Possibly the dumbest editorial ever …

The WSJ carried an editorial by Alan Blinder, a Princeton prof,  tiltled “The Case Against a CEO in the Oval Office”.

It should have been titled “How we in the ivory tower – who have guaranteed life-time employment and have never set foot in a business – think that business works.”

Blinder’s central thesis: Business people fail in government because there’s no bottom line — and compromise is obligatory.

Presidential history teaches us that the abilities, character traits and attitudes it takes to succeed in business have little in common with what it takes to succeed in government. In some respects, they are antithetical.”

Say, what?

I don’t know where to start …

First, he obviously is a non-quant economist … he thinks that the law of large numbers and statistically significant samples also applies to small numbers and insufficiently small samples.  He concludes that some of our 44 presidents were good ones … and that some of them were politicos and not biz people … and, “the two truly successful businessmen to win the presidency were Herbert Hoover and George H.W. Bush” … and, we know how that turned out.

Case closed..


Then, he lowers the boom, quoting from  Nolan Bushnell, “the highly successful entrepreneur who founded Chuck E. Cheese” who said “Business is a good game — lots of competition and a minimum of rules. You keep score with money.” Blinder concludes “that’s virtually the opposite of being president of the United States”.

Note: Not Jack Welch, not the CEO of a successful Fortune 500 company … nope, he centers his argument around Chuck E. Cheese’s daddy.

Good enough for me.

More specifically, Blinder asserts that companies are dictatorships, not democracies … they ignore all stakeholders other than shareholders.

Gee, I wouldn’t have picked up on that one  from my many managerial and board meetings.

My absolute favorite: “Sound companies dote on efficiency …. and, while there are niches in the federal government where efficiency matters … the  big decisions aren’t about efficiency at all. It may even be critical to cut people a little slack here and there.”

He forgot to add: “And, cover for the inefficiency by taxing people who make more than I do their fair share.”


He also opines: “A good president communicates well with people and inspires them … Barack Obama may never have met a payroll, but he’s a gifted orator, and empathy and fairness are in his bones … traits … not prized in CEOs.”

To be honest, his appearance on the View during the Libyan crisis didn’t exactly inspire me.

To that point, check out the adLeadership… just sroll down to the video

Gimme a break, man.

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