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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IS AMERICA TOO BIG TO SUCCEED?

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Is this as good as it gets?

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We have all heard about companies being "too big to fail," particularly companies in the automotive and financial industries where the government spent taxpayer money a few years ago to bail them out. Today, I am more concerned that America is too big to succeed. Let me explain.

Capitalism is no longer working well in America, probably because we have embraced Socialist policies. Had capitalism worked correctly, the companies who screwed up in the last decade should have been shut down and replaced by other companies. That's how it works, survival of the fittest. By accepting the government bailout, the companies became obliged to the government and were not free to make their own decisions.

Most people do not realize the government heaps on new regulations every day, approximately 25,000 every year, a staggering number which inhibits how business is conducted, certainly not to promote growth. American companies are also saddled with the highest corporate tax rate in the world. No wonder the country suffers with a minimal Gross Domestic Product rate and jobs are shipped overseas due to stifling policies.

The federal government is a bloated bureaucracy and the largest employer in the country. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (opm.gov) in 2014, there were 4,185,000 federal employees; if you deduct 1,459,000 of military personnel, you are left with 2,726,000 people running the government. The only other company coming close to this is Walmart, which is listed as number one in the Fortune 500, and employs 2,200,000 people. The #2 - #10 companies in the Fortune 500 include such heavyweights as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, General Motors, Phillips 66, General Electric, Ford Motor, and CVS Health. Accumulatively, these companies employ 1,486,000 people, which should give you an idea of how large the federal government has become.

The 2.7M people running the government are charged with enforcing the bountiful rules and regulations. To do so, they monitor not only the performance of businesses, but they can now access information on every citizen, including their finances, criminal background, the titles and deeds of possessions, driving history, social security and welfare entitlements, job history, even their medical history. Everything is monitored by the state. For those believing "Big Brother" is coming, it is already here.

Interestingly, the more government invades our privacy, the less we know about the workings of the government. Accountability and transparency is a myth. So the question becomes, "Who serves who?" In a Republic, the government is supposed to be the servant of the people, but this doesn't appear to be the case anymore. Today, the American public is subservient, and required to pay for the same government who controls them, thereby causing frustration and outrage. Bottom-line, the government is viewed more as a deterrent to personal and professional success as opposed to an expediter.

America has a fine work force, along with the most inventive and innovative businesses in the world. However, we are being asked to fight with one arm tied behind our backs, sometimes two. At our current rate, what we can expect is a minimal or negative GDP, a mounting federal debt, high taxes, unemployment, and an expanded welfare state. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is, this is the best we will ever get. Unless we can get government to work for the American people, and not the other way around, we better get used to it.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com
For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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LAST TIME:  THE FINAL ROUNDUP  - What I learned during the years I spent on the Board of Directors for nonprofit organizations.

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