First, let's make one thing "perfectly clear." We must never confuse popularity with leadership. One gets votes and the other gets results. One seeks approval and the other seeks solid outcomes. One is about being liked and the other is about being respected. For one the job is winning elections and for the other it's competing to best serve potential customers and benefiting owners.
Running for political office is about popularity and perhaps is best understood in the context of the Santa Claus story. Politicians seek votes, pure and simple, and the best way to get votes is for people to like you. People like Santa since he brings them "free" presents. It's the OPM Santa Claus factor at work. Politicians cater to special interests.
On the other hand, successful business leaders exemplify leadership. Leadership is about results and trust and respect. It's not about popularity and playing Santa Claus. Business leaders cater to customers and owners.
Thus, politicians playing Santa always beat successful business leaders when it comes to votes and elections. It doesn't make sense, but then again, it makes all the sense in the world. In America, voters have the right to do stupid things, and that's what we do.
And the politicians keep on giving by (1) taxing the "rich," aka the few, and redistributing that money to the many, or by (2) borrowing, or by (3) printing money which has diminished value from the currency it replaces. It's as simple as 1-2-3.
Playing Santa works until the politicians run out of gifts to give US, which eventually they will. We're getting closer each day.
So like many of you, I don't get it, even though I do get it, if you know what I mean. Let's look at a specific real life example of why politics sucks and how We the People continue to do "insanely stupid" things (with insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result).
First, some background.
Illinois is a financial disaster case. It's also a state long run by Democrats.
The U.S. is in pretty sick financial condition itself. Yet President Obama, a Democratic politician, handily won reelection by defeating successful business leader Mitt Romney for the presidency in 2012.
Now comes another successful but gullible business leader and Illinois non-politician declaring his candidacy for Governor of Illinois in 2014. He has already earned the personal endorsment of Caterpillar's successful CEO.
My take. He doesn't have a chance. And here's why.
Professional politicans "feel our pain" and seek to "save us," or so they say when pandering for our votes.
Successful business people who seek elected office, on the other hand, are always vilified by the professional pols as greedy fact cats who can't be trusted and will neglect the best interests of We the People if elected.
Not to worry. We the People apparently prefer the devil we know each and every time. That means no successful business leaders need apply.
In other words, when it come to electing political leaders, We the People fall for the professional politicians' pandering every time.
In simple terms, government doesn't create real jobs even though the pandering politicians argue otherwise. It's a case of what is seen and what is not seen. We see the jobs being "created" by the politicians but we don't see the jobs not being created due to confiscating and then redistributing the money of the job creators. In fact, it probably costs us between two and four private sector jobs to create just one public sector sponsored job. That's some kind of "stimulus."
And due to this seen and unseen situation, a "redistributionist" and populist politician playing Santa will beat a "job creating" businessman every time when running for elected public office. Here's an example and a prediction for Illinois.
Cat CEO supporting Rauner has the Caterpillar CEO endorsing a businessman for Illinois Governor. My take is that these two well intentioned individuals are wasting their time, energy and money. The Democratic nominee will win, because that's the way it goes in Illinois:
"Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman announced a personal endorsement of venture capitalist Bruce Rauner one day after the GOP candidate entered the gubernatorial race. . . .
“I am here as an individual citizen and taxpayer. It has nothing to do with what I do in my day life or what I do for a living. This is a personal endorsement by Doug Oberhelman,” Oberhelman said.
Oberhelman lauded the neophyte political candidate for his high ethical standards, calling Rauner “absolutely incorruptible,” as well as praising his background of supporting education and as a breath of “fresh air” from career politicians.
Rauner outlined his plan as governor of Illinois in four points, first emphasizing economic growth and job creation.
He also listed efficient and transparent government, education and limiting state office holders to eight years as key points in his platform, citing corruption and inefficiency in current state government.
“We’ve got to end that corrupt culture, that control by those special interest groups, and put our government back in the hands of our citizens and our taxpayers,” Rauner said. “As a fresh person from outside and not beholden to special interests, completely independent from those special interest groups, I think I have a very good chance to take our state back and run it for the benefit of all our citizens.”
He also separated himself from career politicians, claiming he doesn’t care about being re-elected and isn’t willing to work his way up the political ladder to enact change in the governor’s office.
“The same old techniques that have failed us for 15, 20 years or more, those aren’t working. … (Career politicians) aren’t going to get us out of that mess. They’re part of the issue.” Rauner said.
Rauner said his history in the private sector as a venture capitalist qualifies him to form policy to create jobs and encourage businessdevelopment includingreducing the tax burden.
“I know what businesses need. I know what they seek, and I’ve helped recruit businesses to Illinois,” Rauner said. “I’ve also watched, and tried to encourage businesses not to leave the state of Illinois, but I’ve watched as they have.”"
Sounds good. That said, Rauner doesn't have a chance. He's not a "known" politician, he's not a Democrat and he's not the pandering kind. Not Santa Claus, in other words.
So here's the question: If we trust politicians more than business leaders, which we do, when will we ever get the job creating, prosperous economy that we all want for ourselves, our kids and grandkids?
That's the riddle me this part of the story.
But the even bigger question is why we always trust the self serving politicians more than the business leaders who haven't spent an adult lifetime in politics misrepresenting the truth.
That's the Santa Claus part of the story. We still believe in Santa.
That's the Santa Claus part of the story. We still believe in Santa.
I don't understand it. Not even a little bit.