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The US administration: A caricature of business practices… August 1, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Having listened to no end of nonsense from US Republicans in the last week as they sought to explain away the latest outbreak of chaos from the Trump administration I’m almost reaching for the idea that this is what stupid people think business is like. That’s unfair, business practices can often be hidden behind bombastic rhetoric. The vainglorious presentation of business in the media doesn’t help either. And people generally aren’t stupid, but misinformed. Or misled.

But how to explain the firing (I mean of course the resignation) of Chief of Staff Priebus? Why, we are told, this is what business people do – trying out people in one position or another and hey, sometimes it doesn’t work out. How to explain the rhetoric around the Attorney General (and by the by I’ll bet he’s not so glad he gave up his Senate seat for this gig)? Ditto. How to explain the departure of Spicer? Ditto. How now to explain the firing of the Mooch? Er… yeah… how to explain that?

That this is a caricature of business is telling. On the left we tend to be a bit sceptical about business – I am myself despite having worked in and with the private sector most of my adult life. But companies aren’t usually (though on occasion they can be, I’ve experienced it myself) run on a whim. Hiring and firing with excessive speed is less commonplace than is sometimes thought (particularly in this state and the UK and in Europe, the situation in the US is somewhat different, but again not entirely so). Even in the most rapacious operation you want to get the right person in for a role. And the idea that a person would leave such high profile position within a short matter of months of arriving in it – or let’s be honest, the idea that people, plural, would do so, or be fired, is not indicative of business as normal but of, at its kindest, a problem in relation to who is doing the selection.

So even by its own lights the business rhetoric is double edged and points back at Trump as the problem in relation to this dysfunction.

There are other issues too. These aren’t simple roles where people can slip in and out interchangeably. Six months is an awful short time in government but consider the loss of what relatively little experiential capital has been gained in that six months. Replacements are starting up once more from near enough nothing (this by the by is why I’m deeply sceptical of rotating Ministerial roles in our current coalition, or the manner in which GP TDs swapped in and out in the FF/GP coalition. Being a Minister is difficult. Learning on the job requires a long period in situ, the fact that so often appointments are made not in relation to knowledge of an area but purely political, indeed often local considerations, is a huge problem).

But then this is all, one suspects, performative. The absurd show in Washington is its own justification, one suspects, for those at the centre of it. But that’s not enough, not nearly enough, given that they’re actually meant to be doing something about, y’know, the United States, about the problems facing it, about its citizens. The problem with performative is when it runs into reality. At some point, sooner rather than later, some people are going to wake up to the painful inadequacy of the current administration at administration. Sooner one hopes rather than later.


1. EWI - August 1, 2017

I don’t think that this is a caricature at all – this is exactly how a lot of ‘business’ (and especially the property developers) works.


WorldbyStorm - August 1, 2017

Property yes, there I’d agree.


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