Busi­ness and gov­ern­ment have dif­fer­ent man­dates

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

There have lately been let­ters to the ed­i­tor and opin­ion pieces on how things like rais­ing the min­i­mum wage, up­ping con­tri­bu­tions to CPP, etc., hurt busi­ness, do not solve prob­lems and are gen­er­ally bad ideas. Ac­tu­ally, not just lately, they seem to pop up reg­u­larly.

It seems to me that cer­tain seg­ments of our so­ci­ety feel that any­thing that helps the poor, the worker or the en­vi­ron­ment is bad be­cause it hurts busi­ness. If, for ex­am­ple, you limit the work­day to eight hours, do­ing this will de­stroy the econ­omy, ruin busi­nesses and you must fight tooth and nail against it.

The truth is the sky did not fall in and work­ers’ lives were greatly im­proved. Work­ers have had to bat­tle for safe work­ing con­di­tions and fair wages.

Very few busi­nesses have ini­ti­ated rules to help the work­ers or the en­vi­ron­ment. Busi­nesses are hard wired to be against any­thing that af­fects the bot­tom line. Yet slowly over the years, th­ese im­prove­ments have been forced on the busi­ness world and busi­nesses have flour­ished.

There is a sen­ti­ment in our world that our lead­ers should be busi­ness lead­ers, they would run the gov­ern­ment like a busi­ness and this would solve all our prob­lems. But busi­ness lead­ers and gov­ern­ment lead­ers have dif­fer­ent man­dates. Busi­ness lead­ers’ goal is to make money, while gov­ern­ment leads the coun­try, pro­tects its peo­ple.

Now mak­ing money is not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing. But if your bot­tom line is mak­ing money, it is not the goal of gov­ern­ment. Gov­ern­ments, cer­tainly can be run bet­ter, but is run­ning a gov­ern­ment like a busi­ness the best way to go?

Carol Cap­per,

Sum­mer­side

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