Monday, July 13, 2015

Why We Do Not Need A Business Man/Woman As President

     Let me state for the record that I am not sanguine about electing someone President of the United States who has no experience holding elected office. I believe that electing someone like Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, or Donald Trump would be a recipe for disaster. The lack of experience on each of those individuals' part in operating a government entity of any size is, I believe, a detriment to success in each case. As vociferous as some are about trying to equate government with business, thereby making the case for a Trump or a Fiorina as a wise presidential choice, those two entities could not be any different.
     The primary difference between government and business, and the reason they should be separated from each other as much as possible, is that government can make laws and implement regulations that can have either a deleterious or enhancing effect on the lives of the average citizen; business can not. We have seen the outcome of business leaders when they are given the power to have monopolized control over a part of people's lives. In some cases they operate with more venality than elected politicians.
     Getting back to the business choices in the Republican primary, i.e. Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. While the former may have more wealth than the latter, the latter actually has experience more closely related to government than the former. Donald Trump runs his empire with an almost dictatorial abandon, not having any real board of directors or shareholders to which he must answer. Ms. Fiorina ran one of the largest technology companies in the world, Hewlett Packard, and had to please a board of directors, much like a mini-congress, and shareholders, much like the American voter.
     And of all the accolades the Trump supporters heap on him as a qualification for being president, the wealth building is the least impressive. If we are to believe the often times dishonest Mr. Trump, his total wealth is 9 billion dollars. Which is fairly impressive. But when one considers that he started out in 1971 with 400 million dollars from his father, and considering that the stock market sat at 836, if that money had been invested in an indexed fund over the same time period it would be worth more than the 9 billion dollars Mr. Trump brags about today. At least Ms. Fiorina did not begin life with a silver spoon in her mouth and actually worked her way up from secretary to CEO.
     As I began this post saying, I do not think it would be perspicacious for the American voter to elect as president someone with no electoral experience. It would be analogous to making someone CEO of a multi-billion dollar company with no experience or expecting them to perform delicate surgery with no medical experience. This country needs a principled leader who has worked with elected legislatures to enact positive change for their constituents. A successful governor would be my first choice, but an experienced senator might also fill the bill. Someone who has taken a fortune and made a bigger fortune, not always by democratic means, would not even make it on my radar of choices for the highest elected office in the land.  

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