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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Government vs. Corporations

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Since Mitt Romney famously declared that corporations are people earlier this year, hair-splitting philosophical debate has raged. Former General Electric chief executive Jack Welch and his wife Suzy took to The Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page on July 16 to argue that indeed corporations are people in the sense of being a team working toward a common goal.

That same logic could be applied to government, according to the reply in Friday’s edition in a letter from David S. Holland of Alexandria, Va. Holland took several of the Welches’ sentences and substituted the word “government” for “corporations,” producing the following: “Governments are people working together toward a shared goal.” He added, “And yes, governments may employ some bureaucrats, jerks, cheapskates and even nefarious criminals.” And finally, “But most individuals working in governments are regular people, people just like you and your friends and neighbors. People who want to make a living and want to make a difference.”

Many federal employees probably feel they couldn’t have said it better themselves.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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