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The Difference Between Customers and Citizens

Donald Trump aims to run the United States like a CEO, as if a government is a profit-driven business. This site has already explored why that is a terrible idea. Just because both governments and businesses need to be fiscally responsible, don’t confuse the two entities. There are philosophical and practical differences between governments and businesses.

A business exists in order to generate profit. A government exists in order to serve and protect its citizens. A business is funded by investors and by the sale of products and services. A government is funded by taxes collected from the people. A business deals with customers. A government deals with citizens. An owner or CEO runs a business. The people elect officials to representative them in a democratic government.

In a nutshell, there’s no reason to be pleased to have your country run like a huge corporation — unless you’re sitting on the Board of Directors.

There’s also no reason to be pleased about government privatization — unless you will be sitting on the new Board of Directions of the U.S. Postal Service Company or the U.S. Social Security Administration Corporation. Most likely, you do not belong to the Oligarchy, and you would not be sitting on the Boards of any former government agencies.

Your only role would be to sustain profit-driven enterprises as a customer. If it were unprofitable to provide services (for instance, mail delivery) in your neck of the woods, you’d be without. Can’t afford to save that much for retirement? After financial service fees, your little nest egg would be that much smaller — if it wasn’t lost during a global financial crisis.

In this segment of the Resistance Report, Robert Reich clarifies the difference between customers and citizens. Watch, and perhaps Reich will boost your confidence in citizen rights.

It’s much better for Americans to be citizens than customers — collectively, citizens remain in charge.

Of further interest: At 11:35 in the video, Reich answers the question, “Why hasn’t Trump’s impeach begun?”

Be aware. Be fair.


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends--with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. Rosaliene Bacchus

    “Your only role would be to sustain profit-driven enterprises as a customer.”
    ~ Since we pay state and federal taxes, we will, in reality, become paying customers.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Yes, customers without a voice. And if government agencies were privatized, we would then pay out-of-pocket for such services — while it is doubtful that privatization would reduce taxes… for the 99%, at least. A double-whammy!

  2. Animalista Untamed

    Trump really doesn’t understand the difference:(

    • smirkpretty

      Oh, he understands. As do the members of congress. This is a great opportunity for them to grab as much as they can before the rest of us get smart and get organized.

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