Skip to comments.The Incredible Bain Jobs Machine
Posted on 07/17/2012 6:58:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Did Mitt Romney and Bain Capital help office-supply retailer Staples create 88,000 jobs? 43,000? 252? Actually, Staples probably destroyed 100,000 jobs while creating millions of new ones.
Since 1986, Staples has opened 2,000 stores, eliminating the jobs of distributors and brokers who charged nasty markups for paper and office supplies. But it enabled hundreds of thousands of small (and not so small) businesses to stock themselves cheaply and conveniently and expand their operations.
It's the same story elsewhere. Apple employs just 47,000 people, and Google under 25,000. Like Staples, they have destroyed many old jobs, like making paper maps and pink "While You Were Out" notepads. But by lowering the cost of doing business they've enabled innumerable entrepreneurs to start new businesses and employ hundreds of thousands, even millions, of workers world-wideall while capital gets redeployed more effectively.
This process happens during every business cycle and always, always creates jobs. Yet is ignored by policy mavens.
It is now four years after the wheels fell off our financial system. The government has tried every gimmick to revive the economy: fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, loan write-downs, foreclosure modificationsall duds. It seems like no one remembers how an economy creates jobs anymore. The right answer, in fact the only answer, for jobs and better living standards, is productivity.
Economists define productivity as output per worker hour. But ramping up the output of trolleys or 8-track tapes won't increase living standards. It is not just technical efficiency that matters, it is also effectivenessthat is, producing what the economy really needs and consumers will pay for.
And so, in a broader sense, productivity is really about doing the right things the right way.
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