Friday, February 1, 2008

Presidential disdain for the private sector

David Harsanyi at the Denver Post has a column up on the disdain for the private sector oozing from several of the leading presidential candidates. John McCain, in particular, talks of his life-long work "not for profit, but for patriotism." Barack Obama explicitly emphasizes the alleged value of "public service" over building a business or creating wealth.

It's worth noting that, of the four leading presidential candidates, Mitt Romney has the most extensive experience building and leading businesses (though certainly not from a mom-and-pop perspective). John McCain, whose only foray into the private sector consisted of a brief gig with his father-in-law's beer distributorship while he prepared for a congressional run, has repeatedly downplayed Romney's "management" expertise as inferior to his own military-style "leadership."

Hillary Clinton has private-sector experience, but it's from the privileged position of a politically connected law-firm partner and corporate board member. Barack Obama worked as a lawyer-advocate and in academia as a law professor before going into politics.

With the exception of Romney, none of these candidates has really had to worry about the real-world impact of government tax and regulatory policies. Does government intervention in the market have a track record of making it harder or easier to start a business? How do employers react to labor policies? Are regulatory agencies easy to deal with or are they company-killers?

It's likely that the next president will lack the slightest inkling of how to address such concerns, and -- if McCain is any indicator -- may not even care.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home