Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Secretary of the Billionaires

The next Secretary of the Treasury?

The next Secretary of the Treasury?

It started when not just one, but both of the presidential candidates agreed that Warren Buffett would make a good Secretary of the Treasury — a post that only became high-profile once it got to the point that no financially astute observer would reasonably want the job.  Now it seems to be conventional wisdom not just that Buffett would make a good Secretary of the Treasury, but that the most important qualification is simply being a prominent billionaire.

The underlying logic beneath this line of thinking seems to be that, because these folks made so much money for themselves that their actions verifiably impact the entire economy, that they could then be entrusted to turn the economy around for the better.  I think this mischaracterizes these billionaires’ driving motive; it is not to improve the economy on the whole, it is to make money for themselves.  Warren Buffett is very good at that.  But I’m not sure that being a sound investor and a very rich man indicate that one has the interests of all 300 million Americans at heart.

Furthermore, at a time when backlash against wealthy CEOs is even more piercing then usual, I think a wealthy CEO is probably not the kind of person to inspire trust in bitter, skeptical non-billionaires.

(Image from flickr user Dave Makes under a Creative Commons license.)

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October 20, 2008 - Posted by | U.S. politics |

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