Government doesn’t govern |

Government doesn’t govern

Many Americans believe government is essentially a business enterprise, best run by experienced CEOs. Indeed, the Bush administration has done business admirably, prevailing over its competition and rewarding its shareholders – its major financial supporters – with no-bid contracts and tax cuts.

Right after announcing plans to raise money by selling off national forest land, it is proposed that the ports of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore and Miami be operated by Dubai Ports World, an agency of the emirate of Dubai. Rep. Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, called this latter proposal “particularly troubling.” For one thing, two 9/11 hijackers were from Dubai.

But not to worry. This proposal probably isn’t much of a security threat, only business as usual: the firm that sold port operations to Dubai Ports World was headed by Treasury Secretary John Snow. In addition, American David Sanborn was Dubai Ports World’s operations director until recently, when President Bush appointed him head of the U.S. Maritime Administration.

This is arguably good insider backscratching, but the snag is that government isn’t business. It’s a nonprofit service. This administration churns profit marvelously, but it hasn’t a clue to governing.

Jeff Kane

Nevada City

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