Monday, January 30, 2012

Former Presidents With Extensive Business Experience: Herbert Hoover, Warren Harding, Jimmy Carter, Bush I and Bush II

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is running for President of the United States based on his extensive business experience as an executive in the private equity firm, Bain Capital.  As referenced in the op-ed cited across the jump, Presidents of the United States with extensive private business experiences are 'near the bottom of most rankings.' 

To continue this look at POTUS who have had extensive business experience, the following excerpt from Walter Zelman's Los Angeles Times op-ed is offered as a starting point:

The samples of 21 presidents overall and the five with private-sector experience are far too small to draw firm conclusions. But the review suggests, at minimum, that private-sector business experience is neither a great predictor of presidential success nor — given the success of many presidents with no private-sector experience — a prerequisite for presidential success.
Moreover, even a rudimentary analysis of history and politics suggests that success in public leadership may require a very different set of skills than that required in private-sector leadership.

The LA Times article goes on to scrutinize 21 presidents based on their business and non-business experience.  The results are interesting and worthy of serious thought and additional examination.

Walter Zelman, who has a doctorate in American politics, is chairman of the Department of Public Health at Cal State Los Angeles.

Zelman, Walter. "Romney, an executive in chief?" Los Angeles Times 30 January, 2012: online edition.

Related information:

Krugman, Paul. "The Conscience of a Liberal: Breach of Trust." The New York Times 23 January, 2012: online edition. (Note: Enclosed in the aforementioned post is a link to a very interesting, must-read essay on leveraged buyouts (aka private equity) by Larry Summers and Andrei Shleifer.)

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