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Businessman Fischer emerges as Tonko foe

Saratoga County GOP backs candidate

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Ballston businessman Jim Fischer has emerged as an early Republican challenger to square off against incumbent U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko during the election this fall. Fischer, who founded the wireless communications sales and service company Crystal Clear Communications, said he will vie for the 20th Congressional District this year in an effort to unseat “career politicians” like Tonko. He said Tonko and like-minded federal legislators are taking the country in the wrong direction and will ...

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January 14, 2014
4:27 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Government, at whichever level, is a business, and should be run as such, but, alas, political affiliation with its 'perks' and 'entitlements' seems to be what it's all about. It seems that every time I vote for a businessman running for office, he, or she, loses the election. I can't remember the last time someone knocked on my door at election time and asked me my ideas or views, or told me what they would do to enhance the quality of my life. Our system is a mess, as evidenced by the current administrations in Albany and Washington, but until we question the status quo, nothing will change.

January 14, 2014
8:02 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

It's very easy to sit on the outside & spout "government should be run like a business." Those who are so sure of that shibboleth should participate in government at any level, i.e., fire commissioner, library trustee, school board member, etc. Pretty soon they'll learn the truth that "government should be run like a government." In other words, you cannot equate public safety with making a profit just as you cannot equate educating the next generation with offering a school run at a ratio of one teacher to fifty or a hundred students. There are so many other examples that it's easy to see why voters prefer someone who has a demonstrated understanding of the needs of real people to someone whose primary qualification is how to minimize the number of wires in a telephone cable!

January 14, 2014
11:50 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Does it make sense to run government like a business? The short answer is no. Bear in mind, first, that “efficiency” in the private sector means profit. Hence, to ask that the government be run like a business is tantamount to asking that the government turn a profit. The problem in a nutshell, is that not everything that is profitable is of social value and not everything of social value is profitable.

To reiterate, the key issue is this: not everything that is profitable is of social value and not everything of social value is profitable. The proper role of government is the latter. Those arguing for a business model for government must necessarily be ready to shut down all government functions that do not earn a profit, regardless of their contribution to our well being. And, if the public sector is being run properly, that should mean every single one. If it’s profitable, they shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place.