We seem to be looking for the right businessman to run our government. Perhaps that's where we're going wrong. The government is not a business. It does not have the same goals and maybe shouldn't be run by the same principles.

I've been looking at a single duty that we assign to the government, in this country: education. Growing up, I attended public schools. I received a fairly good education. I can string words together into a reasonably coherent sentence. I can spell those words. I can do basic math and even some higher math. I understand basic principles of chemistry and physics. I can make change, without a calculator.

When I was in school the state gave money to individual school districts with the understanding that the district would do the best they could with it. Other than limiting graft and corruption, there were few strings tied to the state money given to school districts.

Then, someone decided to apply "business principles" "If we're giving money to these school districts, we should make sure that they are using it well." "We want a return on our investment." And some of the money that was used to teach children begins to go to writing standards, writing tests, administering tests, grading tests, reporting on test grades, assigning blame, purchasing new texts that may meet the standards, rewriting the standards, rewriting the tests.... The time and money that was to be used to educate is used instead to justify time and money.

In business this nonsense is self regulating. When a business realizes that they are spending $35 to test a $10 widget, the testing is cut back. In education there is no "widget", no product, no tangible worth. We spend $35 on a student. We get a more or less educated student, but no truly measurable monetary value. So the nonsense continues and worsens. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Money in, knowledge out. Education, and maybe none of government, can be run on business principles.