by CalWatchdog Staff | March 6, 2010 1:29 pm
In the GOP primaries two leaders of big business are running: Meg Whitman for governor and Carly Fiorna for U.S. Senate. Their claim is that they will bring “business discipline” to politics. How’s that worked in the past?
In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned that his experience building his movie franchise and a real estate empire gave him what was needed to “terminate” California’s deficits and “blow up the boxes” of bureaucracy and waste. More than six years later, California is in worse shape than when he took over.
Herbert Hoover was elected president in 1932 because of his big business acumen and engineering talents. His policies brought a bad recession, then turned it into the Great Depression: protectionism, massive tax hikes, massive spending hikes, massive deficits.
Mitt Romney was a successful big businessmen, then became a disastrous governor of Massachusetts, imposing the Mittcare socialized medicine debacle on the state.
His father, George, headed American Motors, then became the disastrous governor of Michigan. Later, he was appointed head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and was dubbed the “dud from HUD.” His policies destroyed thousands of neighborhoods across America, and contributed to the destruction of Detroit, which has lost half its population since he was Michigan’s governor.
The problem is that business and politics are different fields. It’s difficult for even smart and talented folks to be good at both. Its sort of like how sports figures every now and then try to play two sports. In recent years, Deion Sanders was the most successful at trying to have it both ways. He was best cornerback ever in football, and a successful but not great major-league baseball player.
More typical was Michael Jordan’s experience. After being the best basketball player ever, he tried baseball. His natural talents were good enough to land him on a White Sox farm club, but he hit .202 with 3 home runs in 127 games.
Of our presidents since Hoover, none has been in big business. Of course, we haven’t had that many decent presidents, but I’ll put up the list here anyway:
Obama – politician
Bush II – scion of a political family and a notorious business failure
Clinton – politician
Bush I – scion of a political family; he did start an oil business, but it had a lot of political support
Reagan – actor, union leader
Carter – peanut farmer
Ford – politician
Nixon – politician
Johnson – politican
Kennedy – scion of a political family; politician
Eisenhower – general
Truman – politician, haberdasher
Roosevelt – scion of a wealthy family, politician
Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2010/03/06/do-big-business-leaders-make-good-politicians/
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