The Difference Between Business and Government

Trump’s Assumptions Are Wrong

During the Presidential campaign, we heard the mantra that massaged the maxim into the minds of the under-employed middle class saying what we needed was a great businessman to cure what ails America.

When the Trump loyal followers are questioned about why their man is right for our country, they will always talk about his business success. That was the same argument they made for Mitt Romney in 2012. And this opens the door for a mature discussion about the difference between the two.

First, let’s think about the gap between a privately-owned company and a publicly traded company. In a privately held company, the owner can do what they want. They can shout out orders and fire those who don’t get the job done. At the end of the year the only person they must face is themselves in the mirror. Did they make money or did they lose money?

In a publicly traded company, the top dog has to answer to investors and their board, or cabinet, as elected by those stockholders. The term fiduciary duty refers in general to the highest standard of care. A fiduciary owes his allegiance to the beneficiary of his or her endeavors. If an individual breaches the fiduciary duties, he or she would need to account for the ill-gotten profit or misdeeds in office.

In a sense, the President of the United States is the head of a large company, but that analogy only goes so far. The Congress is certainly who the president must deal with to get money to run the country. The President does not have the power to unilaterally decide what money goes where. The final budget must be approved by Congress. Since the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act was in fact a tax on citizens, the changes that take place in that Act must be voted on by Congress.

What Trump and many of his voters don’t understand is that the he has more than just those who voted for him to take care of. All the citizens are stockholders of this country and his actions must consider the ramifications for all Americans, not just his screaming fans.

His assumption that he can just bully his way in and demand that Congress do what he says is wrong. There are factions of fractions and within Trump’s own party; splinter groups and lobby-controlled partisans who care only about THEIR money and THEIR re-election. Trump should think of his own hostile takeover of the Republican party and realize that at any time there will be powerful groups like the House Freedom Caucus that can stop anything in its tracks; including Mr. Know-It-All President.

Here they are: Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Chair, Justin Amash of Michigan, Brian Babin of Texas, Rod Blum of Iowa, Dave Brat of Virginia, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Ken Buck of Colorado, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Trent Franks of Arizona, Tom Garrett Jr. of Virginia, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Morgan Griffith of Virginia, Andy Harris of Maryland, Jody Hice of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, Gary Palmer of Alabama, Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Ted Poe of Texas, Bill Posey of Florida, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, David Schweikert of Arizona, Randy Weber of Texas, and Ted Yoho of Florida. These people are the real problem for President Trump because they gave him a standing ovation before the big meeting, then told him they wanted Obamacare gone, period. If you voted for them, how do you feel now?

In business, the nimble companies that get things done quickly, even with a few mistakes along the way, can own a market segment and dominate competition. With the US government, our competition seems to be gridlock, not party affiliation. Trump says vote now and if you say ‘NO’ he will just move on to something else. Boy, that sounds like avoidance not fight.

Why did he pick the hardest thing to do first? Why doesn’t he stop wasting time, energy and breath on tweets and start to figure out what he should keep his eye on is the bird feeder. The voters – stockholders – will want a return on their investment. So far, he’s still in hostile takeover mode. YOU OWN THE COMPANY, run it and stop with this “it’s all about me” syndrome. It’s not about you at all. Sad!