Even with the appointment of New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg to his cabinet, President Obama has few, if any, top advisers with any significant entrepreneurial experience.Â They have little exposure to the vicissitudes of the marketplace and the risks necessary to build a business and so market innovative ideas and products, create jobs, thus furthering economic growth and promoting prosperity.
What goods or services have any of the president’s cabinet produced?Â How have they dealt the difficulty of decreased demand?Â How have they learned to adapt to trying economic times?
I keep thinking of the president’s cabinet when I consider my brothers who built their own home-building business in my home town.Â I’ve seen the long hours they’ve had to work when they’d rather be with their families.Â I’ve accompanied them on site and they deal with potential home-buyers and their own staff.
I’ve listened as they had to deal with supply problems and troublesome employees, even heard them face the problem of asking a friendly supplier for a lower price.Â Obviously, just by paying attention to their work, I’m not qualified to act in their stead.Â But, I have been impressed by their efforts, observing that their success is based largely on the choices they have made–and how they’ve followed through on those choices.
In the current economic downturn, I know that the most difficult choice they have had to make has been to lay off employees, many of whom worked hard building their business, some of whom they counted as friends.Â But, unless they laid them off, they couldn’t make ends meet and keep the business afloat.
In private enterprise, when receipts are down, an employer often has to reduce his work force.Â So, why is it that when “[c]ompanies are cutting jobs by the tens of thousands,” Uncle Sam is hiring?Â Â The “federal work force is growing.”
Maybe if Obama had more close advisers with entrepreneurial experience, he might understand the reality of the marketplace and the necessity of laying off employees as does a private employer.Â Instead, with the president’s team experienced in government and academia, they seem more attuned to the realities of politics and the abstractions of ideas.