UT Experts: Running a government like a business

UT Experts: Running a government like a business (KXAN file photo)
UT Experts: Running a government like a business (KXAN file photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Throughout the election season, Donald Trump pushed his business empire and corporate skills to the center of his political campaign. That now begs the question — can business skills really translate to the Oval Office?

It’s a conversation Bradley Gold’s business law students are having inside the McComb School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

“We actually can find some potential predictors in how he is going to run the country and how he has run the business,” Gold says during his Thursday afternoon lecture.

Gold’s lesson: It just depends on the practices you preach.

“If you have the background of working with 20,000 people, managing the expectations of that many people, well, it’s not such a big leap to, then say, can you manage the expectations of an entire country,” Gold said.

Across campus at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the Executive Master in Public Leadership, Karl Brooks says it reminds him of a past president.

“I think of Eisenhower. His whole life he’d been a general in the army. A lot of people thought that will never transfer to running the federal government. He was one of our most effective and successful presidents,” Brooks said.

Brooks argues the measure of success in business is all about dollars and cents. When it comes to the government, success is scaled a little differently.

“Are we making the Middle East safer? Are we protecting our energy independence? Those don’t really have profit and loss numbers. That’ll be a big change for someone that spent his entire life thinking about shareholders, lenders and investors,” Brooks added.

For some students on campus, it’s the curiosity of the country being ran like a corporation that’s keeping them captivated, but cautious.

“In the past, we can read as many history books as possible, we can experience as much variety in the presidency as we want. Ultimately, this is new territory for everyone. We have no idea what’s going to happen and that absolutely intrigues me,” said UT senior, Andrew Byrne.

 

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