By Charles Biderman
The most dangerous leader is one who thinks he is smarter than he actually is. To me, that is why Barack Obama is the most dangerous US president in recent times. He has accomplished little since he became President, other than adding another layer of bureaucracy to healthcare. Has even one member ever extolled Obama as a president who can get anything done? Or is his presidency more characterized by blaming others for his problems? Final point, he gave away billions in start up money to help supposedly cutting edge technology companies that failed virtually immediately after.
In other words, he is not as smart as he thinks he is.
Since my days as a Barron’s Financial Weekly associate editor in the early 1970′s, I probably have interviewed over 200 top dogs at public companies as to whether or not to invest either long or short in those companies.
My biggest take away from that experience is that a company, government, sports franchise, whatever, is only as good as the top dog. And unfortunately most bosses hire underlings with lower IQs than their own. One of the rare exceptions was Ronald Reagan. No secret he wasn’t a rocket scientist, but he knew how to hire not only the brightest, but the best of the brightest. At least that is my opinion.
Another exception was my roommate when I started at Barron’s, the late Jim Gantsoudes. Jim’s great success at First Boston and then Morgan Stanley was due to successfully hiring above his IQ.
As I said at the start, in my experience, the worst managers are those who are not as smart as they think they are. Sooner or later, unless replaced in time, they will lead their respective companies, governments or sports franchises to ruin. The best managers are those who know their own capabilities and are honest about it with themselves and their staff.
Barack Obama is the top dog in the US government. If the US government is only as good as the top dog, it is important to look at Obama, the person, in order to understand how good he is as top dog. And yes, everything I say is extremely subjective, or said simpler, just my opinion.
So when I look at Obama, the person, what I see is someone who wants to take care of all us and particularly to provide to those who really are needy. To me, that fits with the dreams and desires of someone who never had a dad. Obama’s parents split when he was an infant. The young Barack Obama must have desperately missed having a loving dad. Therefore, by extension a caring Barack would want to provide what dads provide to the rest of us.
In my own case, I regret that because I grew up on the streets of Brooklyn I never had the opportunity to play organized sports. Therefore, to compensate, I provided my two boys all the sports opportunities I possibly could. Similarly, Obama never having had a dad, wants to be the US paterfamilias and be the dad he never had for all of us.
There is nothing wrong with someone committed to making a difference to those in need. There is something wrong, when the top dog is so committed to being a care giver that it becomes more important to him than creating enough of a financial surplus to pay for the care.
My takeaway from examining how Obama is running things is that he does not understand that providing for those in need can only come after establishing policies that support the creation of a growing a financial surplus. It is only after putting the US economy on a strong financial footing, will the government, or some other entity, will be in the financial position to provide for those not capable of being self sufficient for whatever reason.
Unless Obama recognizes his own ignorance or is forced to by Congress, the US government will be bankrupt before his administration expires.
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