Last week President Obama named another Czar. We now have the TARP czar, the Energy Czar, and the Cyber Security Czar — among others. According to Reason magazine, there are now 18 czars!
There’s just something about all these czars that brings out a bit of a rebellious streak in me. Like many entrepreneurs, I have an independent streak anyway. I prefer to be in control of business and not have others in control of me (otherwise, it would be easier to just get a job somewhere). So the idea of Czars — conjuring up images of Imperial Russia with one autocratic leader who is next to God — is not an image in keeping with my sense of independence.
Of course, some suggest that today’s czars are not like dictators and are instead intended to be problem solvers.
Maybe that’s the intention — but it’s not the best management structure.
First, it suggests the President doesn’t have confidence in his Cabinet. Not a good signal to send — how are we the people to have confidence, if our leader is not sure his Cabinet is up to the task?
It also obfuscates the chain of command. Who’s really in charge? Multiple people? The Czar and the President and whatever Cabinet members who would otherwise be in charge? We all know what that means from running our own businesses — when you have multiple people in charge of the same thing, it means no one is in charge.
Not to mention that the idea of all these czars and new roles has me breaking out in a cold sweat seeing $$$ right and left. Someone (us!) has to pay for all these czars and the staffs they surely will spawn, on top of the existing Cabinets and their staffs. And because they will need to justify their existence, just wait until the Czars start suggesting laws and regulations and more bureaucracy we need ….
I think we need fewer czars — because we already have the President’s Cabinet members who are supposed to be working for the American taxpayer. Carry this out to extremes, and we could end up with an Entrepreneurship Czar, on top of the SBA Administrator. That would make about as much sense as having the TARP Czar on top of the Treasury Secretary.
I’d like to see the President put his confidence in his appointed Cabinet, and create a clear chain of command — and let his Cabinet do their jobs.