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Driving down the street, all you see are corporate logos everywhere - gas stations, movie billboards, restaurants, realtors, homebuilders, signs for strip malls and big-box retailers, etc.  Dumb people (i.e., conservatives and many centrists) could be forgiven for absorbing the idea that they owe the infrastructure they depend on to corporations and private-sector effort, and dismiss government as some alien and largely useless thing that only shows up under scary circumstances (e.g., fire, police, military).  The closest you get to that kind of advertising among governments is maybe a tiny city logo beside street signs, or a tiny logo at the bottom of a little health inspection certificate put in the corner of a window of a restaurant.  But what if government agencies started putting their logos in big lights on everything they're responsible for, and required businesses to put up these signs as prominently as their own in order to share both credit and blame for the results?  


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The roads would have big, shiny DoT logos on the signs and soundwalls, freeway surfaces, bridges and tunnels, stoplights, etc.  Restaurants, bars, and grocery stores would have to put huge FDA, USDA, and other health inspection agency logos next to their own, giving credit where credit is due (and sharing blame when deserved).  Any accredited school would have to display at least state Education Department logos (and federal if they receive federal support), airports and aircraft would have big FAA insignia, utilities would have DWP and FERC and others, and so on.  I'll bet most people don't even know the logos of the agencies that are crucial to their lives, and that's a big failure on the part of the public-sector: People feel a connection to the corporations that are involved in their lives because the businesses make sure of it, but not the government.

Now, granted the signs would get a little crowded given the vast amount of overlap in regulatory jurisdiction, as well as all the many levels of government from local up to federal: Everyone has to pay the IRS and everyone benefits from the taxes thus collected, but obviously it's not the most relevant authority to, say, an amusement park.  So let's say that local, state, and federal agencies that share a given type of regulatory authority - e.g., environmental, food safety, transportation, or others - would coordinate on a single insignia with minor details indicating state, federal, or both (since there are some areas where only states regulate directly).  And only the most relevant must appear in equal prominence to the corporate sign, while others could appear with decreasing levels of prominence.

Many agencies would of course want to change their symbols to something suited for this kind of easy distinguishability and aesthetic appeal, since a lot of them have very complicated and baroque-looking seals as their emblems - not at all suited to the purposes of advertising.  And if you're wondering who would pay for all this signage, obviously it would be the businesses themselves.  And unless they're in an extremely price-inflexible industry, they can't pass on the entire cost of it to consumers.  As to things that don't lend themselves to direct corporate-tax funding, such as road signs, just increase whatever taxes are relevant - e.g., automotive, gasoline, whatever.

Moreover, it's not that big an expense relative to, say, executive compensation, so you can rip a big fart in anyone's general direction who tries to trot out the old "business can't afford it" (I swear, with the frequency that gets said in politics in America, one would think businessmen were homeless - though of course actual poor people get spoken of like they're lazy millionaires, so I guess it works out in a twisted way).  Conservatives would call it a huge boondoggle, and rail against tax-and-spend gubmint, but...you know...they're morons and tools, and that's their default script anyway.  

One additional benefit is that whenever a business is found to be in violation of regulations or criminal laws, the relevant government logo sign can be altered to signify that the company is being a bastard.  It also makes clear who people should call if they have complaints, and who they should badger if their complaints are not being addressed.  This could be part of "corporate probation."  Anyway, this is just a random thought I had, and it seems like an idea worth exploring.  

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