MAKE AMERICA PANGEA AGAIN
Where are the presidential candidates that truly have ethical, and holistic, rather than self serving motives out there for the betterment of the country?
I don’t believe we have those candidates in Trump nor Clinton. It is possible that we never had candidates from either party with these traits in recent US history.
With each passing year, time merely memorializes and improves the legacy of each president. I truly can’t imagine anyone wanting to do the job and carry the burden for so little return other than legacy… which is a narcissistic, misaligned and a horrible motive to seek the Presidency.
As an entrepreneur and businessman with the majority of my career supporting and selling software and services to state, local and federal government, I believe that the change that politicians promise with unscripted and off the cuff sound bites, vague and often flip flop policy positions and some action plans that are not even financially possible, even some that pose extreme financial danger; can best be accomplished at the individual, state and local level and through private sector, philanthropic and community efforts.
We are seeing this with Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett in their philanthropy efforts, and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in their innovation and space exploration initiatives. Individuals that know how to execute plans, have motives that are more public serving (on the philanthropical side) than personal (acknowledging their obvious tax breaks).
These entrepreneurs and now philanthropists leaders know how to financially start, execute, and deliver on action plans and targeted outcome goals via their acumen, drive, self start and bootstrap backgrounds rather than receiving a million dollar loan from Daddy or both candidates begging for donations from super PACS like slick speaking, well dressed, Vegas street beggars.
Philanthropists and entrepreneurs are accustom to answering to their board of directors and shareholders that vote with their dollars, thus effecting their share price of their companies.
They are gauged on revenue growth and importantly; profit margin. The consumer and the shareholder determines if the leader is ultimately successful.
Most politicians sadly have little knowledge of core business principles, importantly budget management, the basic tenet that you can’t spend more than you make and that sometimes you have to make extremely tough decisions that will effect millions and millions of people in order to balance a budget.
However, politicians cannot get elected on a platform of the brutal honesty surrounding these types of tough decisions, therefore all candidates talk about getting more for the American farmer, auto-worker, manufacturing employee, union employee; when in reality continual automation, innovation, robotics, currency valuation advantages have put these workers out of work; not outsourcing or regulation.
Brutal honesty will not be conveyed to the public that federal government institutions, committees, agencies and commissions now exceed over 2,000. Many started years ago with a simple purpose and few employees and now have grown into monolithic organizations with thousands of employees and billion dollar budgets. Talk of shutting some of these 2,000 agencies will NEVER occur, because laying off state, local and federal employees is not a campaign platform that the general populous wants to hear.
An illustrative personal example in state and local government is warranted. In my over 20 years of working with over 400 state, local and federal government agencies providing software that eliminated manual data entry for the exchange of information between law enforcement, courts and prosecutors with electronic interfaces; thus reducing the requirement for those employees, only ONCE did we have an elected official that released staff after the implementation of our system, thus reducing taxpayer expense. That elected official was voted out of office the next term, and his candidate used the elimination of employees as campaign ammunition to win the election.
Simply put, politicians cannot talk about what really needs to be done in order to balance the budget, because their voting base are the same people that may suffer from these tough decisions. They have to placate to voters in order to get elected by appealing to a vastly uninformed (some highly uneducated, on both sides) group who are highly manipulated by sound bites and a biased media. Again candidates from both sides do this, and media is biased on both sides of the aisle.
It isn’t as if business leaders who fit this criteria haven’t ventured into politics; from the right side such as Mitt Romney, Carly Fiorina, Michael Bloomberg, the independents Ross Perot or Gary Johnson, and left leaning Jon Corzine.
However, they aren’t as marketable as the reality star who spouts diarrhea of the mouth for attention and uses scare tactics to rile his voting base or the other that panders to everyone for votes and acceptance.
These business leaders wouldn’t fit into the shit-show circus that we have now. These business leaders are insulted by the media and other politicians regarding their looks, their robotic nature, their blandness, and the type of business that they ran.
Before you post back the success of Donald Trump as a businessman, please stop. He isn’t an entrepreneur, he is a self-promoting, reality star, who has hundreds and hundreds of examples of failings as a business person, countless FTC violations, and on and on. He sells nothing, he is master at branding a shitty product… himself while taking advantage of thousands and thousands of people. He is our generations P.T. Barnum.
While Mitt Romney was lambasted by the media for running an LBO firm, Trump’s many business failures, FTC violations, lawsuits, attorney general payoffs to make the Trump University scam claims go away, etc., etc., has been largely swept under the rug.
On the other side, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary either, she is a career politician that epitomizes everything that is wrong with our political process. Somewhere between the mix of true and fabricated stories of the Clinton’s shady affiliations there is a level of nefarious behavior that I am not comfortable with. That aside, she is a career politician, who would do anything or say anything to get elected. I actually wouldn’t vote for ANY career politician.
The definition of a successful politician is one that merely continues to be elected, regardless of their results. Despite having complete polar shifts in fundamental, foundational beliefs during their careers, they can continue to be elected. Again, this is on both sides. Not accomplishing anything is the status quo. Flip flopping is the status quo. Making asinine comments, and laws pertaining to areas that they know nothing about (i.e. patent law for technical IP and software companies, Internet regulation) is status quo. Not knowing the basics about plate tectonics or geology, hence believing that “Guam would capsize due to additional population” is the status quo.
Sexting minors, spending money on hookers, screwing interns, doing crack, misappropriation of funds, and soliciting undercover male cops in Minnesota airport bathrooms are the primary reasons why politicians aren’t re-elected or resign (excluding Charles Rangel and Marion Berry of course).
The successful financial leader is judged on their 10-K and are out if they don’t perform. The philanthropists who are former business leaders, know they are successful when their outcomes are a direct result of their initiatives (i.e. private space travel, cancer and AIDS research, Internet in Africa).
I say successful financial and business leaders because there are certainly those that are not, are unethical, do illegal things. However, consumers vote with their dollars, and these leaders are traditionally quickly replaced, put in prison, etc.
Sadly, our political system is grossly flawed. Sadly some business leaders are very aware that the system is flawed and attempt to use their financial means to get candidates in office to push their professional, personal and entrepreneurial endeavors via super PACS… again from both all sides.
We are not a democracy, nor republic, we are an oligarchy. I am saddened by the fact that the very nature of our political system is broken to allow an oligarchy to thrive and prosper. What are the fixes that likely will never occur?
Let them debate: When the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is on EVERY ballet in all 50 states, however can’t debate his opponent because his opponents are the ones that determine who debates via the Commission on Presidential Debates, the system is grossly rigged for a two party system.
They strategically use an impossible requirement to get into the debates by requiring 19% polling in five major polls, despite that 65% of voters have no idea who he is, and fewer know the platform of the Libertarian party.
Shouldn’t the fact that he is on the ballot in all 50 states afford him the right to debate against his opponents?
Our current debate structure is a joke: Hey, here is a thought when it comes to debates? How about actually really debating and moving towards the Oxford-style debate; a proven formula that demonstrates the candidates, platforms, ideas, and ideas. It is a hell of lot better than the shit circus that we have now in debates where insults, sounds bites, and Matt Lauer moderators run the show.
One week you are introducing Corey Feldman on TV to perform his train wreck, the next week, you might be moderating a debate. I am predicting that next election, our moderators will be Ryan Seacrest, Mario Lopez, maybe Carson Daly. How about an intelligent debate moderator who actually has ran an Oxford style debate? Oh wait, there probably aren’t any that you would know outside of academia, and that would be shitty for ratings. Debates aren’t for ratings, they are for being informed.
Term limits for all federal politicians: Career politicians like Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont, 39 years), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah, 37 years), Joe Biden (D-Deleware, VP, 36 years), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), have used their tenure in every election to get re-elected.
“I know what I am doing, because I have worked in Washington for 30 years”.
That isn’t an attribute that I want in ANY leader; especially without being held accountable for anything.
See prior comments about crack, interns, toe tapping in bathrooms, sexting… don’t do that stuff, those are your typical ways of not being elected again. Do the status quo and you have a 30 year career and a fat paycheck with no accountability. Just don’t rock the boat with your constituents.
You essentially are claiming that your lifelong “public service” is an attribute, however, your 30 years in a fundamentally flawed institution to me is a detriment, not a attribute. Get out, move on, time has passed, you are part of the problem.
A younger, more technically astute group of politicians need to replace these geriatric lifers via term limits. You get in, make change, you leave.
Do whatever it takes to balance the budget: It will take tough choices and effect millions. Do what Warrant Buffet recommended, (not the fake chain letter going around, although some good ideas contained), except limit the number of terms for re-election.
“You just pass a law that says that anytime there’s a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Now you’ve got the incentives in the right place, right?” — Warren Buffett
Get rid of super PACS: A recent poll conducted by Bloomberg shows that 87% of Americans think our campaign finance system should be reformed to curb the influence of wealthy donors, with 78% saying specifically that they disapprove of the unlimited corporate spending unleashed by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
Go even further. Don’t give candidates any money to campaign. Let them figure it out. Let them use social media, let them use Kickstarter campaigns, perhaps limit what they can accept from single individual donors, the word “No Limit” shouldn’t be next to any column for Campaign Contribution Limits. Let candidates figure out how to appeal to voters, let them learn the basic tenants of marketing and selling…. hey let them run a business. They will figure it out.
Education for elected officials: Only 8.4% of federal lawmakers have a degree in economics, and 13.7% have a degree in business or accounting. Over half of the members of Congress (55.7%) hold a degree in a government-related or humanities field.
I think a basic business acumen should be required to be a state and federal politician. How many can read an income statement, obviously not too many, hence our deficit.
I am not saying it should be a requirement that they all have MBA’s in economics or business. I also understand that they have a shitload of financial advisors and economists (some from the private sector) that they work with, but come on, you are running one of the biggest businesses in the world, how about some education so that you can intelligently have a conversation with the “nerds” in the basement.
Even read Business and Economics for DUMMIES, anything is better than our current career politician that for whatever reason can’t see the financial harm and risk that they are placing on our current and future generation.
Maybe the best advice is to burn the ships, build some bunkers, secede and start over in New Hampshire. Seriously though, I really don’t know the path forward.
Intelligent, civil, and respectful discussion and debate will hopefully see us evolve down a better path.