Politics and Productivity
The productivity of our country and how it is measured is affected by political activity. Today there are so many regulations and new ones coming out almost daily. Granted some of these regulations are completely necessary as they relate to the laws generated by Congress while some may involve some misinterpretations. This is not necessarily the fault of the government entity which must decide on the necessary rules and/or regulations to clearly define their responsibilities for their employees. Laws generated by Congress in many cases do not clearly identify the responsibilities for which a government department or agency is required to monitor and/or enforce. This creates a situation where regulations and/or interpretations of the law can impact the productivity of the country and sometimes specific segments.
The current battle over the debt ceiling and the partial shutdown of the federal government not only impacts government organizations but the productivity and the gross national product. Shutting down certain segments of the federal government impacts the private sector in ways that may not be realized until they happen. While these actions may be within the law common sense needs to prevail. Some government organizations do not really have any direct costs such as national parks. While there are some costs in maintaining these areas some national parks are along interstate highways and decisions made in some cases lack the common sense which should have been instilled in decisions made. One example involved a restaurant/hotel paying rent on government property and the government was partial owner of the parking lot. The parking lot had barricades place which restricted access to a legal business and it therefore affected the profitability of the company. This in effect reduces the taxes to be paid to the federal government. Affecting the influx of tax dollars through political action does not necessarily make sense.
Politics and productivity issues are not restricted to the federal government as state and local governments can make decisions which affect productivity in the private sector. State and local governments also issue rules and regulations which can have an impact on the productivity in their respective jurisdictions. The rules and regulations often times are a result of requirements imposed by the federal government but not always. States have certain responsibilities according to the not only our national Constitution but their state Constitution. The laws within each state are not necessarily as clear as they should be and are often open to interpretation.
Any decision by a government entity be it a federal or state entity makes no difference. Decisions made by any government organization must understand the impact a decision will have on productivity. As previously stated the impact government decisions have on the economy and productivity including gross national product may not always be realized up front. This is understandable in some cases while it others it is obvious. It is the obvious cases where productivity seems to have the greater impact that citizens seem to question the decisions made.
I feel our system of government is one of the best if not the best in the world. I know that there are problems within governments at all levels but it is not the structure but the individuals within the structure which cause the problems. There are good individuals in all areas of government and bad decisions are made every day but when they are discovered they need to be corrected. This is what we expect of our elected officials and employees who work for them.
The economic environment in which we find ourselves has a direct impact on the productivity of businesses and organizations which culminate in the totals of our gross national product which is regularly reported. The private sector is given the leverage and flexibility we would see our productivity soar in direct relation to reduced unemployment. The need to create an economic environment where the private sector feels some confidence in the future by knowing what will happen to their costs the following year is important. Businesses cannot make decisions regarding expansion and/or hiring more employees if they have no idea as to what their expenses will be the following year. This to a large extent is caused by government rules, regulations which support the many laws created at all levels of government each year. The sheer volume of rules, regulations and laws which have been created and continue to be created creates uncertainty in the economy and directly affects productivity. The private sector must have some consistency from one year to another. The only way this can happen in large part is the political activity which affects their respective segment.