If you've been paying attention to politics for long (as I have, going on 40 years), you've heard many competing philosophies of government. One tenacious theory, presented by some (usually blue dog) Democrats and Republicans (mostly Republicans), is that the USA, our country, is a business. They believe it's right to operate our country like a business. I have never bought into this theory but many have. I have a different theory and I believe it is more appropriate to a land as large as the USA with as many different people, religions, and concerns.
I see our country as a family (dysfunctional at times). A very large family. Dad and mom run the family - they bring in the money, they allocate resources, they settle fights and assign responsibilities that change from time to time. Son and daughter have their own rooms. One is in college the other in high school. There are some adopted children, much younger and only one is in 2nd grade, the others will be soon but right now they are being cared for by babysitters when both parents are at work, or daycare. Grandfather and grandmother are here to, living in the same home, both retired. The parents work hard, like all American families, and have a revenue stream. They try to save for hard times ahead or for future expenditures but the intent is not to become rich, just to be safe and secure, nurture our next generation and plan for retirement.
When times are good and when they can afford it, they invest in things like better appliances around the house, maybe some fashionable clothing or a gun collection, art, and books. When times are bad and things get more expensive, like gasoline, food, water, clothing, medicine, the family makes adjustments. Since they want to nurture our future (they'll be caring for us eventually), we adjust our revenue to protect our family - protecting the family is the most important thing. So Dad gets a second job, Mom starts a side business mending or making clothes. If things stay bad then Dad sells his boat or doesn't go on a fishing trip. The gun collection gets sold, as does artwork and other things. Mom sees there's little good to be had from purchasing any new clothes this season when old clothes - even if they are last years fashion - will do just fine. They dip into savings so the daughter can continue college. They put a little more debt on the credit cards to pay for Grandma's medicine and clothes for the young ones. Debt is ok since they know it's temporary and in the future will be paid off.
A family finds more revenue to keep the family safe and secure. A family doesn't leave the babies at home alone because they can't afford daycare or a sitter. They don't tell the kids sorry, we can't afford clothes for you. They don't tell their daughter to turn to stripping or prostitution to continue her higher education. They don't tell the in-betweens sorry, but you'll have to cut down on meals. They don't tell grandfather and grandmother to get the hell out of the house or get a job because you are an "unfunded liability" to the home. No, they do the right thing. They care for the family by adjusting the INCOME flow. They do ask for some belt tightening where necessary, but when it comes to some things you don't ask them to belt tighten. You figure out how to get more income aka REVENUE.
Let's look at the home as a business. First of all, savings are now the primary reason the family exists. There must be a profit. Furthermore, that profit must increase every year or you will be in danger of being eliminated by the family. Children are nice and all but they are quite a drag on the family profit so you will have to economize first with clothing, shoes, toys and entertainment for a start. Older children can be made to work - they can be trained and they have a lot of energy for unskilled labor - so you can claw back some of your investment here. Grandma and Grandpa on the other hand are not worth much at all if they can't figure out a way to help the business. It's nice to have them around for stories and wisdom but we got the internet and books and such. Grandma is costing us a lot lately with her medicine so you can guess where the next bit of economizing will be. Simply put, in a profit making machine the unfunded liabilities of Gramps and Grammy have to be eliminated - they endanger the business. This frees up food and resources for the others and cuts down on bills. When things continue to be bad you look for more ways to make the business profitable. The youngest kids are fine for the first year or two but eventually that push for profits will mean they either add more to the business or cost the business less, so you stop sending them to school.
Remember too that in a business you have the guys and gals at the top, Mom and Dad, taking their cut for being job creators. You don't dare ask them to do more or they may retaliate on the children. These family overseers, or job creators, have made the grand decision that they will resist any effort to make them increase revenue by taking personal responsibility and working more. They've got a great system here, why change it? As for the guns, collectibles, fashions and sporting equipment accumulated over time, it would be flat out unfair to think they should be forced to get rid of any of that stuff in order to increase revenue. Revenue is fine, it's the expenses that are hurting Mom and Dad, the job creators. If someone complains you accuse them of being lazy, or against the family and the other family members - those still under the family roof - will be more than happy to force them into line using many different techniques.
America as a family is a loving caring place that nurtures a bright future and has room for everyone, and even takes care of the "unfunded liabilities" because they know they will get paid back many times over in the future, or because of loyalty and appreciation, or because it's simply the right thing to do.
America as business is a plantation marked by cruelty and inequity. All that matters is the profit, making more money, using whatever means necessary and never ever asking the people who are running the business to do with less so that the workers could have a better life. Workers are liabilities of some kind because they can always hire the neighbor kids to work for less. On the American plantation there is no reason, ever, to provide better pay or working conditions for you labor force. That would be wrong - it does not add to the bottom line in the short term thinking of the plantation owners.
Which one is the America you grew up in? As a child, which one was the America you had in your heart? Which one is the America our conservatives want us to become?
Families are NOT businesses. Families are NOT corporations.
Regardless of the attempt to paint the USA as a business by conservative blowhards, the United States of America is NOT a business or a corporation. It is a Family. Our country, the USA, is a FAMILY and exists so all family members can live safe and secure lives and be given chances to excel should they want to make use of them. The problems we are experiencing now are largely due to people who view our country as a profit making business endeavor. In light of this there should be no question about who, how, and why our society and economy have been destroyed. Remember this my friends when you go to the polls to vote or you hear the blowhards spurting their nonsense in any forum, public or private. What do you want? To live in a family, or live on a plantation?