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Trying to fix what they don’t understand

Posted by Richard on December 3, 2009

Last week at AEI's Enterprise Blog, Nick Schulz posted about the astonishing curricula vitae of Obama cabinet members:

A friend sends along the following chart from a J.P. Morgan research report. It examines the prior private sector experience of the cabinet officials since 1900 that one might expect a president to turn to in seeking advice about helping the economy. It 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.

Obama cabinet's private sector experience

When one considers that public sector employment has ranged since the 1950s at between 15 percent and 19 percent of the population, the makeup of the current cabinet—over 90 percent of its prior experience was in the public sector—is remarkable.

Remarkable, indeed — especially since cabinet officers who arguably don't need private sector experience (plus the Postmaster General, who arguably does, given the USPS's financial woes) were excluded from the data. But I suppose they're the perfect fit for a president who's proud of having turned his back on productive private-sector work.

These people have neither the experience, nor the temperament, nor the mindset to effectively deal with our current economic woes. They and their union buddies, academic associates, lackeys, and sycophants are exactly the wrong crowd to conduct Thursday's "jobs summit." As Investor's Business Daily observed:

The government, from lawmakers to bureaucrats, does not create jobs. It can move jobs from the private sector to the public through tax-and-spend wealth redistribution policies. But because government spending crowds out private investment, it is not a wealth creator and therefore cannot be a job creator.

Government is often a job killer. Economist Richard Rahn noted during the last Bush presidency that "government spending reduces more jobs in the private sector than it can create in the government sector."

"Countries with large government sectors," such as France and Germany, Rahn said, "tend to have much higher unemployment rates than countries with smaller government sectors."

Economic reality won't matter at the summit, though. What matters are appearances.

The White House wants to make a show of doing something, especially after its policies have done nothing to boost growth or stop the job losses. It would like to erase from public memory the utter failure of the $787 billion stimulus legislation approved just after Barack Obama took office. The administration knows its claim that thousands of jobs have been created or saved by the stimulus is bunk. And it knows the public knows.

But the stench of failed government solutions will remain.

Read the whole thing

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