A worrying trend in the Democratic Party in recent years is its increasing detachment from private enterprise. This is evident in the Biden administration’s economic management, and one reason may be that few of its officials have private sector experience.
That’s the headline of a report to be released Wednesday by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, compiled by Stephen Moore and Jon Decker. The pair studied the resumes of 68 senior executive branch officials whose work shapes the economy – from President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to White House special assistants for economic policy.
“The average business experience of those appointed by Biden is only 2.4 years,” the authors noted. Every fresh 25-year-old on Wall Street has completed more private business hours than most top Washington officials. 62 percent have “virtually no business experience”. In contrast, the average Donald Trump cabinet official had 13 years of private sector experience, the authors say.
Some familiarity with business is especially important since President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have spent their lives in law or politics. However, the authors found that Biden’s economic officialdom is dominated by careers in law (20), politics and government (21), and academia or policymaking (12). Main business experience is in venture capital or investing (five).
There are prominent exceptions. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was a successful venture capitalist before entering government, and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland ran a tribal casino in New Mexico.
However, one can wonder if Biden’s policies and their outcomes reflect a lack of fundamental understanding of how businesses work. One example is the Department of Labor’s drive to classify millions of contractors as employees, although there is evidence that many workers prefer independent status.
Health Minister Xavier Becerra has no healthcare experience. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was a mayor and business consultant with little experience of supply chains or America’s vast transportation network. Deputy Finance Minister Wally Adeyemo has spent most of his career in politics and government.
Innocence to profits, payroll, and competition seems to be considered a virtue among today’s progressives. But that’s no virtue when modern government has so much power to regulate and punish private companies. Presidents are free to appoint whomever they choose, but the results of corporate ignorance in this administration speak for themselves.
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Appeared in the print edition July 13, 2022 as “No business experience required”.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-business-experience-needed-joe-biden-white-house-officials-committee-to-unleash-prosperity-report-11657661328 Biden’s Hiring Policy: No Business Experience Needed