Mark Cuban is best known for killer deals on ABC’s Shark Tank, eye-roll and all, and this year’s been no exception—he shocked fans by making a deal with cocky “frenemy” Kevin O’ Leary (a.k.a. “Mr. Wonderful”). Although fellow guest investor Chris Sacca spars with Cuban on Twitter, he also thinks Cuban will “have a path to run for President.” This pretty much makes up public Mark Cuban: Businessman, provocateur, politico.
Cuban—whose savvy deals include one with a 16 year-old protégé who wants to “reshape the shampoo market,” Bottle Breachers, and a voting app—considers himself an entrepreneur first. This drives everything from business decisions to opinions on politics. This also means he sometimes appears quite politically conservative, and sometimes he doesn’t. The dissonance doesn’t bother him.
For example, while many conservatives have publicly declared Obamacare a disaster, Cuban’s not so quick to jump on that bandwagon. “The most important phrase for conservatives” he told me via text on his app CyberDust, “is the risk never leaves the system. It’s why Obamacare, while far from perfect, is better than what we had from insurance companies. Someone will pay for the uninsured and services they need. The question is how? Either it can be organized and thought-through or haphazard.”
Government Complexity Isn’t That Big a Deal
Cuban says he “hates big government” and thinks there are “too many welfare programs,” but feels genuine responsibility to help those less fortunate. “We as a country have committed to a level of support for everyone. Reagan started the program that said anyone can walk into a hospital and get care. When people can’t get an education or be healthy and get sick all the time who do you think pays for all that? Don’t you think it costs the country money when kids aren’t healthy and can’t learn? Who pays for it?”
‘I would have started a company even if I paid 90% in taxes.’
One of the reasons conservatives often advocate for lower taxes is to aid small-business owners. Cuban says this mindset glosses over how many entrepreneurs are wired. He said most entrepreneurs possess pure drive coupled with innovation: “When I was broke and starting businesses I never knew what a tax code was. I had no idea what tax rates were. I did know I had no interest in working for others. I would have started a company even if I paid 90% in taxes.”
While regulation does affect businesses somewhat it doesn’t as much as many think, Cuban argued (although his opinion could be due to his billionaire status).
“CEO’s want to get **** you rich–that drives their decision making more than anything,” he texted. “Entrepreneurs approach the world differently–they want to get rich and do so building businesses. When regulation is a huge problem is when administration of licensing and paperwork and complexity of taxes.”
Stop Screaming and Present Solutions