To the editor:
In his Feb. 20 Saturday Column, Dolph C. Simons Jr. supports the idea that Congress needs to call attention to not just the chief executives of major banks but their directors as well. Good point. But then, without apparent evidence, he says: “Maybe one of the problems is that most of those serving in Congress have been in the business of politics most of their adult lives. How many congressman have had to meet a payroll or run a business?”
It turns out, more than he thinks. Independent Street, an online resource for entrepreneurs, and fairly conservative politically, and an entry in Wikipedia claim that more than a third of the new members of Congress have a small business background. Further, 188 current members of Congress (162 in the House, 26 in the Senate) have worked in private sector business. Eighteen have MBA degrees. Contrast that with, say, nine scientists, 24 from the field of medicine, and five CPAs. One hundred fifty-nine members of the House and 68 in the Senate have worked in some aspect of the law: attorney at law, paralegal, policy analyst, etc. In many of those cases they have had to run a law office, an entrepreneurial exercise for many of them.
What we don’t need is more business people but more people from a variety of professions and occupations: social work, the ministry, teachers and community organizers, for example.