Thursday, May 24, 2012
A fly on the wall...
Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall when President Obama and his Jobs Council meet behind closed doors at the White House? It must be a hoot to watch when a group of overeducated academics and economists and Wall Street bankers get together and try to figure out how to create some jobs when none of them have ever created a job. Remember, the only jobs Government creates are Government jobs. So, when a man who's never so much as rented shoes at a bowling alley or served as Night Manager at a 7-11, chooses to surround himself with people who are similarly unqualified to answer this existential question, we, the people who are paying for all this, are bound to get wholly unsatisfying results.
Think about this: 54% of George W. Bush's Cabinet could boast of private-sector experience. Just 7% of Obama's Cabinet members can make the same claim. So how could we expect them to create jobs when they've never done so? Even Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and Jobs Council Chairman, one of its few CEO's, just moved all of the thousands of GE's X-ray manufacturing jobs from Milwaukee to China. Now that's the way to create some jobs! Oh, and by the way, Immelt's GE paid zero income taxes last year on more than $15,000,000,000 (that's with a "B") of profit! But during his ten-plus years of stewardship of this blue-chip corporation, he's managed (or mis-managed) to reduce its stock valuation by more than 50%. Want to buy some GE stock?
As an inveterate entrepreneur with more than 40 years of experience creating companies and hundreds of jobs, let me tell you a fact you might not hear anywhere else. Entrepreneurs don't start companies to create jobs. They start companies to make money. And hopefully to enjoy some job security. And gain a little freedom. And be happy. If their venture is successful, they soon discover that they can't do everything by themselves. So they have to hire people to keep the ball rolling. People in manufacturing, and sales, and marketing, and finance, and delivery, and I.T., and human resources, and personnel. This hiring is nothing but a by-product of their success. The more successful they are in their enterprise, the more people they hire. And frankly, employees can be more of a hassle then they are worth. Most entrepreneurs I know would prefer to have no employees at all. They hire them because they have to. I can tell you in my next life I hope to be an author or an artist, living on top of a mountain somewhere in Colorado, travelling into town each Saturday in my Jeep to mail off my creations to my NYC-based agent ,and then buy some beans and flour and cheap wine before heading back up the hill to my glorious solitude. That's how much of a hassle employees can be.
But no entrepreneur will take an unnecessary risk; if the odds for success are good, they'll pull the trigger and launch the venture. And anything Government does to lessen those odds, through onerous, confiscatory taxation or stultifying rules and regulations, will reduce the chances that an entrepreneur will take the plunge.
So when Obama and Company asks themselves how to create some jobs, here's the very simple answer from somebody who knows: Get Government out of the way!
America presently has the world's highest corporate income tax rate. That's why there's something approaching $3,000,000,000,000 (that's trillion, with a "T") in corporate profits languishing overseas where it was made. Bringing it home, repatriating it so to speak, would cost those who made it...and own it...over a Trillion Dollars in taxes. Would you pay that? Imagine what this much money could do if sprinkled around our economy by those who might invest it in new plants and materials and ideas and use it to our mutual advantage.
Do these few things and watch our economy thrive: Simplify the rules and regulations. Choke off the EPA and the NLRB and the Justice Department and the IRS and their seemingly unending efforts to transform us into Europe-west. Lower and flatten the income tax rates and don't permit them to increase on January 1, 2013. Overturn the unconstitutional and terrifyingly expensive Obamacare legislation. Sign the XL Pipeline in effect. Authorize oil drilling in ANWAR, and the Arctic, and the Gulf, and selectively off both coasts. Allow oil shale and oil sands "fracking," which has created an economic boom in North Dakota and Montana (under 2% unemployment there low enough for you?). And stop the class warfare pitting one group of Americans against another.
Will this happen? Not until we have a President that believes in economic freedom and individual responsibility and liberty.