How many direct reports should an American president have?

Arnold Kling writes:

One way to improve government operations would be through re-organization. I once wrote,

“the total number of executive entities is 157. I cannot think of any corporation in which the CEO has so many direct reports. This number ought to be fewer than ten.”

I proposed consolidation. Ideally, this would be done through legislation. However, if Congress balks, the President could informally choose to make some Cabinet officials and agency heads subordinate to others

Such informal hierarcies arise in any case, but can you imagine a private corporation that tried to run on such a basis?  NB: You can and should be horrified by this organizational detail, without adhering to the (false) view that “government should be run as a business.”  If you wish, take a large non-profit and ask how many people are direct reports to the CEO, or ask how such organizations would fare if the hierarchies of responsibility were never outlined explicitly.


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