Fascism by Any Other Name...


The one thing Mussolini is most known for is "making the trains run on time".  The Republicans who chanted the mantra, "make government efficient - run it like a business" with the marxist little troll, Grover Norquist's vision of making government so small, it could be drowned in a bathtub are getting what they wanted.  By definition, the smallest government possible is a police state supported by a corporatocracy .  Corporate power merged with government power is fascism and that's what the "reinvention of government" gave us - fascism.

The following are excerpts from a 1993 article printed in the Baltimore Sun (emphasis added): 


Don't Just Talk About Making Government Work

April 12, 1993|By NEAL R. PEIRCE

Washington -- Starting with President Bill Clinton, this town's newest phrase is ''reinventing government,'' a tribute to David Osborne, whose ''Reinventing Government,'' last year, may be the first public administration book ever to make a best-seller list.

...Enter a new organization to help them out. Its chair is none other than David Osborne, who says governments must now go through the same radical restructuring that is sweeping through American business. His Alliance for Redesigning Government will try to connect the thousands of government reformers who now, in his words, find themselves part of ''a movement without a central nervous system.''

Home for the new alliance is the congressionally chartered National Academy for Public Administration, now shifting under a new president, R. Scott Fosler, to the kind of ''entrepreneurial'' mode Mr. Osborne recommends for government itself. As a journalist ''fellow'' of NAPA, this writer has been working with Mr. Fosler, Mr. Osborne and Alliance director Barbara Dyer to launch the effort.

As a first move, we decided to assemble a balanced, bipartisan advisory committee of government officials, labor, nonprofit and media leaders. Aiming for 20 acceptances, we sent out 40 invitations. To our astonishment, 37 people accepted. Just a sampling of the list includes our vice-chairs, Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts (D) and former Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut (R), U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), Govs. William Weld (R-Mass.) and Roy Romer (D-Colo.), and Mayors Sharpe James (Newark) and John Norquist (Milwaukee). We also have such star city managers as Camille Barnett (Austin) and Robert Bobb (Richmond)...


As mentioned in the first part of this research and in the article above, David Osborne's book, "Reinventing Government" served as philosophical bible for redesigning the American government.  Osborne's co-author for

the book, Ted Gaebler seems to have dropped off the radar when the above article was written.  Small wonder since Gaebler's track record would have exposed the real agenda behind "reinvention" and would have provided a preview for the kind of corruption we are now experiencing at all levels of government. 
Ted Gaebler was the City Manager of Visalia California in the 1980's.  David Osborne was the media cheerleader for the changes being made to city government by Gaebler.  The following are excerpts from an article written about Gaebler and Visalia by David Osborne in 1985 (emphasis added):

  Ted Gaebler  

  The Most Entrepreneurial City in America                                                           PDF

Welcome to Visalia, California -- a city that could teach most companies a thing or two about good management.

By DAVID OSBORNE | Sep 1, 1985

....But Ted Gaebler isn't your typical city manager. I've never forgotten when I worked at Columbia [Me.]," he tells audiences, referring to the "new town" built by James Rouse, the legendary developer who also did Boston's Quincy Market and Baltimore's Harborplace. "We would be wailing and gnashing our teeth about some horrible social problem, and Jim Rouse would come in and muse philosophically, 'How can I profit from this problem?'"

...When the school district sprang its trap, Gaebler asked his staff the same question. Months later, after a series of negotiations and land purchases, a four-parcel swap and sale left the district with $1.2 million and a prime site for its new school -- and the city with commercial property that it expects to sell for a tidy profit.  [Note:  somebody should investigate the history of that deal.  It sounds like an "arranged success".]

The deal was without precedent elsewhere, as far as anyone in Visalia knows. But for Gaebler and his staff, it was not unusual. This is a city, after all, that stepped in and ran a minor-league baseball franchise for six years -- the only municipally owned professional baseball team in the United States at the time -- after the Mets pulled out and no private buyer turned up. It is a city that won the scramble to buy an Olympic training pool last summer, at a savings of $400,000, because, after hearing about the deal on a Thursday, it was able to cut a check the following Monday.

Visalia, in other words, is what Don Borut of the International City Management Association calls "one of the most entrepreneurial cities in America." Borut may not have taken a scientific survey before bestowing that honor, but from all the evidence, he could not be too far off. At first glance, "entrepreneurial government" seems a contradiction in terms. Many entrepreneurs consider government, by its very nature, to be inefficient, unwieldy, and bureaucratic -- the antithesis of entrepreneurial. Hence the widespread belief, in business circles, that the government is best that governs least. Ted Gaebler and his colleagues have proven that there is another way.

Gaebler, whose glasses and deadpan delivery bring fleeting images of a taller Woody Allen, is a fanatic on the subject. He speaks in rapid, precise bursts, with the zeal of an apostle. If an entrepreneur is someone who knows there is a better way and will risk everything to prove it, Gaebler fits the definition perfectly. He does not think of the city manager's position as a job, he says, but as part of a mission "to change the nature of city government." He took that mission to new frontiers last month, when he became city manager of San Rafael, Calif., the seat of affluent Marin County.

..."Be a catalyst," Gaebler urges other government officials. "Be a broker. Don't be a doer. My ideal concept of city government is a $150,000-a-year city manager and five $100,000-a-year assistants. Period. They do nothing but broker the community's services."

More important, he stresses, government officials must learn to take risks and seek profits, "think outside the box," avoid paperwork and regulations. Managers must be given autonomy and encouraged to continually rethink their "product mix." They must learn to "leverage the maximum benefit out of [their] dollars by using other people's money." They must be willing to divest services -- "we gave the library to the county, the ambulance to a private hospital, day care to the churches and the junior college" -- but they must also thrust city government into roles not ordinarily considered its province. And all the while, they must be given room -- and must give their
subordinates room -- to make mistakes.

"I am trying to get people to think like owners, not bureaucrats," Gaebler preaches. "To have the mental set, 'If this were my money, would I really spend it this way?"

... Gann's group has taken a survey of business people in town concerning the city's intervention in the marketplace,and he plans to present the results to the city council. Before Gaebler took the job in San Rafael, there was talk of one or two "anti-Gaebler" candidacies for council this fall, although no one predicted such campaigns would succeed. Even among the developers, the desire was to set the city manager corralled, not fired.

Bill Evans, another developer, believes that for most of his colleagues, the real problem wasn't Gaebler's specific actions, but that "he'd accumulated so much power. . . . Was he really interested in Visalia, or was he interested in creating what he wants -- a new kind of city government?"

Gaebler's personality only fanned the flames. He likes the limelight and is quick to engage in battle. Being a visionary, he is forever rallying his troops to new entrepreneurial frontiers -- talking, for instance, about the city as a corporation, himself as its chief executive officer, and the council as its board of directors. "It was a little scary to some of the folks outside, who heard my internal pep talk words and took them literally," he says.

...The classic example came when Gaebler grabbed statewide television coverage by proposing to rebate $25 of Visalia's budget surplus to every citizen as a "share" in the city. The police, who wanted higher salaries and better retirement pay, were outraged. And the city council, which had never passed on the idea, was embarrassed.

Meanwhile, his handpicked successor, Don Duckworth, faces some serious internal problems. The staff Gaebler leaves behind is in the midst of a transition from the excitement of start-up to the plateau of sustained achievement. The novelty has worn off, people are stretched thin, and the strains are beginning to show.

In many ways, it seems, Gaebler fits the stereotype of a charismatic entrepreneur who can inspire people with his vision, but who lacks the patience to manage a success. His style is to throw a lot of balls in the air and let his staff handle what comes down. In Visalia, he defined his role as 90% "external" -- dealing with the council and the community at large -- and relied on three assistants to run the organization. "Ted is an idea man," says Carol Cairns, "not an operations man."



In 1994, Osborne was forced to try and defend the philosophy of "reinvented government" in view of the financial debacle Visalia was experiencing due to the "entrepreneurial governance model" Gaebler implemented and Osborne cheered: 

  Entrepreneurial Government, Enterprise and Risk

Governing magazine reports in its May issue that few American cities went the entrepreneurial route as enthusiastically as Visalia, California -- or got their fingers burned so badly. The story focuses on a hotel deal made by former City Manager Don Duckworth three years after he succeeded Ted Gaebler, co-author of Reinventing Government. When the chosen developer failed to secure financing, the city stepped in and eventually invested $20 million to buy the hotel and save the project -- rather than the originally projected $4 million investment.

...NP: What's the difference between "enterprising government" and "entrepreneurial

DO: Ted Gaebler and I used the phrase "entrepreneurial government" to describe a model different from bureaucratic government. We articulated ten principles around which entrepreneurial governments tend to operate --they are results-oriented, customer-driven, and so on. "Enterprising government" - - the notion of aggressively seeking non-tax sources of revenue -- was just one of ten. "Governing" confused "entrepreneurial" with "enterprising," saying activity like Visalia's hotel deal was "the heart of reinventing government" -- which is simply not true.

NP: What could Visalia's leaders have done to prevent the backlash which, with elections, appears to have repudiated their entire entrepreneurial approach?

DO: That's the important question here. Because in any kind of government, bureaucratic or entrepreneurial, people make mistakes. The issue is: How do you create enough political and community support to survive those mistakes? Visalia's city manager and council never got the broader community to buy in to the degree of city investment they later made in the hotel. Without that buy-in, the lack of political support will come back to haunt you.


In 2006, Ted Gaebler, still proselytizing fascism, gave a slide presentation to the government of Canada.  The following are a few slides from that presentation.   The entire slide show in PDF format can be viewed HERE. 

Do you consider Constitutional, Representative government simply a paradigm to be changed or eliminated by people like Ted Gaebler, David Osborne, Al Gore, Bill Clinton?   Do you have any representation in a regional "governance" structure?  Do you even know there is a regional governance structure?   Who are they?  Whose interests do they serve?    Not yours, I guarantee you that. 

Slide 12


Slide 13 is true.. and it's the reason why nothing is changing regardless of which party, republicans or democrats are in power.  And this slide is precisely the reason why we need a government that operates strictly according to law and rules, does not collude with private enterprise and is not allowed to operate as a profit-seeking enterprise with a gun to your head.  Government should provide legal protection against con artists who cheat old people, street criminals who rob homes and businesses, protections against white collar word artists who are masters of the con and protections against all who prey on the weak and vulnerable.  They should provide services that we cannot provide for ourselves.  That's the purpose of government.    



This slide is very clever because it can be argued both ways.  Personally, I don't want a government that is captain of my ship.   I want a government that provides good roads, a good water and sewer systems, one that clears the roads in the winter, one that provides police and fire services.  I don't want ANY of that privatized because privatization means services for profit - and when essential services are privatized, it's a license to steal. 

Interview with E.S. Savas

Slide 17


This slide presentation alone is evidence is of sedition - yet Gaebler, Osborne, and more importantly, Al Gore and his entire team of "reinventors" of government are still walking around and the transformation to fascism continues. 

Slide 20


Slide 23


Slide 30


Slide 33


Slide 35


Slide 37


Slide 40


So.... how are we doing with this "reinvented" government?   Do you have more trust in government?   Do you feel secure about the future?  Are they giving you better service?  Do you like what the TSA is doing at the airports?    Do you like what the SEC did with Wall Street?   Do you like what the FDA is doing with food and drug inspection? How about the economy?   Are we happy and prosperous?   How about the schools?  Are they producing educated citizens we can be proud of?  

Case closed. 

Vicky Davis
December 20, 2010

Oh... both David Osborne and Ted Gaebler are still proselytizing fascism: 

An Exclusive Western City Interview With Ted Gaebler
Public Strategies Group - David Osborne

and defending

Practical Public Administration: A Response to Academic Critique of the Reinvention Trilogy

We need to confess to our bias since, after all, we are Americans. We are pragmatic, practical, and we seek action. While we may differ from others of diverse international backgrounds, we write from our experiences in American government, particularly local government. Rather than debate age-old theories and philosophies, we actively seek ways to make our organizations better and to delight the citizens we serve. We recognize that many readers view the “reinvention” or NPM approach negatively because of its failure to take root in Eastern Europe. The idea especially appeals to administrators in the United States because of our history and political culture.