Sunday, January 27, 2008

Guiliani, There Is A Big Difference Between A City and a Country

When on his stump Giuliani always mentions that He was the Mayor of a city, one of the biggest no doubt, but still just a city. There are a lot differences between running a city and making decisions that effect an entire country the size of The United States. How you approach taxes, finances, and even the response to an attack such as 9-11 are completely different mindset.

The best way to exemplify this point would probably be to compare the role of a defense attorney as opposed to that of the prosecutes.(This is based on the defined respective roles and expecting that both aren't self serving low life weasels.) As a defense attorney you are commissioned to advocate for just one person. Your job is to get your client out of whatever trouble they are in, or to minimize the effect of the trouble. The approach you take is simply to cast doubt. This is like a city mayor. Your job is to represent just a city with no regard to the people outside of your area. You have no concern what effect your actions have on say Dallas, Texas. Your policies might actually negatively on these other cities. This is a reality that is often true of surrounding cities. However, a prosecutor has a job to get to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. His job is to represent the people and all of the people. The irony is one of those people he represents if actually the defendant. The prosecutor has to be extremely certain that he is charging the right defendant. If he is not he is failing the defendant who is one of the people he has been appointed to represent, and he is failing the community by not taking the right criminal off the street. This is how a country is regulated. Each decision you make at the presidential level will have complexed outcomes. A good president has to reconcile the negatives and the positives to the most encompassing outcome.

Often Rudy cites that in New York City he was able to lower taxes and generate an increase in income of the city's economy. Well yah!! that is what cities do to generate interest in their city over another city. Say I have a tech company that can really be located anywhere. I could either locate in say Newark, NJ or New York, NY. A web design company could just as easily set up in Siberia as Silicone Valley. If I had a million dollar pre-tax company that generated about a million a year and Newark had a tax rate of 5% and New York had one of say 2.5%. where are you going to establish your business? You are going to have a $25,000 savings just by locating in New York. Not to mention all the benefits of being located that close to other companies. Nice fringes there. Those “fringes are important when taxes rates are equal between Newark and New York. If you lower taxes as a mayor you might screw your neighboring city, but who cares.

If you lower taxes as a president. You could very well remove an option of a city like Newark to control their own economy in a way in which to compete with New Yorks natural fringe benefits.
Giuliani was Mayor during the 90's. Everybody was making money then. The stock market and tech boom was in full swing. If anything He should have raised taxes in an attempt to save some money for tougher times.

Secondly as a mayor in a time of crisis your job is to calm your city and become an advocate for your people. As a president you need to look at the impact the crisis has caused as a whole, determine what needs to be done that is in the best interest of the whole country, and make long term plans to thwart the same disaster from happening again. On 9-11 Giuliani's job was to make some moving speeches, appear collected and confident, grant overtime to all departments that needed it and talk bad about those who had attacked them. The president has to see the grand scheme of things. He has to ask the questions, “how did this happen”, “Why did our intelligence miss it”, “could it happen again”, “how can we assure that it doesn't happen again”? As president you have to get on and make all the regret filled “we are going to get to the bottom of this and hold everybody responsible”. In reality your biggest concern as a leader is to try and keep the fear and uncertainty from spreading across the country. (obviously this is something that the current administration not only failed to do, but capitalized on encouraging the unnecessary fear.)

So Rudy, just because you can run a lemonade stand doesn't mean that you can be CEO of McDonald's. If anything it could mean that you aren't qualified. The decisions you make as a mayor are often 180 degrees out of sync with what you need to do as a president.

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