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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11096/experience-in-the-private-sector/

Experience in the Private Sector

November 25, 2009 by

A fascinating chart from J.P. Morgan provides a look at the percentage of cabinet level political appointees who have private sector experience from Roosevelt to Obama.

Of course there is a downside to private-sector experience. In government, these people tend toward corrupting partnerships between government and business. And yet, it seems essential that if some gang were going to purport to enact policies to bring economic growth, some real-world knowledge is a good idea.

The best idea of all would be to leave private sector employees in the private sector and eliminate government rulers altogether.

In any case, the chart is very interesting.


Abhilash Nambiar November 25, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Oh dear, oh my. This is the most disturbing chart I have seen here yet. It is one thing to understand the private sector and then enter the government. At least you have a sophisticated understanding of the difference between stealing and earning.

But if public sector is all you have been exposed to, then stealing is all you know. Plus if you are proud of the work you did in the public sector, you do not have the mental framework to recognize that what you are doing is in fact stealing. It is very dangerous for someone in that mindset to be in a position of great influence. Obama most probably will pave the road to hell with his good intentions.

Curt Howland November 25, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I’m disgusted, but not surprised.

Anonymous Hero November 25, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Is it a coincidence that Eisenhower may be the greatest American president of the 20th century? He sat on one of the greatest eras of prosperity any country ever had.

Slim934 November 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

WOW!! Look at the obama figure.

it’s less than a third of even the next highest up administration. That is hilarious!

With that many public sector screw ups, we’ve got a good chance of the underlying economic system totally screwing, and the government collapsing! HUZZAH!!

I know that sounds terrible people, but I have to try and find some kind of silver lining in this thunderstorm of depressing data.

Charlie November 25, 2009 at 7:06 pm

How low would the figure for Obama’s administration be if you subtract the people with ties to Goldman-Sachs?

K Ackermann November 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I don’t get it. What is interesting about it?

What is it supposed to tell me?

Walt D. November 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

How many of Obama’s cabinet level appointees could run a lemonade stand, or sell Girl Scout Cookies? Probably a nice round number.

Barbarossa November 26, 2009 at 12:04 am

If Wilson is the second worst President, who is the worst? There are a lot of contenders: FDR, for the New Deal; Wilson, for the Federal Reserve; Nixon, for removing the gold standard; and Bush, for obvious reasons. Someone should do some analysis to determine their relative rankings. (It’s so hard to choose!)

Lincoln November 26, 2009 at 12:13 am

What about Lincoln? Income tax, counterfeit money, involuntary military servitude, and oh yeah almost forgot that little war where he killed 600,000 of his own people, more than all other federal mafia presidents combined before and since.

Barbarossa November 26, 2009 at 1:31 am

Lincoln has been duly added to the list.

Sanguinius November 26, 2009 at 6:43 am

Funny how this shows that FDR had more people with private sector experience than Hoover. I thought that Hoover was the hard core free market man who created the Great Depression whilst socialist FDR saved the world?

Ed Darrell November 26, 2009 at 8:34 am

I’m suspicious of charts that come with no explanation of data or sources.

I suspect it’s a hoax. I suspect you’ve been punked.

Fed Up November 26, 2009 at 10:14 am

What I can see from this chart is that Republicans tend to have more private sector exposure than democrats.

Fed Up November 26, 2009 at 10:24 am

K Ackerman,

“What is it supposed to tell me?”

This is supposed to tell you that Obama doesn’t know anything about economics, not even Keynesian macro bullshit. That he is ignorant of simple concepts like supply and demand and that he thinks profits is evil, especially in health care.

Based on his Pelosian and Franksian healthcare reform, I conclude that this chart tells the truth like it is.

Fed Up November 26, 2009 at 10:26 am


“If Wilson is the second worst President, who is the worst?”

You’ve got this wrong, George Walker Bush is the second worst president.

But to answer your question, the worst president is Barack Hussein Obama.

Ron Paul 2012 !

Fed Up November 26, 2009 at 10:28 am


On second thought and after carefully reading your post, my answer is that there is no worst president, it’s a tie !

Magnus November 26, 2009 at 10:58 am

The worst Presidents are:

1. Lincoln
2. Wilson
3. FDR
4. Johnson
5. An eight-way tie among Hoover, Nixon, Bush I, Roosevelt, Truman, Bush II, Obama, and Reagan.
6. All the rest.

Jackson November 26, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Jackson was alright (relatively speaking). He killed the Second Bank of the Rothschilds and the national debt (money owed to the Second Bank/Rothschilds). Specie Circular made only gold and silver money (instead of counterfeited/fractionally reserved promises to pay gold and silver).

Ed Darrell November 26, 2009 at 9:06 pm

By the standards of this chart, there is no way a guy like George Washington could be trusted with the presidency — he was “commander-in-chief” on the public dole for the equivalent of two presidential terms! And remember those expense-report troubles?

Yeah, you’ve been punked, I think. Turns out 77% of the Obama cabinet have extensive private sector experience — and who gainsay Gen. Shinseki’s military experience as preparation to deal with Veterans Affairs? No sane, nor compassionate person would.

Ed Darrell November 27, 2009 at 10:06 am

How many of Obama’s cabinet level appointees could run a lemonade stand, or sell Girl Scout Cookies? Probably a nice round number.

At least 10% of Obama’s cabinet has worked for McKinsey and Company. Orszag founded a very successful company and sold it off. Emanuel stepped into the world of finance and was outstandingly successful. One of the least for-profit, grind-the-workers-to-the-bones members, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, is an expert on small business stuff — give her 18,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies (a few past the current one-year record), and watch the records fall. Get her a ton of lemons, lemonade with be replacing Starbucks in a year, I predict.

HM November 29, 2009 at 1:16 am

Umm, how did that work out with GW Bush. Record tax-cuts without corresponding cuts to government spending, a little skirmish in the Middle East that I’m sure cost a few dollars, fiddling while Rome burned (er, flooded, I mean), approving Mohamed Atta’s visa six months after crashing into the World Trade Center, hiring Paulson to run the Treasury (we don’t need no stinkin’ regulation), and a trillion or so in TARP that no one really knows where it went.
And Reagan, oh yes, massive tax cuts at the same time as massive increases in defense spending and no cuts in other government spending.
Yes, I can see why having private-sector people high up in government is a good thing. Just think what a few more of those clowns could accomplish.

Mac November 30, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Seeing the high level of prior private sector experience of W’s cabinet members, I’m inclined to think that this chart is irrelevant.

ARCATA November 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Government needs private industry because they don’ t know how to build the products we demand. But they(Gov.) needs the revenue from private sector to support government. Seems 50% is a good medium, others with lower % did not do well for the country, look at FDR then look at Obama. You have to ask yourself a question!

Ricco January 24, 2011 at 12:41 am

Thank you for that sensible critique. Me & my neighbour were preparing to do some research about that. We received a great book on that matter from our local library and most books exactly where not as influensive as your facts. I am pretty glad to see these facts which I was searching for a lengthy time.

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