Monday, October 29, 2012

Compounded Job Creator Myths

From silly to now sad, the fantasy of a class of job creators dominates winger campaigning and discourse. Be blunt. Rich individuals and corporations have almost entire chickened out and failed us.

They have not maintained employment levels, much less expanded or started new companies or divisions. The GOP candidates' big lie on this, per Romney and Ryan in particular, is that government regulations and even the idea that there might be tax increases terrifies these otherwise stalwart JCes, as we can term them.

Note first though that the previous excuse was that if they only had more easy-to-access cash they'd sure be JC'ing the devil out of the economy, leading the recovery. Chicken lips, I say to that too.

Search for job creator and get thousands of hits. Even narrowed with an additional term like statistics, research or even the more loaded myth, the term is well covered. Try this one, or this one, or this one, as just a few examples. The fact is that considering facts, academicians, statisticians and even the occasional billionaire capitalist ridicule the JC fantasy.

Best I can come up with here is that those who choice to accept that rich companies and people do create jobs willingly is either:

  • an aspiration for public office and the subsequent financial support from business owners and PACs, or
  • a paternalistic need to believe that some rich father figure will look out for you because you can't survive without that

Many commentators, economists and scholars are quick to point out that creating jobs is coincidental to capitalism. The fewer employees you have, the lower your expenses and if your business is properly managed and selling the right stuff, the higher for margins and absolute dollar returns.

Job Stiflers

You have to be somewhat patriotic and some visionary to make jobs in this country and to pay decent wages. What those same observers also note is that America grew into a great economic power after the Great Depression and WWII because of the patriotic and visionary shared ideals related to a vibrant middle class. More consumers with more money works. Finding a billion poor customers half-way round the globe does nothing for Americans, just for the business owners.

Oddly enough, back at the start of the 20th Century, a few hard-nosed magnates got it. Henry Ford, for one, declared he wanted to pay his workers enough that they could afford the cars they built. In this same era up until recently that attitude was widespread in Europe too, with many companies defining their level of success by how many workers they employed.

Lackaday, in this Great Recession and stumbling recovery, the JCes have failed us, badly failed us.

If they were in fact out there expanding, starting up companies and even retaining their employees, we'd be well on the way to extremely low unemployment and high consumer demand. Instead, when they got lots of cash, they sat on it for interest or invested it overseas. They pretended that onerous regulations and taxes (there weren't any added in this red herring) kept them from hiring.

They, as a group, are unpatriotic and cowardly. They are unwilling to share in the effort of recovery. They are too gutless to do what they claim to live for — take risks and create jobs.

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