"For the same reason they get elected governor. People believe that successful businessmen are gods. They are wizards with money, and they will save us from our sins."
Why do papers like the Trib and the Disgraced Sun Times support successful businessmen like Bruce Rauner for high office? We know why the Sun Times supported him - close friendship in the executive suite. But what motivated the denizens of The Dark Tower to throw all their self-righteousness Rauner's way?
The Trib's editors got together and chanted, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" and the mirror said, "Bruce Rauner."
Fairest, meaning most lovely, because he has lots of experience making businesses successful.
He does what businessmen are 'spose to do, and he does it well.
So did David Vitale.
We continue to trust these mooks because we believe in fairy tales.
Fairy tale number one: "I'll have what he's having." The line references the most memorable scene in When Harry Met Sally.
The tale runs thus: If a businessman is successful at building his business, then he will be able to run the government. So we should look for a man who just does what businessmen are 'spose to do, and does it well.
As I've said before, what businessmen do well is make money for themselves, and create a machine that keeps pumping money into their pockets.
How do they do it? How do American businessmen create success?
There are two ways to grow a business and make it prosper. One is by increasing sales. The other is by reducing the work force. Oh, and if you are a savvy banker, you make money by using other people's money, as Woody Allen said of stock brokers, "until it's all used up." That's what David Vitale has done.
For the last umpteen years in America, increasing sales has been next to impossible. It yields slow growth and it doesn't build reputations. The other way is far more common. Cutting staff is the go-to, sure-fire solution to every businessman's problem. It is the mantra of the management consultant: "Cut the staff, man; cut staff, man; reduce the payroll, reduce the payroll; cut the payroll, cut the payroll; reduce the workforce, reduce the workforce." Sing this to "Hari Krishna."
This is how people like Bruce Rauner get their reputation for being great businessmen. They make money by shrinking the economy. Only it increases wealth at the top, where all the sensitive instruments that measure economic growth are located, so the indicators report that they boost the economy.
But like the case with David Vitale, that's a bit of smoke and "mirror, mirror on the wall."
In fact, running government like today's movers and shakers run business is a bad idea in every way except that businessmen know how to cook the books legally. But the bottom line remains the same: Less government is not better government. Less is not "more," no matter how well Bruce Rauner and Company cook it.
You may want what the businessman is having, but what you'll get is, like when Harry met Sally, a brilliantly faked orgasm.
Fairy tale number two: Businessmen are job creators.
There are only two ways for a businessman to create jobs: One is, and welcome back, increasing sales. The other is scientific research that can lead to innovation and the creation of "startups."
I almost said "new industries," but our economy is not an industrial economy. It's a technological economy and a service economy. The first requires advanced degrees and high intelligence. The second requires that you not have a degree and that you quash all independence of thought and action. The only requirement for many service-industry jobs is that you be able to read a script - I'm thinking of those idiot scripts you encounter on the telephone. "Hi, and welcome. How can I help you. First, may I ask how you are doing today?