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Business Leaders in or running Governments

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  • 13-11-2019 10:44am
    #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭


    So spinning this out from the main Trump thread, I see it come up time & time again in discussion - particularly in light of the aforementioned Real Estate Tycoon coming to power.

    I've always remaining unconvinced, and will echo what I said in that above thread, that the needs of business are almost always at odds with the needs of society - particularly Social Democracies that emphasise safety nets and social protection / funding. It feels particularly redundant too, in light of latterday corporations that are burning through VC cash under the myth of Infinite Growth.

    Firstly, is there such a thing as the compassionate-but-pragmatic CEO who could transition to government, and are there even examples of it working? Disregarding Trump, I can't honestly think of a CEO or business leader who moved into political leadership and quantifiably improved the lives of its citizens. You can't "for profit" a whole country without severely impacting upon those most vulnerable and requiring of protection.

    <split from Trump thread and posts edited. No one look at the date and time stamps for various posts. Nothing to see here, move along>


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,120 ✭✭✭✭drunkmonkey


    I think you need business people running the country, Ireland is a perfect example of why. Do you think the childrens hospital would have went so over budget with Michael O'Leary working on it. Why is Simon Harris or Leo in their position, what experience have they besides both being career politicans.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    I think you need business people running the country, Ireland is a perfect example of why. Do you think the childrens hospital would have went so over budget with Michael O'Leary working on it. Why is Simon Harris or Leo in their position, what experience have they besides both being career politicans.

    Running a business is not the same as running a country: they may handle similar volumes of money, but both are philosophically opposed in their priorities. This goes double in Social Democracies, where safety nets are baked into the society & economy itself, running counter to a business-person's priority of profit.

    O'Leary might keep the budgets down, but I guarantee it would be at the expense of services, and aforementioned safety nets. Ryanair isn't exactly known as a brilliant employer, though happy to be corrected. Aside from Trump, I can't immediately think of other ostensible entrepreneurs running countries, let alone successful ones.

    Having recently sat 22 hours in A&E I'm acutely aware of the problems in our system , but handing the reigns to a business-person would be a disaster.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,523 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    I think you need business people running the country, Ireland is a perfect example of why. Do you think the childrens hospital would have went so over budget with Michael O'Leary working on it. Why is Simon Harris or Leo in their position, what experience have they besides both being career politicans.

    Trump is a pretty good argument against that. Politics is far more than just making business decisions. It is about creating a consensus, leadership, thinking about the bigger picture.

    Brexit is another example. Brexit is being lead by many leading business figures but they have no ability to negotiate to get what is best for everyone.

    Business is, largely, a win-lose battle. Win the client, the contract etc. Very rarely are you tasked with actually making decision based on providing for those less capable, the poor, the sick etc.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I think you need business people running the country, Ireland is a perfect example of why. Do you think the childrens hospital would have went so over budget with Michael O'Leary working on it. Why is Simon Harris or Leo in their position, what experience have they besides both being career politicans.

    I think the clown show that has been Trump's administration has proven otherwise. Hopefully never to be replicated here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,775 ✭✭✭✭Gbear


    I think the clown show that has been Trump's administration has proven otherwise. Hopefully never to be replicated here.

    I'm not even sure it has.

    Trump is first and foremost a con artist, not a businessman.

    His career is built on getting bailed out, strings of bankruptcies, fraud, swindling people out of money, leaving creditors in the lurch, and cobbling together credit from shadier and shadier people.

    It's very little to do with actual functional business.

    I'm sure there's plenty of business people who'd do at least as good a job as most politicians. It's inconceivable that Andrew Yang would be anywhere near as bad as Trump, and probably no worse than any of the other Presidents in the last 60 years.

    If you're not a fascist and listen to your experts there's only so far you can go wrong.

    The problem is that most that get such notions have the kinds of crippling character flaws that make them some of the worst possible candidates for the role.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,523 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    All that is true, but Trump originally ran on the basis that he was a great businessman, the best deal maker in the world. It was this reason, among many others, that got him elected. Even today, when he has refused to provide his tax returns, as lied, cheated and man other things, many voters will circle back to him being a millionaire and thus a great businessman.

    People who take the time (it doesn't take much) to dig into the reality can see it for it for what it is, but the general voter sees Trump as primarily a businessman.

    I fully agree that a businessperson can do the job, and do it very well. But being good at business is not the precursor to being good in government.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,883 ✭✭✭Christy42


    I think you need business people running the country, Ireland is a perfect example of why. Do you think the childrens hospital would have went so over budget with Michael O'Leary working on it. Why is Simon Harris or Leo in their position, what experience have they besides both being career politicans.

    Yes. Very few businesses are efficient. People have numbers they care about and they go after those numbers to the detriment of the company as a whole. Business people are also trained to take advantage of customers as much as they can (i.e. the tax payer for the government).

    Certainly we have problems but this notion that business men have it all figured out is pretty ridiculous. A small amount of time working in the private sector should be enough to dissuade anyone from the notion that businesses tend to be efficient.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    And just further on the "run a country like a business", I presume we're ignoring the plethora of new tech companies burning through VC cash at unsustainable levels - Uber being the obvious example, with WeWork showing the extent of chaos in the boardroom can bring. I THINK Facebook has finally turned a profit, but this myth of businesses being immune to waste, or a natural superior custodian of government is pervasive, and deluded IMO. Run a country like Uber and we'd be Zimbabwe within a week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,143 ✭✭✭✭everlast75


    Should we also acknowledge how utterly useless he was as a business man with multiple bankruptcies, or no?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,046 ✭✭✭volchitsa


    Christy42 wrote: »
    Yes. Very few businesses are efficient. People have numbers they care about and they go after those numbers to the detriment of the company as a whole. Business people are also trained to take advantage of customers as much as they can (i.e. the tax payer for the government).

    Certainly we have problems but this notion that business men have it all figured out is pretty ridiculous. A small amount of time working in the private sector should be enough to dissuade anyone from the notion that businesses tend to be efficient.

    I wonder if these businessmen would fire a few citizens every time profits went down?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,676 ✭✭✭serfboard


    volchitsa wrote: »
    I wonder if these businessmen would fire a few citizens every time profits went down?
    Any business person knows that there are two ways to increase profits - increase revenue and/or cut costs.

    Funny that any business types running for office never seem to focus on the first part.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 40,061 ✭✭✭✭Harry Palmr


    The country is not a business, if you take that approach you end up with the classic 'know the price of everything and the value of nothing' mind set.

    If private management is going to be harnessed it should only be in an advisory capacity, but be willing to take thier insight on board. Something that senior civil servants are probably not well disposed towards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    Leroy42 wrote:
    Business is, largely, a win-lose battle. Win the client, the contract etc. Very rarely are you tasked with actually making decision based on providing for those less capable, the poor, the sick etc.

    Leroy42 wrote:
    Brexit is another example. Brexit is being lead by many leading business figures but they have no ability to negotiate to get what is best for everyone.

    Brexit is opposed by most large businesses or as Boris said f business. It's not a good example.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,775 ✭✭✭✭Gbear


    I suppose the thing is when people say they want a businessman what that really mean it they want a bastard, or sometimes a king.

    Someone who'll unilaterally act in defiance if whatever bedwetters, moaners or legacy vested interests are getting in the way of progress.

    There's no reason to think a businessperson would make an ineffective manager or administrator, (unless they're clearly rubbish at it like Trump) but what is also clear from Trump's time is the sort of unilateralism seen as a virtue by some ultimately leaves a lot attempts at passing legislation to wither on the vine.

    The fact is you do need multilateral consent, often from people who, for one reason or another, don't agree with you, you often have to compromise (just ask Obama how far Obamacare was from his ideal).


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,236 ✭✭✭mcmoustache


    The impeachment hearing has started. Schiff spoke quite sanely as expected while Nunes has decided to go with a Hannity remix. I expect a shítshow from the republicans but I am hoping that Schiff has prepared for their shenanigans.


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