GMAT : Analysis of An Issue
24. A powerful business leader has far more opportunity to influence the course of a community or a nation than does any government official.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and / or examples from your own experience, observations or reading.
Historical examples of both influential public officials and influential business leaders abound. However the power of the modern-era business leader is quite different from that of the government official. On balance, the CEO seems to be better positioned to influence the course of community and of nations.
Admittedly, the opportunities for the legislator to regulate commerce or of the jurist to dictate rules of equity are official and immediate. No private individual can hold that brand of influence. Yet official power tempered by our check-and-balance system of government and, in the case of legislators, by the voting power of the electorate. Our business leaders are not so constrained, so their opportunities far exceed those of any public official. Moreover, powerful business leaders all too often seem to hold de facto legislative and judicial power by way of their direct influence over public officials, as the Clinton Administration's fund-raisings of 1997 illuminated all too well.
The industrial and technological eras have bred such moguls of capitalism as Pullman, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Gates who by the nature of their industries and their business savvy, not by force of law, transformed our economy, the nature of work and our very day-to-day existence. Of course, many modern public servants have made the most of their opportunities-for example, the crime- busting Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the new-dealing President Franklin Roosevelt. Yet their impact seems to pale next to those of our modem captains of industry.
In sum, modern business leaders, by virtue of the far-reaching impact of their industries and of their freedom from external constraints, have supplanted lawmakers as the great opportunists of the world and prime movers of society.