Government is filled with people who couldn't get a job in the private sector. Why on earth would we put them in charge of our economy? If they knew anything about running a business, they'd be running a business. George W. Bush was a failure at virtually everything he ever did in the business world- except buying the Texas Rangers. He succeeded at that because of his family connections and wealth. Anyone could make money buying a baseball team- if you have the connections and millions of dollars necessary to buy one in the first place. Then Bush proved his lack of business skills by running our country into the ground, ruining our economy, and increasing our debt dramatically.
Did we learn our lesson. Heck no. We followed up Bush with the only guy on earth who knows less about business- Barack Obama. The new President may be an eloquent speaker, but he knows ZERO about business- unless you think protesting about racism is a business. With all due respect to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who turned protesting about racism into a lucrative business, it bears no resemblance to running the United States economy. Obama believes spending trillions and wasting trillions on pork, handouts and entitlements to reward his voters is the way to end a depression. He believes bigger government and bigger spending is the way to create jobs- even though in his entire life, he has NEVER before created a job. He believes driving the national debt to ever-higher levels is the way to avoid bankruptcy. He believes in times of economic crisis, instead of tightening the budget, we should spend irresponsibly. He believes that handing out government jobs is the way to improve the economy- even though the fact that the federal government spends too much on government employees is a major reason we are in this crisis in the first place.
We have handed power to a man ignorant of the simple rules of economics. That is no surprise- afterall, he was my classmate at Columbia University. He studied political science, but never took a business or economic course in his life. No wonder a man that stars at politics, can fail so miserably at running an economy. I attended those same political science classes at Columbia University. Never was running a business (or an economy) explained or discussed. We are in serious trouble folks.
Now you may understand why government's decisions make no sense when it comes to running a business. Take Obama's comments to a big audience on Tuesday suggesting that companies that take taxpayer money shouldn't hold meetings in Las Vegas. The result? Multiple cancelled Vegas meetings and conventions in just hours after his comments. So now Obama thinks he knows how and where business executives should spend their money? He will micromanage- from the White House- even the decisions about where meetings should be held by corporate America.
Perhaps Obama doesn't understand that Las Vegas is the symbol of America across the world. It is the convention and meeting capital of America. It is the tourist capital of America. The newspaper USA Today only a few years ago called Las Vegas “the economic engine of America.” That could be why Nevada has been the fastest growing state in America for 20 of the last 22 years. That could be why the Census Bureau predicted recently that Nevada would remain the single fastest growing state in all of America for the next 25 years. Yet Obama expects corporations to cancel their trips, meetings and conventions in Las Vegas? Obama wants to jumpstart the U.S. economy by ruining the Las Vegas economy?
As a result Goldman Sachs has already changed a 3-day business conference from Las Vegas to San Francisco. Here's a great example of the common sense and wisdom of government- the average hotel room rate in Las Vegas is $274 per night; in San Francisco the average room rate is $361. I'm certain the cost of everything else is higher in San Francisco too. But the more important issue isn't wasted dollars- it's freedom. Don't executives have the right to hold meetings and conventions where-ever they choose? Don't companies have a right to reward their best employees and biggest producers with expensive trips to desirable places like Las Vegas? Isn't that how you motivate employees, thereby creating more sales and higher revenues?
Obviously that's no longer the case with politicians running the show. Obviously the rules of business have dramatically changed if we let politicians make snap decisions based on public perception in far-away Washington D.C. This is what you get when you sell your soul to the devil- government runs your life; runs your business; micromanages every decision; and makes horrible and costly decisions based on politics and public perception- not the realities of economics. What if cancelling a Las Vegas event costs a company an extra million dollars (or two) in cancellation fees? What if switching from Las Vegas to New York or San Francisco costs millions more in higher hotel room and airfare rates?
What if this decision, multiplied thousands of times throughout across corporate America, costs the American economy billions of dollars? What if the tourism industry is ruined as corporations cancel all their conventions because they are afraid of what Obama will say? How many millions of jobs will be lost? What if thousands of middle-class Las Vegas hotel service union employees lose their jobs as a result of Obama's edict? What if hundreds of cabdrivers lose their jobs? What if hotels in Las Vegas go broke? What about the investors, banks, hedge funds and shareholders who will lose their investments in those hotels? Doesn't that affect the American economy?
What if hotels across the country go bankrupt because companies are afraid to spend money rewarding their best employees- because of Obama's edict and public perception? What if that destroys motivation and as a result sales go down? How will that affect the economy? If we all stop going to Las Vegas, or spending money on tourism or conventions, what happens to the economy? Does government ever think of these things? Does government ever think before it speaks?
It's no wonder that everything government touches fails. Do you like the way Amtrak is run? How about the DMV? Anyone bound out of bed in the morning excited to get to your appointment at the DMV? Do you love dealing with the IRS? How about welfare- anyone out there think welfare has been run well? Anyone proud of the way our returning wounded warriors were treated by Walter Reed Hospital? Let's not forget that government ran the Iraq war. Great job fellows! The same people are now trying to destroy the economy of the fastest growing city in America for the past 25 years. To Big Brother, Las Vegas is no longer an “acceptable” place to spend your money. This is what happens when you give power to government. Big Brother is filled with people who know nothing about business; who know nothing about economics; who know nothing about incentivizing top producers and salespersons; and often it is filled with bureaucrats who couldn't get a job in the private sector.
The CEO's of American business are learning a valuable lesson. In the long run it will be a profitable lesson. In the short term it will prove disastrous. The lesson is to never again accept a dollar from government. It's the same lesson that welfare recipients across the country should have learned long ago. Once you are dependent on government, it is hard to break the deadly addiction. It comes with strings- dangerous and deadly strings. Once you open that door, you have Big Brother as the boss calling your shots. Now many of the biggest banks and companies on Wall Street are stuck with government as an unwanted partner. The gang that can't shoot straight is now in charge of American business. God help us all- we have sold our souls to the devil.
Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate. His new book will be released by John Wiley & Sons this Spring entitled, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts.” The book is available for pre-sale at Amazon.com. Wayne also happens to be Barack Obama's college classmate (Columbia University Class of '83). For more of Wayne's views, commentaries, or to watch his many media interviews, please visit his web site at: www.ROOTforAmerica.com