Lawyer or Businessman in the White House: There’s a Huge Difference

Frankly, I don’t recall whether I read this or heard it.  So, don’t accuse me of plagiarism. However, if you think about it, a lawyer is an expert you go to when you need help.  He or she is trained and conditioned that they are experts who know what is best for you.  Just consider your own history, when there is a legal conflict or another issue, you call a lawyer because, ostensibly, they know the answer.  You can see it in their rhetoric too.  They have an inherent belief that they know what is best for us.  They are also adversarial.


The businessman, on the other hand, is trained to “empower people.”  He or she hires people they trust to do a job.  The most secure businessmen and businesswomen I have met are the ones who hire people to perform tasks who know more about the task than they do.  And they’re comfortable delegating responsibility.  They have an inherent belief that we are all responsible for our own behavior.  They also believe in cooperation and partnerships, providing incentives for everyone to excel and profit.


Given the above, it is no wonder that President Obama arrogantly asserts that he and his czars know what is “best” for the rest of us.  That government should run society.  Whereas, Governor Romney, I believe, would honor our constitution and “empower the people.”  Maybe that involves teaching “the people” that they are responsible for their own behavior and the only entitlements they are granted by the U.S. Constitution are “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”


There is an interesting byproduct to entitlements such as day care and food stamps.  They diminish personal responsibility.  Perhaps if those programs weren’t so “liberal” in distributing benefits to people who really don’t qualify, those people would indeed take responsibility for their own behavior.  The same can be said for extending unemployment benefits.  I have learned from reliable sources about people who have collected unemployment insurance for a year before even beginning their job search.


How many times do we have to see the “law of unintended consequences” come into play? We saw it with the housing crisis.  It was a noble idea to get people into their own homes, even if they didn’t qualify.  How did that turn out?  I believe a better lesson is: sacrifice and save until you qualify for a mortgage and in the meantime, rent.  Renting isn’t so bad.  I rented and saved for seven years before I was able to afford a down payment and purchase my first home.


Our constitution also states that “All men are created equal.”   That means under the law.  There is also a stark reality which is:  all men and women are different.  Some are luckier, smarter, and more motivated than others and some are more talented than others.   I would love to have been a professional athlete, but I couldn’t compete.  With respect to competition, though, back when I was playing baseball competition made me better.  And now that I play the game of business, competition has made me better.  It has forced me to read, study, analyze, plan, assume risk, work hard, and grow and change to provide the best services to our clients.


As it has been said often, this year’s election is the most important in our history because it involves a crystal clear choice between personal responsibility and freedom or excessive regulation and being told what is best for you and being given “entitlements.”   People need to have “skin in the game” to have respect for the game.  Before democrats accuse me of being heartless, I am an independent who believes the least government is the best government and that people need to take responsibility for their own behavior.   It is best to inspire those on the bottom of the economic pyramid to work and look up, rather than tearing down those on top in an attempt to redistribute income to “achieve fairness.”


I believe in the “American Dream” and have lived it, having started a business from a spare room at my parent’s home with only $300.00 when I was 28 years old and didn’t take a single day off for eight and a half months.  I also believe in giving of my own free will through philanthropy, and believe in taking care of those who need our help.  I also believe in safety nets rather than entitlements.  That is why Governor Romney will get my vote in November.



© 2012 Steven M. Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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