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Old 02-20-2020, 03:05 PM
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The myth of the businessman-President

If you look at the last 100 years, a list of US Presidents with significant business experience would include:
Warren Harding
Herbert Hoover
Jimmy Carter
The two Bushes
Donald Trump.

I think HW was a decent President and Carter was unlucky and underrated but this is not an impressive list to put it mildly. Harding,Hoover,W and Trump have a reasonable claim to being the four worst Presidents of the last 100 years.

There is still something of a myth particularly among Republicans that business experience is some kind of uniquely valuable qualification for a President. Clearly Bloomberg subscribes to that belief but it has no basis in historical experience as far as I can see and for good reason: running a country is very different from running a business.

Looking more broadly around the world I see little evidence that there is much of a correlation between business experience and successful political leadership. The most prominent example I can think of a businessman who became a political leader recently is Silvio Berlusconi.


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