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Monday, August 13, 2012

Should The Presidency Require Business Experience?

In a word, No.

In two words, fuck no!

Let me explain why this makes no sense to me.

Conservatives argue that in order to be a good president that you must have a background in business, and some even say you need military experience.

That's utter crap, here's why.

Government is not a business, it doesn't run as a business and it shouldn't ever be run as a business. See people tend to forget that a government is really a contract between the government, and the governed.

Business however is different, it exists to make profit, usually by providing a good or service in exchange for something of value. They're not really similar at all.

To prove my point I turn to the founding fathers.
"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
John Adams: Thoughts on Government, 1776

I love that quote.

Business exists to enrich the owner of said business, or as John Adams says, the private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.

What I am saying is if government is ran by a businessman, and is run like a business, it wouldn't favor the common good, it would work for the interests of a few people, a few wealthy, powerful people.

That's called an Aristocracy.

Another difference between government and business is how they work. Businesses are run by a CEO, usually put there through a board of investors (this is obviously in the case of a large business) Those investors let the CEO do what he needs to do to make money and will not usually interfere too much so long as the business is profitable.

Government works through a careful system of checks and balances so no branch gains more power over the other, there is no de facto leader in a government as each branch depends on others in order to get things done. If the business loses money it cannot function, and must downsize or run the risk of not being able to pay its stockholders, creditors and workers. Government however is able to run a debt and continue, not indefinitely of course but nonetheless it can function while running a deficit without going under.

Of course it's best to run make a habit of running deficits, which is why we have taxes, unlike business. I think Mr. Hamilton addressed this one...
"As to Taxes, they are evidently inseparable from Government. It is impossible without them to pay the debts of the nation, to protect it from foreign danger, or to secure individuals from lawless violence and rapine."
Alexander Hamilton: Address to the Electors of the State of New York, March, 1801
So why shouldn't business experience be required to be president as Mr. Romney had once said? Because they are different. They are run differently and have different goals and ways to get there. One should never run government like a business, one should never even consider it, and one should most definitely NOT merge government with business.

I think there is a word for that.

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