“If you can just get your mind together
Then come on across to me “
So begins “Are You Experienced?” by Jimi Hendrix.
(Note to daughters: “Yes, I listened to Jimi. On an album. What’s an album? Never mind.”)
“Are you experienced?” is the current question on the mind of the people who watch Washington. People like Michael Cembalest, Nick Schulz, and Kyle Wingfield. And like a shop quality engineer trying to solve an intractable problem, these people collected data, analyzed it, compared it to prior data available, and made a graphic so that the data would talk data can sing to us.
(My first statistics professor told us “when you put your data in rows and columns, your data will sing to you.” Honest.)
Here’s the data regarding the private sector experience of the president’s cabinet, compared to prior president’s cabinets.
Here is Kyle Wingfield’s analysis: “the current Cabinet largely lacks a practical understanding of the country and companies which it now regulates — understanding that might come in handy now that our government is more enmeshed than ever with banks and auto makers, and is pushing for radically different rules for energy and health-care producers and consumers…And I think it means more than just that. If the members of the Cabinet have gotten more than 90 percent of their experience from a sector that makes up less than 20 percent of the work force, they represent a relatively small pool of people.”
And from where I sit, they sure don’t seem to understand manufacturing. About how we have to meet a payroll, collect receivables, have access to working capital.
The typography of that album cover reminds me that things certainly have changed since I was in college.
The percentage of cabinet appointees with private sector experience reminds me that there has been a change in Washington too.
And not on the side of ‘experience.’
So what were the last two lines of the first stanza of “Are you Experienced?”
“We’ll hold hands and then we’ll watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea .”
End of Flashback…