be yanked from under your feet because of legal issues.
If the government action creates a program, your concern should be the criteria you have to meet for participating as a service deliverer. If there is a fund made available as a result of the program, what then are the requirements for accessing this new public capital. Finally, if the government is creating programs that can be delivered by private entities, the government is providing you an opportunity to do business.
It is a waste to get caught up into political debate. Government is going nowhere. You should treat government as a public corporation that seeks to do business like any other corporation and make yourself available to provide it with services.