Colbert King’s column criticizing Mitt Romney’s surprising reticence about his business experience garnered around 4,500 comments. King argued that Romney has a good selling point in his business acumen, but should not be disingenuously pretending that the private sector’s chief responsibility is the production of jobs. In fact, it’s the production of profit, King says, which may or may not entail job growth. In pandering to what he thinks people want to hear in a weak economy, King says, Romney is actually underselling his accomplishments in business.
Commenters chimed in with a couple of points. Bitterblogger puts Romney’s conundrum in business terms:
The key to making a successful sale as an office-seeker is to identify what the customer believes he needs, and hone your message to persuade him that you’re the one to deliver it.
The customer electorate believes it needs replacements for jobs lost in the current economic turndown. Romney needs to sell that idea.
Ericcallenking elaborates on that thought: Romney’s selling the idea that he will make businesses happier, but doesn’t have an easier way of making that sound important to middle-class, non-business-owners:
There is an unspoken compact between ordinary Americans and the market. The only reason for low tax rates on businesses is that Americans believe that it will lead to job creation. If it doesn’t, the compact is over and taxes will be raised on the wealthy. It may not be the economic goal of companies to create jobs but it should be the goal of the rich industrialist in the interest of long term self- preservation. If private industry doesn’t create jobs then what good are they?
Adifferentpointofview thinks businesses are already pretty happy, and job creation would actually make things more difficult for them:
The stock market is much higher than it was when Obama took office and corporations are making record profits and sitting on record amounts of cash. They have nothing to complain about regarding Obama. They’ve just learned that they can make lots of money by keeping unemployment high and forcing existing employees to do extra work for no extra money. They saw what happened in 2009 when lots of people went begging for few jobs — low salaries and lots of extra unpaid work. Clearly companies like that scenario.
Taking that argument one step further, the best thing for American businesses would be . . . higher unemployment. This is the best economy in decades!
In case your head hasn’t exploded yet, Jumper1 says it all comes down to the possibility of a Higgs-bosonic presidency — barely understandable even by the cognoscenti, but, somehow, infinitely benign:
He is post-postmodern man. He is a complex derivative. Ineffable as a quantum state, he is only required to materialize under unknown future circumstances whose nature is unclear even to the savvy investor.
PostScript is pleased to report huge gains in the head-explosion industry, the effect of which cannot be measured by conventional means.