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-wide—all 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 modifications—all 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.
That's not fair. It's not fair to pursue productivity. In fact, isn't being productive something the unions frown upon? In fact, dare I say, productivity is offensive because it suggests hard work and getting ahead of others? Why that's... insensitive!
Is there any wonder why Romney is being painted with the Bain broadbrush?
Read the rest of Kessler's piece and pass it around.
Productively of course.
That'll tick off a certain segment of the 'policy mavens' and the culturally hyper-sensitive.