President Donald Trump has put an unprecedented idea into his fellow billionaires’ heads: running a business qualifies them to run the United States. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz became the most recent deluded example after he expressed interest in running for U.S. President.
Contrary to this new way of thinking, being a successful business person does not make someone suitable to be president. It is crucial that this idea is eradicated and the next person in office is properly trained and qualified.
Trump prides himself in starting from the bottom. The million-dollar loan from his father played only a small role in that, of course. Trump, however, did not apply those hypocritical views into his run for presidency. Instead of starting off in Congress or at the state level, he decided to run for president, and much to the dismay of a large percentage of the American public, he won office.
Howard Schultz also mentioned his humble roots as a poor kid from Brooklyn in hopes to gain him favor. His campaign can be compared to Starbucks’ food: looks appealing only from the glass window.
Starbucks employees benefit from some of its progressive ideologies. Starbucks matches its employees’ 401K contributions. The coffee chain also pays the tuition for employees that have been accepted into Arizona State University, and because of ASU’s ample number of online courses, employees can earn their bachelors for little to no money.
Starbucks’ generous incentives, however, only go so far. Employees are not paid a livable wage. On average, Starbucks pays its employees only $9.43 per hour.
The appeal for an outsider has clearly backfired. Trump was highly praised for his lack of connections in the government, but as the U.S. recovers from the longest government shutdown in history, the desire for someone with no experience has died down significantly.
Schultz has already shot down the proposal for a 70 percent tax rate on income over $10 million, which would undoubtedly affect his own interests. This shows that his concern is not for fair taxation but for himself and the top 1 percent. This view would not bode well with Democrats, so Schultz has stated that he would run as an independent.
If Schultz runs for president, there is a possibility that Trump will be reelected because the votes against him could be split. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has declined running as an independent for president in 2020 based on that same fear.
“In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President,” Bloomberg said in a statement on his website. “That's a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can't afford to run it now.”
Other billionaires that decide to puff their resumes with a presidential candidacy should consider the consequences. If their goal is to better the American government and life for the American people, then they should start within their own companies. Paying workers a livable wage is a start—although a very small one. They should also consider the effects of another four years under the Trump administration, and the inevitable tantrums and government shutdowns.
Schultz should realize that running for president is not another hobby. He could take up knitting or baking if he needs to, but becoming president should not become another notch in his belt.