Business savvy
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gov. Mitt Romney would have us believe that a business background is essential for a president, even suggesting a constitutional requirement of three years of business experience to be president. Unfortunately, history contradicts that.

Consider that Presidents Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter were all successful businessmen, but less than successful one-term presidents.

And let's not forget President George W. Bush's executive experience in the oil industry and major league baseball. He submitted eight red-ink budgets, doubled the national debt, led us into two needless wars and the Great Recession.

On the other hand, one of our greatest presidents, Harry Truman, failed in the haberdashery business. Two other great presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, had major financial problems; Lincoln called his obligations his "national debt." And one of our greatest presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, had no business experience — just great empathy for the common man.

The real problem is that the basic goals of business — productivity and profit — have nothing to do with the goals of a nation, which should be the general welfare of the citizenry. So let's drop the idea that business experience is an important presidential prerequisite.

Kermit Heid

Salt Lake City