B: Does it matter if an enterprising individual runs a business instead of the government?
A: Why would it?
B: There may be a difference in the motivation factor, because a government-owned business may be lacking the profit motive. Its employees may not be terribly concerned about making a profit, since the government can use and increase taxes to see to it that the employees keep making their guaranteed salary, regardless of how much the business may be tanking. Furthermore, even if the business does make a profit, the employees may not be given any extra share in it anyway – as is the case in more government-heavy socialistic societies. So in this business there’s no incentive for an employee to work harder, or even at all, since he makes the same amount of money anyway.
A private enterprise, on the other hand, must always be at least somewhat concerned with whether it makes a profit. If it doesn’t, it may go out of business, and the venture ends. That means, of course, all the employees would be laid off and out of a job. On the other hand, there’s no limit to the amount of profit a particular business can make, and if it wants to succeed in the best way possible, a business will reward those employees who most contributed to its success. There are therefore incentives at both extremes for the company’s employees to work as diligently as possible.
This, the profit motive, is ultimately why private enterprises are generally more efficient than public ventures, since this same factor is present in just about every situation where government has no business (no pun intended) being, as outlined before.
A: Governmental employees are working for a higher calling; that is, the betterment of their fellow men. Businesses care only about the greed they have for filthy lucre.
B: It’s amazing to me that people think that anyone who may have morals must work in the government, and all others must work in the private sector. Why should this necessarily be the case? This whole idea seems to be a myth. There may be plenty of poor motives for those involved in governmental jobs; conversely, there may be many of good-natured people looking to help others in the private sector. What, are there no entrepreneurs who have ever done any good for others? If not, how could they possibly make money? In any purchase, which is a trade of money for a product or service, the customer must have thought that his life would be made better, otherwise he wouldn’t have made the purchase. Undoubtedly there are times when the customer turned out to be wrong about the purchase he made, but every single time?! In general, businesses make people’s lives better, as we discussed earlier.
I won’t go into detail about the evil motives those in government positions may have; instead, I’ll just remind you that it’s only in government that true power-seeking can happen. As we’ll see later, businesses don’t have any real power over individuals, because they aren’t (or shouldn’t be) allowed to use force for their ends. Government, however, can use force – indeed, it is force. Therefore, a person with bad intentions can make a much worse mess in government than he can through private endeavors. Probably the worst examples of these in modern times include Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Buddy, I see absolutely no reason or evidence why those employed in the government would necessarily hold higher morals than their private-enterprising counterparts.