HKS Authors

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Are you a cat person or a dog person? Red Sox fan or Yankees fan? Do you like rap music, or hate it? Sometimes you just have to decide which side you’re on. Do you favor a strong government, or a strong private sector? Here’s one crucial area where the choice -- however routinely flagged as a fundamental cultural fault line -- is fundamentally fictitious. While there are surely times and places where the private sector’s gain really is the public sector’s loss, and vice versa, in today’s U.S. there’s no simple trade-off. When government is weak -- short on talent, insecure about its popular legitimacy -- it can only do simple things. And the simplest thing, when it comes to dealing with business, is to say “no” -- to pile on regulations and prohibitions, to wipe out any risk (even if doing so stifles opportunity), to keep a lid on anything that might trigger bad news or blame


Donahue, John D., and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "Why Smart Business Wants Strong Government." Bloomberg Government, May 24, 2011.