(AP/Evan Vucci/Carolyn Kaster)

Robert Reich: Trump doesn’t need business advice — he needs advice about how to lead a democracy

The purpose of government is not to show a profit; it is to achieve the common good


Robert Reich
March 29, 2017 4:00PM (UTC)
This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.

The White House has announced that President Donald Trump will name his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to run a new Office of American Innovation — described as a SWAT team of strategic consultants staffed by former business executives, designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington and help make government work more like a business.

It’s good to have fresh thinking about how government might function more efficiently. But it’s important to remember that government is not a business. The purpose of government is not to show a profit. It is to achieve the common good.

Advertisement:

Precisely because there are many different views about the common good, government leaders must be capable of listening and responding to many different opinions and perspectives.

They must also be public educators — telling the public the truth, explaining the consequences of different options and conducting public deliberation about what is best for society.

Above all, presidents should enrich and strengthen democracy — building trust in democratic institutions, avoiding conflicts of interests, and promoting tolerance and social cohesion.

So far, Donald Trump has done the opposite. He doesn’t need more business advice. He needs more advice about how to lead a democracy.


Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 15 books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's also co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism."

MORE FROM Robert ReichFOLLOW rbreichLIKE Robert Reich

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Jared Kushner Office Of American Innovation Robertreich.org




BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •