Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall Winter 1977 Exchange

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Page 47 of 51

EXCHANGE: COMMENT Putting an End to Sparring Partners by Lennis M. Knighton Having recently returned to BYU after a two year leave of absence as Utah’s Legislative Auditor General, I am more aware than ever of the need for business and public-sector leaders to come together and understand each other. In recent years, public officials, particularly at the federal level and in some of the larger states and cities, have increasingly tended to blame businessmen for the ills of society, while at the same time businessmen have become more and more wary of the motives and actions of public officials. This trend is not healthy; it divides these leaders into camps who see each other as opponents rather than as partners pursuing common goals and interests. Moreover, in the emotional battle between opposing factions, differences are exaggerated, issues are oversimplified, and real causes are often ignored as blame is shifted freely to the other side. It goes without saying that meaningful solutions are seldom found. Like boxers sparring in a ring, the public and private sectors often find themselves backed into corners and taking positions they would not consider rational under different circumstances. We do not have to look far to find extreme charges made by

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