Friday, July 15, 2011

Two Perspectives on Job Creation

Hi Everybody.  My comprehensive exams are over (I passed), and now I can devote some time to blogging without feeling guilty.  Today, I want to talk about "job creation" since that term has been batted around so much lately.  I won't pull out any of Fearless Leader's quotes on the matter.  I think everyone can predict my opinion of those.  Instead, I want to contrast the statements of two high-profile business leaders.

The first comes from an article that appeared today on Investors.com, written by capitalist He-Man John Allison.  For information on Allison, see some of my earlier posts.  His article has several observations you would expect from an Objectivist.  I won't get into all of them, but here's a choice sample:
Jobs are created so businesses can develop new products and services — and improve existing ones — and expand into new markets — and increase the quantities produced, and the efficiency of that production.
Sounds good, right?  Jobs are not created as an end in themselves, but rather as the means to make more money.  Contrast Allison's take on jobs with a recent article describing General Electric CEO (and Obama crony) Jeff Immelt's speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
At a conference where many of the comments were focused on government barriers to hiring, GE (GE, Fortune 500) Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged there needed to be some policy changes by Congress and the Obama administration. But he said that the responsibility for hiring lay with businesses.
"The people who are part of the business sector, the people in this room, have got to stop complaining about government and get some action underway," he told the group. "There's no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution."
Platitudes notwithstanding, what exactly does Immelt propose as action?  What is the solution?  Hire more.  Don't worry about those pesky profits.  Just hire more people, and stop complaining about how the government is making it impossible to hire more people.  Just do it!

Okay, Orren.  I mean, I understand that Immelt is basically working for Obama at this point, but does he have to be so transparent about it?  Where's the finesse?  Luckily, the rest of the Chamber didn't quite see things Immelt's way.
The Chamber also released a poll of small businesses that showed only 19% of businesses plan to add jobs in the next year, little changed from the 18% that increased their payrolls in the last year. Nearly 40% of those surveyed cited either worries about what the government will do next, the requirements of the new healthcare bill or too much regulation as the number one obstacle to hiring.
The comments also made me fell a little better:
JeddMcHead, 07/13/2011 11:40 AM
OMG, this tool needs to be put in the shed. Permanently.
Couldn't have said it better, myself.

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