Business Leadership vs. Political Leadership

I’ve always maintained that my political views are rooted in the works of Ayn Rand. Her writings helped me understand and come to think of commercial markets and businesses as wealth-creating forces of good.

These roots have been shaken by the financial crisis of 2008 and the current Presidential election.

I believe there are cases when, for a business as a whole to survive, it must fire destructive employees, lay off parts of its workforce, and/or outsource jobs to other countries. These are ways for a company to cure itself of social and financial headaches associated with having certain categories employees. Many times, such actions are a consequence of earlier executive mismanagement, but in other cases, they may be perfectly rational.

Although business leaders may well be justified in taking such actions, the fact is that no parallels exist for leaders in the political arena. Although the government may fire, lay off, or even outsource work (rarely to other countries) a critical difference is that the affected people remain a social and financial concern of the government! After a company fires an embezzler, it can hand over responsibility to prosecute and imprison that person to the government. The government itself cannot wash its hands of a criminal with nearly the ease that a company can.

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Created at: 27 September 2012 6:09 AM