“You can’t run the government like you run a business”

I often hear folks proclaim that you can’t run the government like you run a business.

Next time I hear that I intend to ask, what should you run the government like?  Is there a good analogy?

What special circumstances does government face that makes it unattractive to run it like a business?  What aspects of running a business is not befitting of the government?

Update:  Don’t miss W.E. Heasley’s follow-on to this on his blog, The Last Embassy.  It reminds me of something Walter Williams points out.  We don’t expect government to build fighter jets.  Government collects taxes and uses that to pay a private business to do that.  Why do we expect them to provide education?  Why not collect taxes and pay private enterprises to do that?

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