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Business Experience and the U.S. Congress, Essay Example

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Essay

There are many in today’s America that feel that members of the United States Congress, both in the House and the Senate, need to have prior experience in some type of business in order to be an effective congressman or woman or a state representative. The main reason for this belief is that our current U.S. federal government is run much like a business with a CEO (the President), a CFO (Secretary Geithner), lower-level managers (members of the U.S. Congress and department heads), and an administrative board of governors (the U.S. Supreme Court).

But is it truly necessary for a running candidate for the U.S. Congress to have prior or current experience in operating or owning some type of a business? After carefully considering this question, it appears that having prior business experience is indeed a necessity, due to the complexities of today’s political and economic arenas and the ever-evolving nature of world economics, referred to by some as globalization.

According to a report issued by the Employment Policies Institute in Washington, D.C., in 2011, less than fifty current members of the U.S. Congress, both male and female and from various cultural backgrounds, possess any experience in running or owning a business, whether as former CEOs or as current small business owners; less than forty majored in business or economics at the university level, and less than sixty “even bothered taking classes on business or accounting.” This report also revealed that the majority of members in the U.S. Congress majored in either law or government at the university/Master’s level and that 12% majored in science and/or technology (“Eighty Percent of Congress”). Obviously, this majority that majored in law accounts for the number of lawyers in the U.S. Congress.

These facts are rather startling and demonstrate that without having some type of business experience, most individuals running for Congress and curent members are doomed to failure, meaning that because of the complex nature of the decisions that must be made in both the House and the Senate, making the wrong decisions based on business inexperience and ignorance will surely result in chaos, especially if the wrong decisions involve the disbursement of funds or the overhaul of a government-sponsored program, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

One of the authors of the above-mentioned report observes that our elected officials in the House and the Senate should go back and hit the books, particularly Economics 101, before they attempt to “tackle weighty questions about the impact of taxes, spending, and debt on our economy and the labor market” (“Eighty Percent of Congress”). In addition, it is only logical to assume that making the right economic decisions is directly linked to fiscal responsibility, especially when a decision involves paying down the national debt or providing funds to government-sponsored or operated entities.

Therefore, possessing some type of business experience could be viewed as a mandatory prerequisite for running as a candidate for either the House or the Senate. Fortunately, it appears that having prior business experience is a current trend with many potential congressional members, considering that a growing number of “rookie” congressmen and women have a business degree or the equivalent at the Bachelor’s or Master’s level or have been involved in some type of business operation (“Eighty Percent of Congress”). Also, since the United States has gone economically global, possessing prior business experience when running for a seat in Congress can only help matters and perhaps lead to some form of agreement over the biggest economic problem facing the U.S. today–the ever-growing national debt.

Works Cited

“Eighty Percent of Congress Has No Experience in Business or Economics.” 2011. Web. Accessed 10 October 2012. http://www.loop21.com/content/80-percent-congress-has-no-experience-business-or-economics

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