Business to government: You are the problem

You’ve no doubt hear people, probably free-market conservatives and libertarians, talk about getting government out of the way so that business can flourish. Here’s a graphical representation of what we mean:

Source: Harvard Business School

Source: Harvard Business School

The scores were given based on surveys completed in October by almost 10,000 alumni of Harvard Business School. While HBS is not exactly renowned as a bastion of right-wingers, note that every single thing considered a weakness — anything in the two left-hand boxes — is solely or largely the purview of government. And every one of those factors is considered by these respondents to be getting worse, not better.

Note also that the factors on which the U.S. is least competitive are, in order (as described more fully on page 13 of the above-linked PDF):

1. Complexity of the national tax code

2. Effectiveness of the political system: ability of the government to pass effective laws

3. K-12 education system: universal access to high-quality education; curricula that prepare students for productive work

4. Macroeconomic policy: soundness of government budgetary, interest rate and monetary policies

5. Efficiency of legal framework: modest legal costs; swift adjudication

6. Regulation: Effective and predictable regulations without unnecessary burden on firms

This reads like the basis for the to-do list of every conservative I know: Simplify the tax code. Make government more effective by forcing it to do less. End the monopoly on education by entrenched bureaucratic interests. Balance the budget, in large part by reforming the entitlements that drive most of the spending growth, and restore sound money. Reform the tort system. Cut red tape and end the ceaseless “do something” mentality of government do-gooders.

And from the left? Raise taxes by targeting unfavored groups (i.e., making the tax code more complex). Grow government beyond what it reasonably can be expected to do well. “Fix” education not by changing the system but by pouring more money into it. Avoid substantive entitlement reform, increase spending faster than revenues, and keep monetary policy loose. Put the trial bar’s interests above those of job creators. Increase regulation always, at all costs.

Now, which vision do you think it more likely to convince business decision-makers that this country and its people are a good investment?

(H/t: James Pethokoukis)

– By Kyle Wingfield

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95 comments Add your comment

getalife

January 20th, 2012
12:50 pm

The people did not show up to engage in the class war.

They showed up to end the class war.

No more government for the 1 % only.

Enough of this corruption.

Bart Abel

January 20th, 2012
12:55 pm

And from the left? Raise taxes by targeting unfavored groups (i.e., making the tax code more complex). Grow government beyond what it reasonably can be expected to do well. “Fix” education not by changing the system but by pouring more money into it. Avoid substantive entitlement reform, increase spending faster than revenues, and keep monetary policy loose. Put the trial bar’s interests above those of job creators. Increase regulation always, at all costs.

Wow. This is an astounding characterization of the values and positions of the left. I can’t figure out if Kyle is a liar or if he’s just hopelessly confused.

(By the way, that list factors on which the U.S. is least competitive actually reads like the basis for the to-do list of every progressive I know.)

Bart Abel

January 20th, 2012
12:56 pm

I meant to say “astounding mischaracterization.”

Sarah Coulter

January 20th, 2012
12:58 pm

Let’s go through this checklist, shall we? M

ake government more effective by forcing it to do less: unless it means female reproduction and same-sex marriage. Government must be entrenched in people’s lives according to conservatives.

End the monopoly on education by entrenched bureaucratic interests. And give it to Kaplan, etc. companies that make the test, design the curriculum, and design the test prep. Teachers can become robots stifling creativity, reasoning, and critical thinking.

Balance the budget, in large part by reforming the entitlements that drive most of the spending growth: Does that include corporate welfare? Or farm subsidies?

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
12:59 pm

getalife

How much does Bookman pay you to live on the AJC blogs?

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
12:59 pm

Kyle, most on the left don’t understand basic economics.

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
1:01 pm

Proof that Democrats hate freedom.

Reid postpones vote on anti-piracy bill

http://news.yahoo.com/reid-postpones-vote-anti-piracy-bill-144213479.html

scrappy

January 20th, 2012
1:02 pm

“based on surveys completed in October by almost 10,000 alumni of Harvard Business School”

A list based on surverys means a list based on opinion, not facts.

JF McNamara

January 20th, 2012
1:16 pm

If you took a survey of monkeys, I’ll bet it would say they all like bananas…

Sarah Coulter

January 20th, 2012
1:17 pm

You are not a true conservative, Somewhere Over There, or you wouldn’t want more government intrusion. 01/20/11 1:01 p.m. proves it.

From henceforth, you are part of the left.

ghp_fan

January 20th, 2012
1:24 pm

Isn’t it amazing how a bunch of elite intellectuals could come up with something like this?

Kyle Wingfield

January 20th, 2012
1:27 pm

ghp_fan: It would appear these elite intellectuals are not so enamored of the elite intellectuals running the government.

Kyle Wingfield

January 20th, 2012
1:28 pm

Maybe so, JF. But if I wanted something from the monkeys, I just might take their taste for bananas seriously.

Kyle Wingfield

January 20th, 2012
1:28 pm

scrappy: Who said otherwise?

Kyle Wingfield

January 20th, 2012
1:30 pm

Nope, Bart, you had it right the first time.

Bart Abel

January 20th, 2012
1:35 pm

I don’t follow Kyle. Is that to say that you’re lying or that you’re hopelessly confused?

ghp_fan

January 20th, 2012
1:38 pm

I agree with Bart. Everybody generally seems in agreement that those items in the list are problems that need remedying…. but there are differences of opinion regarding the strategies for remediation.

ghp_fan

January 20th, 2012
1:39 pm

Interestingly, no mention of health care being a problem? I guess Obamacare took that one off the list?

UGA 1999

January 20th, 2012
1:46 pm

Message from all businesses to the US govenment….GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!

UGA 1999

January 20th, 2012
1:47 pm

Getalife….yep you are right the bottom feeders get absolutely nothing from the government.

I would recommend you look up the word “stealing” in the dictionary.

Bart Abel

January 20th, 2012
1:52 pm

If UGA actually attended the University of Georgia, then he would know that his education would have been subsidized by both Georgia taxpayers and, in part, federal taxpayers. But he didn’t and he doesn’t.

UGA 1999

January 20th, 2012
2:00 pm

Bart….You assume to much. Keep guessing.

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
2:03 pm

“If you took a survey of monkeys”

Democrats?

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
2:04 pm

“You are not a true conservative, Somewhere Over There, or you wouldn’t want more government intrusion.”

You must be under some false impression that I care what you think, Sarah.

“From henceforth, you are part of the left.”

HAHAH!!!!! Sarah, you can kiss my butt.

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
2:06 pm

“If UGA actually attended the University of Georgia, then he would know that his education would have been subsidized by both Georgia taxpayers ‘

If Bart had half a brain he’d know that there are actually parents who pay for their kids tuition. IF Bart had any sense at all he might know that some kids get scholarships.

Think before you post stupid comments, Bart.

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
2:06 pm

” But he didn’t and he doesn’t.”

So Bart, a mindless blogger, knows who went to UGA and who did not?

get out much?

January 20th, 2012
2:07 pm

and small children want cake and cookies for dinner, without having to eat their vegetables. what else is new?

Ronnie Raygun

January 20th, 2012
2:09 pm

Funny how “government regulations” is the least detrimental to business according to the chart, even though cons try to claim it’s the most detrimental..

getalife

January 20th, 2012
2:19 pm

The gopee party deserve to lose.

And they will.

They mandate for you to pee in a cup and call that freedom.

Ronnie Raygun

January 20th, 2012
2:20 pm

Hey, I can play blame one side too…

1. Complexity of the national tax code – like all of the carve-out conservatives put in the tax code in exchange for bribes.

2. Effectiveness of the political system: ability of the government to pass effective laws – like the Teabags threatening not to pay on U.S. debts and causing America’s credit rating to be degraded.

3. K-12 education system: universal access to high-quality education; curricula that prepare students for productive work – like cons cutting funding for education and promoting for-profit schools that have the same outcomes.

4. Macroeconomic policy: soundness of government budgetary, interest rate and monetary policies – like maintaining low interest rates even in boom times (the 00s) and creating economic bubbles (see housing bubble)

5. Efficiency of legal framework: modest legal costs; swift adjudication – like having a conservative legal system where the party that can afford the best lawyers is most likely to win.

6. Regulation: Effective and predictable regulations without unnecessary burden on firms – like the con wet dream of repealing all regulations and having no accountability for Corporate boards and CEOs..

Linda

January 20th, 2012
2:21 pm

ghp@1:39, Read the report. Health care was indeed mentioned as being a problem.

Bart Abel

January 20th, 2012
2:23 pm

If Bart had half a brain he’d know that there are actually parents who pay for their kids tuition. IF Bart had any sense at all he might know that some kids get scholarships.

Parents, scholarship, or self-pay…it doesn’t matter. All public state universities are subsidized by state, and to a lesser extent, federal taxpayers . That’s why they charge out-of-state students, who aren’t eligible for state subsidies, a whole lot more.

It seems that I know more with my less than half a brain than Somewhere does when using the whole thing.

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
2:28 pm

“Parents, scholarship, or self-pay…it doesn’t matter. ”

Ok, you’re not smart are you.

“It seems that I know more with my less than half a brain than Somewhere does when using the whole thing.”

You must be huge in fantasyland, Fart.

Somewhere over there

January 20th, 2012
2:28 pm

“They mandate for you to pee in a cup and call that freedom.”

I knew getalife wasn’t smart but this just takes the cake.

ragnar danneskjold

January 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

The key is that the poll was of people who work in business, rather than those Harvardites who work for Leviathan. Any rational soul who works in the private sector knows the government has strangled the economy with regulations. “Government spending” has long been a synonym for waste. Only those who love Big Brother fail to see the obvious.

Aquagirl

January 20th, 2012
2:37 pm

Bart….You assume to much

And if UGA non-99 had actually attended a real school, they might have taught him the difference between “to” and “too.”

Or maybe he just partied and slept through classes, I have surely met some UGA grads who couldn’t tie their shoes without assistance. Some people have a remarkable ability to spend 16 years in school without the slightest bit of learning leaking into their brains.

Now Kyle’s free-form interpretation of this survey—that thar takes some book learnin’. :)

jconservative

January 20th, 2012
2:44 pm

“… increase spending faster than revenues…”

This is the base of the government problem. Starting with Reagan the federal government decided that it could cut government revenue, increase government spending, and end up with a larger government revenue and less government debt. 30 years and a $16 trillion national debt later way to many politicians still believe that plan will work.

The House (Republican) and Senate (Democratic) finished 2011 by increasing the national debt another trillion dollars. The Democratic president signed it into law. How did they do it? By decreasing government revenue and increasing government spending. Same ole same. So much for the Tea Party changing everything.

Now we will spend the election years of 2012 trying to destroy the opposing party and, as a result, the national debt will go up another $1 trillion.

Oh, and which party do we blame? See the chart:

Party in Power by Number of Years
………………..WH…..House……Senate
Republican…..20……..12…………16
Democratic….10………18…………14

Are there any apparent innocents? I see none.

Sarah Coulter

January 20th, 2012
2:51 pm

Somewhere over there, are you mad, little fella?

Ask for you not being a conservative, you are all for government starting another agency that investigates government privacy and intellectual property theft that will be rife with government inefficiency and waste.

Doesn’t sound like a true conservative to me.

Get rid of regulations. More fungicide in orange juice!

Bart Abel

January 20th, 2012
2:52 pm

jconservative,

I’d be interested to see that chart modified for trends that compare deficits when they were inherited with deficits over time. In other words, which presidents/parties took deficits they inherited and made them smaller and which took such deficits and made them bigger?

Linda

January 20th, 2012
3:01 pm

“The survey taps the perceptions & experiences of alumni of Harvard Business School’s MBA & longer executive education programs. These individuals comprise a diverse group of leaders & active participants in the front line of the global economy. They work in the full range of organizations…to global multinationals. These individuals decide whether to hire, where to locate businesses, what to export, when to outsource or offshore, how to cope with regulations, whether to innovate, & which markets to serve.”

These are some of the most brilliant minds in the global economy. They are the chief executives, presidents, chairpersons, founders & owners of US businesses.

As Kyle said, they are “not…a bastion of right-wingers…” Liberals bloggers will argue with anyone, even other liberals, even the most intelligent, educated & successful business men & women on the globe. Progressives are not interested in prosperity, only destruction.

ByteMe

January 20th, 2012
3:05 pm

I’d be interested to see that chart modified for trends that compare deficits when they were inherited with deficits over time.

I’ve seen attempts at this and it doesn’t work out well. The problem is that there are things inside of Congress’ control that the President agrees to — structural deficits for programs that aren’t being paid for (like making war) — and things outside anyone’s control, like recessions and their high unemployment costs + lower revenue.

For example, in about 10 years, whoever is President is going to have a very expensive Medicare bump as more people get past 65 and live even longer. Whose fault was it? Both parties for not dealing with it for the previous 10 years.

So it’s hard to pin blame on any one party unless someone wants to be partisan about it. Some politicians get it, many do not or don’t want to.

that's goofy

January 20th, 2012
3:11 pm

my 5 year old would be happier if I let him do what he wants too.

carlosgvv

January 20th, 2012
3:17 pm

This is nothing more than a smoke screen to fool the sheep into not realizing what Big Business really wants. They want an end to the following:

1. 8 hour work day
2. 5 day work week
3. overtime pay
4. sick pay
5. paid vacations
6. paid holidays
7. unions
8. child labor laws

They long for the laissez-faire days of the late 1800’s when predatory Big Business moguls ruled and raked in the riches at the expense of the American worker. Republican politicians are doing everything in their power to restore these glorious days to their corporate sponsors.

jconservative

January 20th, 2012
3:20 pm

Bart Abel-
” In other words, which presidents/parties took deficits they inherited and made them smaller and which took such deficits and made them bigger?”

The last 3 years of Clinton with a Republican congress reduced the deficit. Other than that, all other administrations and congresses have been the same, reduce revenue and increase spending and increase the national debt.

One can make the argument that the last two fiscal presidents were Bill Clinton and Herbert Hoover.
But I choose not to do so.

Kyle Wingfield

January 20th, 2012
3:22 pm

Yep, carlosgvv, slavery is juuuuuuuuuust around the corner.

Linda

January 20th, 2012
3:25 pm

The report is entitled “Prosperity at Risk: Findings of Harvard Business School’s Survey on US Competitiveness.”

How does fungicides in orange juice pertain to our prosperity or competitiveness?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

January 20th, 2012
3:26 pm

More government, crappier schools, more poverty, more illegitimacy, fewer real jobs…just as I’ve said here for years.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

January 20th, 2012
3:32 pm

Nice job the government did in preventing those peanut deaths.

Linda

January 20th, 2012
3:36 pm

carlosgvv@3:17, You actually have a point, but you are mixed up on the players. It’s the progressives who want to replace American law with the fundamentals of European-style socialism, which you have openly advocated. It means circumventing the Constitution, the Bill of Rights & the Declaration of Independence. The elite will rule their minions & everyone will live in a utopia. There will be equal outcomes, not equal opportunities, until the money runs out, exactly like what is happening today all over Europe.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

January 20th, 2012
3:38 pm

Guess who found and reported the fungicide in the orange juice? The government? No, the eeeeeevil corporation that imported it.

Libtard talking point go bye-bye.