Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sarah, President Obama is Not a CEO (& You Weren't Either)

As appropriate, today President Obama met with the Chairman of BP, as well as CEO Hayward and other officials. Yesterday, half-term quitter, I mean, ex-governor Palin said on the O'Reilly show that President Obama should meet, CEO to CEO with Hayward to resolve the Gulf oil disaster. Watching her body language and interaction with Bill O was quite amusing as she did not receive the beauty queen treatment she normally expects on Fox News shows. The grim expression and shrill voice said more than her words as she demanded actions already taken (how many foreign flagged vessels are already working in the gulf?) and claimed, again, her lengthy experience working with the oil companies. Did anyone else catch her on the one hand claiming that the oil companies lie, while at the end demanding that we not demonize them so they don't fail. She also demanded throughout that the fault was the lack of regulation and oversight by the Obama Administration (in office for a whole 16-months by now) and this by someone claiming membership in a party and sub-party pleading for enough government to fit in a bathtub. Sigh.

Not only can Sarah Palin not stay on script, she cannot remember what she said three sentences ago in order not to negate herself. Much as I hate to say it, Bill O pushed her just enough that any half-thinking person (although not sure there are any watching Fox) would catch the inconsistencies. He certainly did.

Let me try to explain. Sarah. President Obama is not a CEO. The United States is not a corporation. I am not a shareholder. Congress is not his Board of Directors. They do not have the authority to fire him as they did not hire him (the duty of a Board). Although he proposes budgets and oversees departments in a very broad sense, his bottom line is not profit. A CEO's reason for being is profit. The purpose of government is to spend money on its citizens, not to create profit for its own sake. The purpose of a corporation is to create profit for its shareholders. Period. A CEO that does not produce profit is fired. A CEO that does not focus on the bottom line and does not put his or her shareholders first before all other factors, is behaving in an unethical and possibly illegal manner.

Much as we would like BP to be warm and fuzzy and care about the animals and the people of the Gulf, it's not their job. Their job is to make lots of money. It is the job of government to make sure that the people of the Gulf are taken care of and that the animals and the environment are taken into account. That's why we have such things as the Clean Water Act, the EPA, and the MMS. Regulations were put into place because corporations are there to create profit and governments are there to protect its citizens from the corporation. Anyone who questions this should locate a copy of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" and then go buy a hotdog. Or any kind of processed meat. Go on. I'll wait.

So, what is a CEO? Why do you and others who continue to call the President (and themselves when Governor) a CEO look foolish when you do so? It's because you ignore the complexity of government and the corporate world. You not only talk only in buzz words and catch phrases, but evidently, you can only think in them as well.


Chief Executive Officer (CEO) -- per Investopedia
"The highest ranking executive in a company whose main responsibilities include developing and implementing high-level strategies, making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of a company, and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and the corporate operations. The CEO will often have a position on the board, and in some cases is even the chair."

"There are various other titles for the position of CEO including president and executive or managing director. The role of the CEO will vary from one company to another depending on its size and organization. In smaller companies, the CEO will often have a much more hands-on role in the company, making a lot of the business decisions, even lower-level ones such as the hiring of staff. However, in larger companies, the CEO will often deal with only the higher-level strategy of the company and directing its overall growth, with most other tasks deligated to managers and departments."

An article in Business Week in April of 2009 discussed the need to redefine the role of the CEO in light of the financial meltdown of Wall Street and the need to avert government interference in the operation of corporations. The discussion said, among other things that,
"Appropriate management of financial risk involves elevating the function so that it reports at the top of the company to the CEO and board and is treated as an equal in status (if not precisely in pay) to business generators. It then entails evaluating both business processes and real results in the core tasks of assessing, spreading and controlling risk. It should focus on fundamental issues of capital adequacy, leverage, and liquidity—integrating off-balance sheet activities into assessments of these risk issues and using early warning systems to spot unforeseen risks." [emphasis added]

I'm disappointed in President Obama's apparent lack of understanding of the seriousness of the mess we are in, but I understand that 1) BP and the other oil companies are the only ones who have the knowledge to clean this up, and 2) it is the policies and de-regulation of the previous administration that created the environment that led to this disaster.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.


  1. true...afraid its wasted on Silly Palin...

  2. Excellent post, Kyra. I enjoyed this. HER not so much.

  3. Thanks for continuing to say it. If we give up and quit refuting her lies, she wins.

  4. Thanks Kyra. Another good one!!