From Citizens To Customers, Losing Our Collective Voice

Old Blog Import

This is a thought provoking article, even if it ultimately jumps from one argument to another without fully developing any of them.

It would be a mistake to conclude, as many commentators do, that Americans are apathetic citizens gone AWOL. But there’s no question that the fundamental relationship between citizen and government has changed. Increasingly, public officials regard us as”customers” rather than as citizens, and there are crucial differences between the two. Citizens own the government. Customers just receive services from it. Citizens belong to a political community with a collective existence and public purposes. Customers are individual purchasers seeking the best deal. Customers may receive courteous service, but they do not own the store.”

Washington Post