Imagining Steve Jobs as President of the United States

“It’s time for a new social contract,” Francis Pedraza writes via O’Reilly Radar. “Can you remember the last time government made you happy?”

“Thought not,” Pedraza writes. “Can you remember the last time government made you angry or sad?”

“Oh, your last pay check,” Pedraza writes. “Where’s all that money going? When will you ever see a return on that investment?”

Let’s imagine Steve Jobs as President of the United States:
Three things would change. I’d bet a round of drinks he would…

1. Frame everything around the user experience: Since World War II, the basic framework of our bureaucracy hasn’t changed, just grown on rotting foundations. Now it’s a tangled, clumsy, wobbling mass of weeds. President Jobs would restore a sense of purpose by reorienting the whole thing around people.

2. Less is more:President Jobs would be good at saying “no.” The biggest priority is restoring priorities, the government tries to do too much… There are only a very few things the private sector can’t do better than the public, so that’s what all the tax dollars should go toward. Simple is best.

3. Design for sustainable innovation: President Jobs would be so unpopular in DC. A bureaucrat’s worst nightmare: playing hack-and-slash with programs and departments, eliminating waste and fixing strategic mis-allocations of the people’s resources. With federal employees getting laid off, congressmen losing pet projects, and lobbyists losing their client’s pet privileges and special deals, there would be a bi-partisan outcry. No big deal, because a great communicator would know how to win the crowd and sell the vision. The State of the Union address, with all its obsolete television-era pomp and circumstance, would be replaced by a quarterly keynote presentation. President Jobs would never, ever come empty-handed. Empty rhetoric isn’t his thing. He’s always got a fundamental innovation to unveil or big news to announce, and he never leaves without leaving an extra surprise.

Pedraza writes, “Our society is waiting, and our political landscape is ripe, for a political figure to speak the new language. The premises outlined above form the basis of a platform for a small, focused, innovative, and human-centered government. It’s time for a new social contract. Demand it.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Francis Pedraza runs The DoBand Campaign, an action-oriented social network. Before starting DoBand, he oversaw the design and commercialization of a revenue-generating ad product for Google’s Double-Click Ad Exchange in New York City, helped launch professional networking startup Nova Global as a consultant to Swedish venture firm UVentures , ran business development and client relationship management for design firm Renascent Media , and served for three years in Army ROTC.

59 Comments

    1. But this is impossible, alas: not only because Jobs does not want go to politics and might be not healthy enough, but also because there only two parties that can make electable candidates, and both parties are under united control by WallStreet bankers and military weapons corporations.

      That is why no matter who is in the office, Democrat or Republican, Wall Street and Military always get their way. Now, for example, Military got Obama to voluntary start an international assault/aggression against official Libia’s government after that country had armed mutiny against it (image what USA government would do if some people in Texas would start a revolt with heavy weapons and such against official authorities: they would be proclaimed terrorists and erased.)

      1. The United States is in such a rot that whoever becomes the President will have to succumb to special interests in order to survive. Take for example, Obama was talking about controlling the possession of firearms but powerful interests have many Congressmen under their control that the proposal was defeated in Congress. No party will survive if it goes against special interests. There is no political will and courage to tackle the myriad problems in the United States. In other words, in spite talk about transparency, the United States is the most corrupt country in the world. Congressmen are taking money from every sources to work against the interests of its citizens. The United States is downfall is inevitable.

          1. The overwhelming majority hold to the right to own firearms, but also support realistic & reasonable restrictions on who can own one, how they are sold and of what type.

        1. That’s pretty funny. Gun rights are expanding in the courts. Gun rights are expanding in the states. Ever growing % of citizens are supporting gun rights. Restricting rights of law-abiding citizens is a loosing issue.

  1. Oh boy, cue the flame wars.

    While the idea of CEO as President has long been floated (most recently, by Donald Trump), the truth is business leaders tend to make lousy politicians. They’re used to having people do what they say, or else. Politics doesn’t work this way.

    Can you really imagine President Jobs (or Welch, or Walton or whoever) telling Congress that things are going to be run differently starting right now? And can you also imagine 535 voices laughing at the same time? The President has enormous powers, except when it comes to the running of the Legislative branch.

    Politics is about building coalitions, not barking orders. Good politicians are good at getting different (often feuding) constituencies following the same banner. Reagan was good at it. So was Clinton. And so was candidate Obama. (President Obama not so much.)

    If you doubt my analysis, see Schwarzenegger’s disastrous turn as governor of California, where he discovered neither the voters nor the legislature were wowed by his personal charm for very long.

    As much as I admire Steve Jobs as a CEO, I think he’d be pretty disappointing as an elected leader. RDFs only work so well…

  2. Umm, I get that this is a joke, but government can’t be like Apple by definition. Government must be inefficient to sustain government programs.

    Government has no incentive to be efficient, because efficency actually reduces the bottom line.

    Government does not create wealth, it acquires wealth from the populace.

    These facts are not the result of any particularly wrongheaded thinking, but merely the inevitable outcome of large government.

    Putting Steve Jobs in charge wouldn’t help. Because the objective of Apple Inc is the opposite of government and always will be.

    1. That’s insightful. So, when my dad worked on government contracts for NASA it didn’t really put food on the table, fix up our house, buy cars and pay for college. Good to know those things were an illusion of my youth.

      1. No more of an illusion that the WI school teacher’s care about the children which is why they protested! Bullshit! It is and will always be about the money! The Unions, it will always be about the power! What neither get is that it is not about what they think they are entitled too, but rather what the TAXPAYER can afford! And who speaks on the behalf of those taxpayers during contract negotiations as a STATE worker? Your father may have worked for a private company that “won” those government contracts for NASA, but remember that NASA is funded by the taxpayers. It doesn’t have to worry about customer service, competition, making a profit. All it has to worry about is how much of the taxpayers money will be budgeted to it as a government entity. So, as one of those taxpayers that helped put food on the table, fixed up your house buy cars and paid for college… You are welcome. Whereas I as a private businessman had to percentage-wise partly pay for all that and for my family as well! Does that count as double-dipping?

        1. What People like you will never understand, is that some people actually do care about other people… it has nothing to do with money.

          I know… you will think me naive; you are wrong, and you will likely never change.

  3. Ron Paul is good at saying no, wants to get rid of the Federal Reserve and the illegal income tax. Cares about simplicity and people with a pure message that resonates with everyone and makes sense: The Truth!

    Forget CEOs and private banking interests, elect a president of the people – Ron Paul 2012

  4. I don’t really see Steve as a “Design by committee” kind of guy and I think I heard someplace that he really doesn’t care all the much for user groups.

    “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the road”. Now I might be wrong but I’m not pretty sure that wouldn’t work as a presidential campaign slogan. Well at least not for the masses but I’d be behind that person 100%.

    Get’r dun!

  5. I’m always glad when entrepreneurs like SJ have five clueful minutes and realize they shouldn’t touch politics with a barge-pole.
    The only (useful) exception I can remember of late is SJ throwing his weight behind this organ-donation initiative – hardly a surprise considering his personal history.
    While the US probably can’t be governed in the same way one can govern a tiny place like Switzerland (most bigger issues need a public vote), I don’t think the current system is really future-proof either.
    Expect things to get worse before they get better (or don’t expect them to get better at all…)

  6. The only way Steve Jobs would be effective as President would be if voters somehow made him a “dictator” for four years. 🙂

    I think he would probably want to cut the Federal Government down to mostly the large-scale enterprises that can only be done by a government. For example… Fielding a military to protect the nation. Building and maintaining an interstate transportation infrastructure. Creating future energy generation projects on the scale and capacity of Hoover Dam. Running a “meaningful” space program that can begin to exploit space-based resources, NOT just “explore” them. Healthcare certainly does not need to be the responsibility of the Federal Government, along with many aspects of “welfare.”

    In reality, it would be very difficult to do the equivalent of what he did at Apple (cut everything that was not a CORE capability and simplify down to the basics), because too many people (voters) have come to depend on the Federal Government, and the U.S. President is NOT a dictator.

  7. I cannot believe the intelligent dialog here. Isn’t it about time the haters get on here and start with the rants? Congratulations posters above, very nice to read the posts for a change. It will not last however….

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