What qualifies someone for a cabinet position? For the last 100 years, somewhere between a third and a half of the cabinet members in any administration had private sector experience prior to serving in advisory capacity on economic issues. The folks at J.P. Morgan have been keeping the stats on these things, and they slipped this little chart to The American's Nick Schulz. Looks like Obama doesn't consider a stint in the private sector much of a recommendation for his financial advisers.
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.
Schulz notes that public sector employment has been below 20 percent of the population since the 1950s, making a 90+ percent public service cabinet all the more remarkable.
Here's what's in the chart:
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.