I agree with you, Or. Like you pointed out- the U.S. government was told to 'manage it's assets' bureau by bureau, and of course this started a snowball of these departments behaving like corporate entities. This made them crippled from the get-go by contrast to 'profit-only' corporations. The government offices still have a main job to do for the U.S., but the corporations don't have those obligations.
I work for one of them. The only reason corporations give a care about their customers is because they might lose their sheep to a competitor. They spend millions and millions annually on psychologists to come up with the most 'convincing' ads and marketing strategies, even when improvement of their product would suffice just as well and be hardly any more costly.
I think because it's a game. Like gambling, and why it becomes an addiction to so many. The risk is a rush, the quarterly report is the payout and endorphin high. >.<
Governments cannot simply drop all their other obligations to go chasing that 'bottom line', yet they're told to be self-sufficient and profitable. Where's the 'win' scenario for them?? All the good public servant-types in government have been replaced by 'business suits' so that these departments can get a grip on the financial situations they've been given. Granted, this is all nothing but stereotype, and you have extremes on either side, but... well, that's the way it seems to me at least.
I saw my fair share of this from the upper eschelon, regarding Foreign Policy, over in Iraq. Everything that we seemed to be doing over there seemed to be a knee-jerk, fear-induced response. It permeated the air, and it was the topic of discussion on many a night. It really left a mark on lots of guys and gals who signed up to serve. We discovered that our world was a lot more complex than just 'stop the bad guys'.
I still have to say though that underneath it all, there is still the Constitution of the United States like a cornerstone. The government that is currently built upon it doesn't resemble the original very much... but the roots are still there. I have to believe that with the right incentive, the right impetus, the government 'Of the People, By the People, and For the People' could be brought back again.
If you don't believe that could happen, then there really isn't any hope left, is there? :\
Did anyone see the movie 'Wall-E' by Disney-Pixar? The world was run by the corporation 'Buy-N-Large'. Runaway consumerism, and a single corporation in control of the entire planet. They buried the planet under trash heaps higher than the buildings, and they had to evacuate the planet and leave the little robot garbage guys to clean up. The President of Buy-N-Large gave orders to the evacuation ships that the planet was unrecoverable- just stay anchored in space and stay there...
... and they kept on selling product to humanity- business as usual.
I don't want to live on planet McDonalds, or planet Exxon, or planet Mitsubishi. The notion of a for-profit corporation taking over a representative government is an oxymoron. How can a predator 'care' for it's prey? :\
I would like to see a Unified World Government, caring for the whole world equally. Isn't gonna happen in our lifetimes, but the UN is an example that it could
happen, under the right conditions, if the people decided that it was more important to them than a new car, or a better stereo. To be able to achieve that aim, they would need to achieve at least some basic conditions, such as getting away from a 'Growth' economy and going towards a 'Stability' economy, and greater attention to Global Law and population control.
We really need to get it together as a species, and it shouldn't take the next Alexander the Great to get it done, either. :\
My apologies for side-tracking this thread. Didn't mean to steer it so much towards politics and views outside of the AGW debate.
"I have no fear to shout out my ignorance and let the Wise correct me, for every instance of such narrows the gulf between them and me." -- Michael A. Harrington