Jobs: Romney-Types Don’t Create Many


If Gov. Romney becomes the Republican presidential nominee, the media should not ask him how many jobs he “created,” for that question will only evoke his typically vague and fundamentally dishonest response. Instead, he should be asked: Were you ever employed by a company where you actually participated in hiring or firing, and if so, name the business. If he names Staples, for example, the follow-ups should be: What years did you actually work at Staples? How many workers did you personally hire or fire, while you claimed to have worked there? If he answers honestly, he would admit he never really punched in at Staples, or anywhere else, except Bain Capital, and never actually hired or fired anyone. Like most vulture capitalists, he simply invested from afar, and operated behind the scenes. He simply moved money around, as real world business managers actually made the tough business decisions as to hiring and firing.

The issue should not be: How many jobs did you “create,” because this term is used by politicians, like Gov. Perry of Texas, who often have no real world experience. The question instead should be: How many workers did you “employ,” as this gets to the point of whether or not they actually managed a real business.

But you may ask, if Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, don’t really create jobs, then who does? The answer is the vast majority of jobs in America are created by consumers, like you. While the government is able to stimulate the economy, and create some, they are largely public payroll positions. Likewise, while some businesses legitimately claim to be job creators, their number is relatively few in comparison to those generated by consumers.

Let’s consider the extent of job creation triggered by consumers. If you decide to build a new house, for example, you become a job creator. As you borrow to purchase land, real estate agents, bankers, appraisers, and title companies are employed. Through your decision to build, many others gain work, such as, architects, general contractors, excavators, cement truck drivers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, carpet layers, and heating and air-conditioning subs. Hardware and appliance stores also pick up sales. If it is not already clear, the construction industry affects more jobs than any other sector, and the key to stimulating it is you, the job creator.

You also create jobs when you buy a car, not only at the auto plant in Detroit, but also at hundreds of component part factories throughout the U.S. Since Romney would have denied short-term loans for GM and Chrysler, and would have let them go bankrupt, he would have added no jobs in the auto industry.

As a consumer you also create jobs when you seek entertainment and just have fun. If you take a cruise, you employ deck hands. If you rent a movie, or go see one, you engage in job creation. If you buy cloths, or tennis shoes to work out, you create jobs. If you play golf, someone cuts the grass. If you go fishing and buy a boat, the economy grows. Whenever you spend, you create jobs.

But what about politicians and entrepreneurs, aren’t they the ones who say they create jobs? Yes, in this election cycle, the President will say his policies created jobs, and if Romney is the nominee, he will argue he created them. Each will have some truth, but their contributions to the big picture are relatively small.

Politicians often claim credit for creating millions of jobs, but the real count should be confined to: 1) direct increases in government employment, like hiring more teachers, and 2) jobs indirectly created by government, like those gained when private contractors are paid to repair public highways or buildings.

Entrepreneurs, who invented new products, like the laptop, may rightly claim job creation, since consumers were unable to buy their goods before they were designed. While those who actually start businesses from scratch, like Henry Ford, and personally cause them to grow, may argue job creation, vulture capitalists, like Romney at Bain Capital, who did nothing more than purchase existing firms, which already had thousands of employees, cannot claim the title of job creator.

Only when consumers have discretionary funds in their pockets with which to buy new things, can the demand for goods and services increase, causing employers to produce greater supplies and hire more workers. This is really how jobs are created, Mr. Romney. We need to get more money in the hands of ordinary people. Perhaps you should stop saying President Obama does not have a clue, and is in over his head, and you should instead take a look in the mirror, and repeat those words.

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