Obama Cabinet’s Limited Private Experience
Nick Schultz points us to this interesting graphic on the private sector experience of presidential cabinets:
The chart “”includes secretaries of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Housing & Urban Development, and excludes Postmaster General, Navy, War, Health, Education & Welfare, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security—432 cabinet members in all.”
If this is accurate, it is indeed truly “remarkable.” Schultz notes that “public sector employment has ranged since the 1950s at between 15 percent and 19 percent of the population,” so this isn’t the explanation. Yes, Democratic presidents have tended toward people with public sector backgrounds — for reasons perfectly understandable given their ideology — but only by a somewhat higher margin than Republicans.
But it’s almost incomprehensible that 90 percent of Obama’s administration would have no private sector experience. What in the world have they been doing the last eight years, when they presumably weren’t in appointed positions?
Katherine Mangu-Ward offers a plausible explanation: “Part of the reason for the dramatic dip could be Obama’s “no revolving door” policy. The new rules aim to keep lobbyists out of his government but may wind up functioning as a screen for all manner of folks with private sector experience on the CVs.”
Story link via memeorandum.
Full disclosure: I published, and was paid for, a goodly number of pieces at Tech Central Station/TCS Daily when Nick was editor.