When Ronald Reagan was president I lamented that he had not done much to reduce the size and power of the federal bureaucracy. By the mid-80s it was obvious the private sector was trying to adopt the federal management design, when it should have been the other way around. The world was turning over in Big Government and Big Business in the wrong way, and I was hoping Reagan would see it.
You see, I was there and I saw it in my Fortune 500 manufacturing company, which I joined late in the Carter years, and watched as it completely changed when a new CEO would build a $100 million complex for front office management then install a new bureaucratic regime of 1000 new jobs to fill it. In a company that made things, with about 60,000 employees, you wouldn’t think 1000 would matter. It did in a big way.
I had recently left the Vietnam-era army, and my old boss in Japan was warning that “we were trying to put lawyers in foxholes”, which history proved we did, e.g. at Waco (which is another story) for another place and time.
After he left office, Reagan regretted that he hadn’t placed that bulls eye on the bureaucracy. But in all likelihood, he wouldn’t have known how. When he left office, I left that company, and headed out to the world of Third World of manufacturing, leaving the federal bureaucracy and the private sector corporate sector to go mate with themselves.
Being the world’s largest and most successful small businessman, I always believed Donald Trump would be a natural to take that long awaited second look at the bureaucracy, or homo bureaucraticus, which was my name for the secret agent that really killed the Soviet system, after I’d spent time there in ’91- ’92. It wasn’t the Russian national character (homo Rus), as many American leftists like Hillary Clinton wanted to believe, and not Marxism (homo Sovieticus) as many conservatives without real on-the-ground experience wanted to believe.
I’d been to their factories and their front offices, and it was a clear as day.
Trump would have understood these differences immediately, because he knew the ingredients for managing a lean private sector enterprise, his mindset representing the widening gap between free-market capitalism and fascist-leaning corporatism; both for-profit, yet very different[…]
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