A very common statement from right-wingers is "government should be run like a business!" This, of course, is a very stupid idea, one that Mitt Romney (amongst others) has been touting for a while now. He even said this gem recently. Since it's so hard for some people to realize the fundamental differences between government and business, I'd like to compile a short list of them:
1: If a business shuts down one branch then gives its executives large bonuses, they might be thought of as awful people but they're within their rights. If a government does that, it's called "corrupt" and they might end up getting ousted from government or even fined.
2: A business having a monopoly is a bad thing. If a company gives out poor service or doesn't supply a particular product and there is no competition, you're stuck. The fact that anyone can open up a competing business is a strength of capitalism. A government having a monopoly is a good thing. If anyone could start up an army, write new laws, create their own form of legal tender or jail people, that would be utterly disastrous. If you can't see why, you're probably too stupid to talk to.
3: You can't fire your boss. You can fire your government (at least in democratic societies).
4: If you stage a violent coup against an evil, dictatorial government, it's generally accepted as a necessary evil. If you stage a violent coup against an evil corporation you work for, that's terrorism.
5: A hostile takeover is a generally accepted business practice. If a country commits a hostile takeover of another country, it will probably end up with a massive war with that country's allies.
6: Businesses exist to make profit. Governments exist to protect, serve, and maintain society. Any business that does not make a profit will fail, any government that does not protect and serve its people or fails to maintain societal order will crumble. In other words: businesses and governments have different priorities and needs.
I could probably go on, but that's probably enough to get my point across. The fact is that it took me approximately 15 minutes of thinking to see those 6 points and if I cared enough to go further, I'd probably be able to find many other differences between the two ideas. Now, can we please stop repeating that stupid, stupid "point"?