by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[T]he overlap between CEO and presidential duties is exaggerated, Harvard Business School professor Gautam Mukunda tells Barron’s. “Presidents of the United States are just radically different than CEOs in terms of their institutional authority, in terms of what they are trying to achieve, in terms of the tools that they have,” he says. “And, of course, the path to becoming a CEO and the path to becoming president have no resemblance.”
Mukunda thinks the underlying assumption of these “CEO movements” is that elected officials have been too incompetent or too radical to enact what executives think should be popular policies. But there’s no evidence, Mukunda says, that Schultz is any more politically skilled, than, say, Nancy Pelosi or Paul Ryan. …
… [A] question stands out: Is there a Howard Schultz-shaped hole in the Democratic Party? Almost certainly not. Some permutation of Medicare for all and a jobs-guarantee program are now essentially litmus tests for Democratic hopefuls. Schultz’s view on those ideas? They’re “false promises.” Instead, he wants to “go after entitlements.”
The reality is there’s an astounding level of bipartisan opposition to what Schultz is proposing. …
… Much as CEOs can succeed by selling people what they want or changing the market, politicians appeal to popular opinion or find a way to shift it. Thus far, the man who persuaded Americans to drink espresso and reinvented the milkshake is neither pandering nor persuading.