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ORGs in Several SECTORS
There are major differences in mission between public (government) and private sectors and then within the private sector between for-profit business & not-for-profit sectors.
Differences in terms of
- WHO OWNS & CONTROLS each one?
- WHO BENEFITS?
Public Sector i.e. Government.
E.g. collect taxes, police, welfare, roads, military,
building inspections, schools (local)
All citizens control govt. thru voting in democracies and all benefit (or suffer) collectively.
Private For-Profit Business Sector.
Owners keep the profits & losses minus tax.
Vast wealth is created in aggregate.
Subject to government regulations.
At the boundary of Public & Private sectors govt. agencies may contract with PFP orgs. out-sourcing certain goods & services (more efficient? more flexible?)
Through privatization laws some pubic utilities move out of the public (monopoly) sector, e.g. transit, water, phone)
Private Not-for-profit (3rd) Sector
Aiming to serve a felt community need thru service and/or advocacy in health, education, welfare, arts, religion, political causes, etc.
Founders & funders decide who benefits.
This sector (PNP) can also contract to supply services/goods on behalf of a public agency, e.g. medical, transit,
In democracies this sector plays an important role in openness of information and encouraging diversity of views, so it is strongly suppressed in non-democratic regimes.
Mutual Benefit Sector
"Members Only" control & enjoy the benefits. E.g. dining clubs, country clubs, burial societies, etc.
RELATIONS BETWEEN SECTORS or
HOW CAN ORGs HELP US by WORKING ACROSS THESE BORDERS?
The Business (For-Profit) and Government (Public) sectors are both essential to all societies. Although some viewers see these two as totally in conflict, this is a limited and misleading view. They also depend on each other's contribution and we (the public) depend on their collaboration.
Government depends on the tax revenue from businesses; and the economy depends on law and order, safe roads and skies, etc. - all the infrastructure of modern capitalist society (banking, commercial law, contracts, etc.) guaranteed by the laws and embedded in the government-centered culture.
Over-regulation (in addition to taxes) is a common complaint against the government sector but clearly basic regulation promotes healthy economic growth in areas such as building codes, automobile safety, licensing of health professionals ... The details of what regulation is "basic" can be negotiated under the law, often with input from those affected.
Many Not-for-profit ORGs are formed to advocate for new regulations or for the revision of what exists. Some of the latter are working on behalf of industrial and professional ORGs - richly-funded lobbyists and PR consultants who cultivate influence with regulators, legislators, and those who shape public opinion. The balance of power can shift with every election.
Overcoming conflict between sectors can help us in two main arenas: (i) Producing (for sale) more stuff people need [above]
(ii) Addressing large collective needs/problems
e.g. Climate danger; Inequity, poverty; Crime, injustice
The Climate Crisis has begun to raise desperate concerns about the need for profound changes in energy and resource policies that have hitherto been foundational to modern economics and public policy. National governments have the authority (but political will?) to set new policies that are needed but so far have fallen far short. The private sectors (both for-profit and non-profit) are needed along with government effort. They can be good at innovation - sometimes with government/military funding, sometimes with their own funds - in these areas.
(i) Educating the public and decision-makers about the facts, extent and nature of the crisis, including systems thinking. Advocating for more government action. Continuing search for new approaches. (Private not-for-profit ORGs . Public schools - except where polarization prevents this. )
(ii) Continuing research on focused technology, e.g. alternative energy sources, ways to bury carbon in large amounts out of harm's way. Also attention to new basic "pure" science and neglected folk wisdom/practice that may have application to goals of climate focused technology.
(Funding & leadership from both public and private ORGs (philanthropic and for-profit ORGs.)
Networking, scavenging, imagining, risking, venturing all important here. "Greenwashing" and posturing.
(iii) In certain areas of business planning on the basis of the climate data and introducing relevant products for sale, e.g. electric cars, storm and flood protection.
Major automobile makers have come together to self-impose higher standards for emissions, mileage, etc. and to accelerate the introduction of electric vehicles. In past years they would declare that regulators were setting impossible standards. Now they have reassessed their risks (and perhaps their responsibilities) and seized leadership. Later they will compete against each other, within the rules they have collectively set.
President Eisenhower warned 50 years ago about the danger of the "Military-Industrial Complex" across the Public-Private border (on public funds) - but that happened anyhow. Within the vast military budgets is some research with civilian benefit, e.g. the Internet, trauma surgery. Now we have the Climate Crisis we have another cross-border mega-partnership.This time it is a Climate-Military-Industrial Complex. Even if the President/Congress cannot provide strong enough climate leadership the military will go ahead and invest in weatherizing its own plans and innovating technology that can be used by others.
[Is this a crazy idea? Can you see other sources of help?]
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