You Want Another CEO As President? How About A Celebrity CEO?

Trumpanzee said Oprah would "always be my first choice" for a running mate. "She's popular, she's brilliant, she's a wonderful woman. It would be a pretty good ticket."

Oprah... are you fucking joking? Isn't one clueless celebrity enough for a couple of centuries, at least a couple of centuries-- even a far less clueless one?

Diamond Sportsbook International, an online betting firm headquartered in Costa Rica since 1998 is offering odds on Oprah Winfrey’s "bid to become the United States’ next president" and the oddsmakers heavily favor her to win the the Democratic primary (-350 odds means risk $350 to win $100), but she is better than a 2-to-1 underdog to win the 2020 Presidential Election (+220 odds means risk $100 to win $220).

Will Oprah Winfrey run for U.S. President in 2020?

Yes -400
No +330

Will Oprah Winfrey win the U.S. Presidency in 2020?

Yes +220
No -270

Will Oprah Winfrey win the Democratic Primary in 2020?

Yes -350
No +290

In April 2016 author, labor activist, former congressional candidate and host of the popular Working Life podcast Jonathan Tasini wrote a piece for the New York Daily News explaining why CEOs are not suited to be president. Obviously, he was especially referring to Señor Trumpanzee but today his article needs to be re-read in relation to "possible" presidential runs/trial balloons by Oprah, Mark Zuckenberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Cuban, Tom Steyer, Carly Fiorina again and, as always, Mike Bloomberg... or any number of CEOs who think if an imbecile like Trunp could do it, anyone could. Short version: companies are not democracies. Let's remember what Ron Reagan, Jr told Don Lemon on CNN yesterday. Trumpanzee "came to office unfit. He did not develop a malady at some point that rendered him unfit. He is characterlogically if not pathologically unfit and that's apparent for all to see." And always was. Tasini:

Putting aside the loathsome racist rhetoric, pomposity and all the rest, there is a fundamental question worth asking about Donald Trump: Why would anyone think a business executive is qualified to run a country?

Perhaps it’s understandable why a billionaire magnate seems like an attractive leader to some. Incomes are flat, governments appear incapable of charting a course for economic security and people are uneasy about the future. From the fog of paralysis, a savior appears: the self-proclaimed savvy businessman insulting the intelligence of everyone who’s tried to fix our intractable problems, offering to get everything ship-shape.

But while it might seem like an attractive proposition, it’s highly debatable whether a CEO is the kind of person we should entrust to manage national affairs.

Perhaps the most obvious point is companies are essentially dictatorships. The CEO is the boss. While the CEO-as-supreme-leader model might work well in Syria, Uzbekistan or North Korea, it’s fundamentally at odds with democracies.

Give-and-take, compromise and patience might be messy and tedious in the political world but, in most democracies, those factors are part of the checks and balances every political leader has to accept. The occasional politician who demands a CEO-type my-way-or-the-highway fealty doesn’t last long in office.

Imagine Rupert Murdoch sitting still for a parliamentary negotiation, or the perpetually impatient Bill Gates biding his time while the U.S. Congress debated, for weeks, whether to pass a farm bill.

More important, as economist Paul Krugman points out in a slim book called “A Country Is Not a Company,” companies operate in very different environments than countries. An economy is monumentally more complex than a company, no matter how large the private enterprise.

Krugman focuses on an essential difference: “Businesses-- even very large corporations-- are generally open systems. . . By contrast, a national economy-- especially that of a very large country like the United States-- is a closed system.”

In the open-system world facing a CEO, when a company does well, the CEO can expand lines of business and hire more workers. As it grows, the company can, as a whole, perform well and without regard to how it might hurt another company engaged in a similar market. The CEO’s only concern is watching his own bottom line.

But in a national economy, a leader does not have the same luxury. One industry’s job growth from exports driven by a highly valued domestic currency, for example, often comes at a loss to someone else’s jobs in another industry that is hurt by an overvalued currency. A national economy’s closed system-- that is, a system where a pie is divided up among competing interests-- is inherently a more conflicted ecosystem. And in that conflict reside political challenges a CEO is ill-equipped to manage.

By believing that a CEO is inherently equipped to do a better job than current political leaders from other walks of life, we aren’t really understanding, or are refusing to acknowledge, the deeper problem. Our worldwide crisis-- too many unemployed or underemployed workers, a declining standard of living, a vast gap between rich and poor, eroding retirement security, all coupled with an existential threat to life on the planet due to climate change-- has little to do with a failure to run a nation with executive-like efficiency.

Instead, it’s a failure of morality and vision. It’s a direct outcome of an economic system-- the so-called free market-- that has delivered prosperity only to a handful of people while impoverishing most everyone else.

Running a failed economic system with CEO-like efficiency isn’t the answer. In fact, an honest debate would make crystal clear that CEOs embrace a set of beliefs and institutions that have gotten us into the mess we face. Their core instincts are to continue to offer more economic insanity over a path to sustainability.

They are therefore not suited to run a nation.

Down With Tyranny

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