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   Waking up to NPR this morning, I heard an incredible interview on Morning Edition. Following a report on the Occupy Wall Street movement, an interview with  venture capitalist Bill Frezza of the Competitive Enterprise Institute tackled the myths about job creation head on. The summary barely hints at the bluntness of his message: creating jobs is the last thing business wants to do. Getting the country back on its feet is not the responsibility of business. The primary focus of business is to make the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost. In other words, making a profit is not the chief thing - it's the only thing we should expect businesses to do.

       Last week when the BBC ran an interview with stock trader Alessio Rastani, jaws dropped when he said straight out that he and his friends were rooting for economic collapse because they were prepared to make money from it. There was widespread speculation that Rastani had to be a hoax - speculation that has since been debunked.

    Frezza's remarks are potentially even more shocking to those waiting for business to do its part to put people back to work. He points out that if you substitute Expense Creation for Job Creation into all the rhetoric about what business is being asked to do, you'll get a much more accurate picture of what's going on. Payroll is an expense, like rent or raw materials; business doesn't go out of its way to run up expenses. To Obama's contention that 14 months is too long to wait for jobs to come back, he says business has every incentive to wait 14 months after the election to see what happens before doing anything.

      The Audio is now up, and a transcript. This interview lays out for all to see just what we're up against, the economic tunnel vision that has crippled our country. This is a must-hear for everyone, a REAL morning wake up call thanks to NPR. (No wonder the GOP is out to destroy them.)  (more)

   The first thing you should do, if you haven't already, is listen to the Bill Frezza interview. You will hear in no-nonsense terms what we realistically should - and should not - expect from business. Which should also change the debate about what we should - and should not - expect from government.

   The second thing you should do is reward NPR for running this, when it's the kind of clear unvarnished speech you will seldom if ever find on the commercial media. Throw some love at your local public radio stations, and contact your congress critters to tell them no way in Hell should NPR, PBS or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting end up on the chopping block.

    A few more things to consider. None of this discussion would be taking place in quite the same way if Occupy Wall Street hadn't happened. FOX NEWS would still be setting the talking points unchallenged. I suspect Lynn Neary went looking for something to 'Fair & Ballast' the Occupy Wall Street story, and bit off more than she expected.

Update 2: Here's a takeaway quote from the transcript:

NEARY: But is that good for the country? Is that good for business even?

FREZZA: You know, each business is run for the benefit of its owners, its shareholders, its customers, and its employees. It's not run for the benefit of the country. That's not why people run businesses.

emphasis added

       Remember that when they tell you that you must be prepared to sacrifice your income, your healthcare, your retirement, that you must be prepared to make do with schools short of teachers, empty firehouses, crumbling roads...  The business of America is business. It's not about you. They're the ones suffering, they're the whipping boys, they're the ones bearing the burden of regulations. And if you want to know why they really need that money if it's not to create jobs, take a look here and here.

Some Takeaway Points

    For a historical perspective on what happens to societies that become fixated on some  extreme vision to the exclusion of the bigger picture, I recommend Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. For something to explain it to the Children - and people who find it all too confusing, I recommend The Lorax, one of the most subversive books Dr. Seuss ever put out. It's not just about the environment any more.

  And if you're looking for hard facts and documentation why the world view of Bill Frezza is so self destructive, if you want something solid on which to base policy that works, you really need to read The Spirit Level - Why Equality is Better for Everyone.

Originally posted to xaxnar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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  •  Tip Jar (273+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, WheninRome, billlaurelMD, tobendaro, cama2008, filkertom, angelajean, ThothXXI, palantir, JTinDC, jimstaro, HCKAD, ask, BlueInARedState, librarianman, divineorder, democracy inaction, markthshark, coppercelt, DamselleFly, rk2, DerAmi, J M F, jamess, sodalis, mconvente, UTvoter, SingerInTheChoir, limae, Leftcandid, jobu, Thinking Fella, Dallasdoc, 42, Gooserock, mofembot, penguins4peace, pat208, elengul, Wes Lee, Grassroots Mom, psnyder, qannabbos, Pandoras Box, MKinTN, felagund, celdd, GreenSooner, boilerman10, Snud, GoGoGoEverton, Egalitare, Triscula, most peculiar mama, Mark Sumner, The grouch, Emerson, hooper, buckybadger1988, magicsister, jdmorg, bwintx, kamarvt, Josiah Bartlett, just another vet, Hear Our Voices, dance you monster, Williston Barrett, Lothar2009, yawnimawke, Stein, caul, martini, MKSinSA, Nina Katarina, Cory Bantic, jfromga, cosette, DWG, Showman, lulusbackintown, boadicea, PBen, kurious, Haf2Read, keirdubois, Empower Ink, Geekesque, citizen31, blue armadillo, LI Mike, merrily1000, erratic, luckylizard, zedaker, Onomastic, jgilhousen, pittie70, anodnhajo, flitedocnm, ZedMont, ratzo, Deep Dark, Book of Hearts, emmasnacker, Sychotic1, dsb, Vicky, cececville, Matt Z, dark daze, DEMonrat ankle biter, chimpy, Herodotus Prime, shaharazade, HeartlandLiberal, mystery2me, tapestry, virginwoolf, Flint, SaintC, Turbonerd, johnmorris, highacidity, Brian B, barbwires, zerelda, The Lone Apple, Happy Days, Themistoclea, temptxan, wayoutinthestix, MichaelPH, Brooke In Seattle, Polly Syllabic, Getreal1246, Shockwave, middleagedhousewife, bronte17, Oh Mary Oh, Fury, Unit Zero, sostos, One Pissed Off Liberal, Jake Williams, muddy boots, Clues, Gowrie Gal, buckstop, Arahahex, tidalwave1, terabytes, Statusquomustgo, greengemini, brentbent, mungley, eru, Chitown Kev, cpresley, Sylv, old possum, i dont get it, bookwoman, Eric Blair, Mumon, blonde moment, majcmb1, fumie, greenbastard, mkfarkus, rb608, Ray Pensador, gatorcog, Renee, redlum jak, zerone, dan667, annetteboardman, Lily O Lady, Tea and Strumpets, MNGlasnant, krllos, Wolf10, Habitat Vic, basquebob, Catte Nappe, Mother Mags, Ken in MN, Chinton, opinionated, IndieGuy, joe shikspack, sleipner, sockpuppet, grelinda, Dancun74, Mislead, filby, TexDem, Railfan, eztempo, Laconic Lib, Preston S, dwahzon, tgypsy, semiot, catly, Marc in KS, LeftOfYou, Mac in Maine, Haningchadus14, legendmn, VictorLaszlo, saluda, tacet, catwho, Trotskyrepublican, jimreyn, dotsright, belle1, petulans, dewtx, orestes1963, ColoTim, Marjmar, pat bunny, kck, Eric Nelson, BarackStarObama, pengiep, lotlizard, FogCityJohn, concernedamerican, kurt, millwood, makettle, FindingMyVoice, Alice Venturi, marleycat, Isara, NormAl1792, La Gitane, pgm 01, mrkvica, satanicpanic, orangecurtainlib, Captain Chaos, riverlover, carpunder, fallina7, JMoore, Involuntary Exile, OutCarolineStreet, rukidingme, Teiresias70, quagmiremonkey, dewley notid, COwoman, monkeybrainpolitics, shadowplayer, CTLiberal, BYw, shari, Blu Gal in DE, PZinOR, Wood Dragon, Thestral, bnasley, fiddlingnero, BMarshall, Knarfc, splashy, Question Authority

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:27:41 AM PDT

  •  that sounds about right (116+ / 0-)

    Businesses try to make money. That imperative doesn't necessarily overlap with full employment, stable communities, healthy society. That's why we need government. The system needs governing.

    Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

    by mightymouse on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:45:17 AM PDT

  •  The r's (25+ / 0-)

    keep telling their lies and the dems keep letting them.  The truth is government pulled us out of the depression by instituting programs that not only put people to work but improved our country to the point where business could thrive.  We can do the same thing now only for conservatives who don't want to waste money on America because they can get their profit anywhere now.  If we invest in America there will be a lot of wealthy investors cut out of the war profiteering and other monies to be made from and off our current government spending.  

    And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

    by tobendaro on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:54:42 AM PDT

  •  Not surprising. (13+ / 0-)

    Given that the GOP tends to be much more business-friendly, it really is in their best interest to refrain from hiring, thus discrediting Obama and making the election of a republican that much more likely. They can, in a very real sense, hold the jobs hostage until they get what they want. But honestly, why would they hire? They have already proven that they can still turn a record profit after substantially decreasing the work force, so why hire unnecessary labor? Pitiful that people feel the need to defend them so much. No one needs the protection less.

    Many Americans fear that universal health care would destroy their way of life. In that it would get them the anti-psychotic meds they need, I agree.

    by ThothXXI on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:58:41 AM PDT

    •  Except they aren't. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, mrkvica, ThothXXI
      Given that the GOP tends to be much more business-friendly....
      Past history indicates that businesses make more money during Democratic administrations, because more people have more money and spend it on the goods and services that businesses produce.  Republicans are "business-friendly" only in that they cut taxes, but what good are lower taxes if you aren't getting enough customers to make the profit you business needs to sustain itself?  

      Off topic: great sigline!  

      Many Americans fear that universal health care would destroy their way of life. In that it would get them the anti-psychotic meds they need, I agree.

      Renewable energy brings national global security.      -6.25, -6.05

      by Calamity Jean on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 12:42:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, Thestral

        I've made the same point on other occasions. Ultimately, it really would be in the best interests of the corporations if they did hire people, since it would strengthen the buying power of the middle class, get money in circulation, and ensure that people will have both the money and the confidence to actually buy the company's products.

        Against all reason, however, the evidence is mounting that corporations do not really think beyond the next quarter. I can only imagine that in the back of their minds they play a dangerous game, going as far as they possibly can before the system breaks, and since they've got their fingers on the system's pulse, they'll know before anybody else and can grab up their cash and high-tail it to the Caribbean. Who knows. Point is, they don't seem to think long-term. They only see the shiny Republican tax cuts. That's my impression, anyway.

        Many Americans fear that universal health care would destroy their way of life. In that it would get them the anti-psychotic meds they need, I agree.

        by ThothXXI on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:04:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's pretty much it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          There are companies that have shut down divisions that were turning a profit, discontinued products people still wanted to buy, developed promising new technologies and never brought them to market - because there were other things they could do to make more money faster RIGHT NOW. To Hell with modest returns and the long run. It's the tyranny of shareholders who want their value maximized NOW or they'll take their money elsewhere, the money to be made from useless mergers by firing employees and cannibalizing pension plans, the golden parachutes that mean no great penalty for failure, but every incentive to keep the gravy train running as long as possible.

          And now that they've destabilized and deregulated everything else chasing the score of the moment, they're buying up treasury bonds like mad before the collapse because they know they've turned everything else to garbage.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:35:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  'companies' seem to think this way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar

            and, FSM help us, the leaders -CEOs etc- of companies think this way too -
            'companies' are focused on short-term profit at the expense of long-term viability, and their executives are often personally focused on short-term profit 'take the money and run' -not even for the good of the company (let alone the nation)but for their own personal gain.

            meanwhile, we peons, wage-slaves, and wage-slave-wannabes are still encouraged to have loyalty, patriotism, responsibility & all that other stuff.
            sigh
            < /rant >

  •  Not one person in the whole frickin' world... (11+ / 0-)

    ...goes into a career to create jobs.

    "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks," - Obama cutting off the bankers re their rationalization of bonuses.

    by dov12348 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:03:08 AM PDT

  •  Born again for jobs creation? (9+ / 0-)
    To Obama's contention that 14 months is too long to wait for jobs to come back, he says business has every incentive to wait 14 months after the election to see what happens before doing anything.

    Would like to see him drop the deficit talk and come out with 3x the size jobs program he is proposing.

  •  Send this to your congresscritter (5+ / 0-)

      Especially is they are a repub, like mine who keep saying that private enterprise will hire, except for all the regulations.   OBVIOUS LIE!

  •  creating jobs is a happy byproduct (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, GoGoGoEverton

    of making money. So i would expect that you would see that very profitable companies have oodles of employees.

    Walt Disney became a bazillionaire and in the process hires tons of people.

    Ray Kroc

    Henry Ford

    Bill Gates

    Mr. Exxon

    •  So, Why Aren't There More Jobs? (5+ / 0-)

      Companies are making more money than ever.  Where are the jobs?

      •  There aren't more jobs because (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eatbeans, PZinOR, saluda, Calamity Jean

        hiring a new employee is a RISK for the future.  You are spending money -- salary, benefits, overhead -- in the hope that this expense will be profitable in the long run. (I can tell you that it typically takes some time for a new employee to be profitable.)   Businesses do not look at where they are today (and not all "companies are making more money than ever -- look at return on investment numbers -- some are doing well, some are not).  In order to make hiring decisions, you need to predict where you WILL BE in a year, or two, or more.  And any responsible business owner does not just "guess" at that.  

        •  Also technological innovation (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dude1701, Ultranaut, tacet, xaxnar

          When I operated a business and was visited by an equipment sales person, the first words out of their mouths were how many fewer employees would be required if we bought xyz machine.

        •  There are no jobs because there is no demand (6+ / 0-)

          There is no demand because the 1%ers are taking all the money for themselves and leaving less and less for the 99%ers.  

          The problem is that all the current so-called solutions are putting the cart (business) before the horse (labor).   Our polciies should be about directly creating jobs, not going through the middleman businesses.

          Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

          by howd on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:22:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The question is how to create private sector (0+ / 0-)

            jobs -- how to get business to want to take the risk to hire.  

            The problem with a temporary stimulus is just that -- it's temporary -- and business knows that.  

            •  You take the risk out of hiring ... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TDreamer, Calamity Jean, mrkvica, xaxnar

              by making sure there is a high demand and the way to increase demand is to make sure EVERYONE is getting a fair share of the income pie.  When the richest 1% are taking in almost 25% of the income pie you are going to have a demand problem.  If the income distribution was what it was 30 years ago, more people would have more money, which would increase demand, which would increase jobs.  As you said, the stimulus, i.e. tax cuts and business incentives, is only temporary.  The true solution lies in more equal distribution of the income and wealth.

              Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

              by howd on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:33:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It wouldn't just increase demand (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PZinOR

                It'd also go a long way towards closing the deficit - more people making more money = more revenue to fund the government = more and better services = more people making more money.

                "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

                by xaxnar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:56:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

            I'll take Apple and the iPad as an example:
            There is huge demand for iPads.  The "99%ers" are buying iPdad like candy.  But does it result in extra jobs?  Nope, because Apple out-sourced iPad manufacturing to the sweatshops in Asia, where workers make pennies per hour.
            So here's a product with huge demand, yet results in no extra jobs in the US.

            It's not the case that "there's no demand" nor is it the case that the "99%ers" lack the disposable income to exercise that demand.  They're buying lots and lots oc things.  As someone said above, business are making record profits.  That can't be the case if the "99%ers" aren't spending.

            •  Demand created Jobs (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrkvica

              ... but as you said just not US jobs.  Apple still had to hire more people for the increased demand, they were just able to do so in Asia.  

              In addition, if the 99%ers had a more equitable amount of the income pie they would have EVEN MORE disposable income creating more demand, and  maybe this time for US made goods!

              Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

              by howd on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:44:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Partly Right, IMHO (0+ / 0-)

          I think the reason there aren't more jobs being offered has to do with the cost of taking on new employees compared to the possibility of profiting from them.  I think those considering policy measures would do well to cast them in this light.  How can we lower the (opportunity) cost of hiring more people while increasing the chance that they will be profitable?

      •  Because of efficiencies. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kickemout

        Workers become more efficient over time, due to technological advances, advances in health, safer working environments, time off, etc.

        And that doubled during the recession, as companies laid off employees, then found ways to stay as productive as they were before yet with fewer employees, thus there's no reaosn to re-hire those that were laid off.

        Lastly, outsourcing to countries whose employees work at what what Americans would consider "below-living-wage".

    •  The bazillionaires you mention (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Abelia, Calamity Jean

      the ones who hired tons of people, all made their fortune by producing a product -- actually making something they needed to hire people to make.

      Whether it's animation, hamburgers, motorcars, software, or gasoline, none of them made a fortune by buying and selling pieces of paper in a financial market.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:46:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Opps Mr. Exxon Must Not of Got the Memo (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Abelia, tacet, xaxnar, Thestral

      Creating jobs is the happy byproduct of making money eh?  I guess, Mr. Exxon didn't get the memo:

      Together, the Big Five oil companies:
      Recorded $36 billion in profits in the second quarter of this year.

      Repurchased nearly $10 billion worth of their own stock in the second quarter alone, thereby boosting the value of remaining shares.

      Distributed more than $7 billion in dividend payments to their investors in the second quarter.
      Paid their executives a total of nearly $220 million in 2010.

      Despite these massive profits, oil companies are not creating jobs in the United States or globally.

      Despite generating $546 billion in profits between 2005 and 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP combined to reduce their U.S. workforce by 11,200 employees over that time.

      Just in 2010 alone, the big 5 oil companies reduced their global workforce by a combined 4,400 employees, while making a combined $73 billion in profits.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:27:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll go you one further: (28+ / 0-)
    The primary focus of business is to make the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost.

    Actually, you can shorten this to simply:

    "The primary focus of business is to make profit."

    ...period.

    Sometimes that means making "the highest quality product", but not necessarily. If a business feels it will make a higher profit by making a better product and charging more for it, it will do so, but if they feel they'll make a higher profit by going as cheap as possible, they'll do that instead.

    Of course, the ultimate dream for them would be to sell as many products/services at the highest possible price, while producing/providing those products/services for the lowest possible cost, with the fewest possible employees/overhead expenses.

    •  Beat me to it. (12+ / 0-)

      Some businesspeople may take enough pride in what they do that they want to make a high quality product. But for most, the bottom line is the only thing that matters.

      Does anybody seriously consider junk bonds or fraudulent securities to be a "high quality product"? Maybe the suckers who bought them did--for a short while. But not the hucksters touting them.

      Business is all about making profits. Making and selling products--of whatever "quality"--is merely a means to that end, and will be certainly given short shrift or even chucked altogether if it can be gotten away with.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:46:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He is correct. Gov taxes them to even it out.nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA
  •  He's absolutely right (31+ / 0-)

    Of course, there's a corollary:

    The rest of us have absolutely no reason to show the slightest concern for their well-being, either.  If it's every man for himself, welcome to the jungle.  Are you ready for Ms. Warren's "marauding bands", Mr. Frezza?

    In feudal times, the lords of the manner knew they had obligations of noblesse oblige toward the serfs.  They may have treated them badly, but there were still lines they crossed at their peril.  Welcome to that world?

    sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

    by stivo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:29:31 AM PDT

  •  Higher productivity.... (8+ / 0-)

    Less people producing more profit is a fundamental aspect of capitolism.

    Job growth comes from sales increases which leads to production processes becoming overburdened. Therefore, production hours are added. Usually first overtime, then more shifts. Now of course, this is for a manufacturing based economy.

    But what happens when it becomes cheaper to move production to a different country?

    This better be good. Because it is not going away.

    by DerAmi on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:31:08 AM PDT

  •  What's REALLY Irritating, (15+ / 0-)

    At least for me apparently, is that when there have been discussions like this, short or long, those asking Never say "Hey wait a minute, wasn't the so called reaganomics, free market capitalism, supply side capitalism, whatever 1984 spin term used, sold on the fact that push the wealth to the top and there would never be a need for Government to invest in innovation and economic growth making a more prosperous economy for everyone?"!!!

    One of the reasons I see is those with, the benefactors of, want to keep what they built over the past thirty years not only in place but to reap even more and hoard that!!!

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:31:41 AM PDT

    •  They're Taking Over. (5+ / 0-)

      Keep it simple, this is what's happening, wasting any more words on it is only a distraction.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:42:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Growing Up Before (5+ / 0-)

        reaganomics, and into the workforce then, not perfect but innovative and moving forward, envied by the rest of the world, can remember the hype as to that new capitalism. Shorter work weeks as technology expanded, thus more time with family etc., raises were pretty regular and if not benefits were, nickle and dimed but one was moving forward and it showed respect  as well as an employer wanted to keep the employee, products came forward and the innovative workforce quickly improved them and on and on. That collapsed as soon as they moved into the so called free market capitalism.

        The new was supposed to take care of everything, pretty much, even the infrastructure needs of the society as they are the same needs of the capitalist in order to survive and grow.

        Oh what a pretty picture they painted as those like Nader were saying "hold on, tain't gonna work that way!"!!

        CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

        by jimstaro on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:50:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yup, (8+ / 0-)

    everytime I hear about another round of mass layoffs,

    or another Factory getting set up Overseas,


    I think, those Job Creators -- seem to have it backwards.


    Cutting jobs, is really Creating them,

    -- maybe in Bizarro world,

    where that 1% lives.


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:36:44 AM PDT

  •  Even that is wrong (14+ / 0-)
    The primary focus of business is to make the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost.

    A business man would say its role is to maximize profit - that does not mean making the best quality product at the lowest cost. It means making the product that makes the most profit - it could be a crap product for a high price (think colas, bottled water).

    Ultimately this sentiment is more or less correct. It is the job of government to "regulate" acceptable behavior, and to create an environment where business can prosper. The other side of course is that businesses need to pay a portion of their profits to keep this system going.

    "I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong". Feynman

    by taonow on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:36:57 AM PDT

  •  The Demand Dilemma (17+ / 0-)

    Its all about demand, demand, demand.  When backlogs get filled and capacity is insufficient to knock down that backlog, then and only then will businesses hire.  Wet it, wipe it, good night.  All else is fluff.

    Our dilemma is that Mother Earth has reached her carrying capacity.  We can no longer live the way we have lived.  We need to move quickly to economics of conservation and sustainability.  I have yet to here a credible voice out there today speaking to this.

    There was one such voice, a familiar one, who spoke to this more than 70 years ago:

    In our meetings with other nations I have feeling that little attention is being paid to the subject of conservation and use of natural resources.  I am surprised that the world knows so little about it self.  Conservation is a basis for permanent peace.(my emphasis)
    Its occurs to me, therefore, that even berfore the United Nations meet...it might do much good to hold a meeting in the United States of all the united ans associated nations...

    I repeat again that I am more and more convinced the Conservation is the basis for permanent peace...

    I think the time is ripe.  

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    We need a tough love liberal.

    Is very bad to steal jobu's rum...is very bad

    by jobu on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:37:06 AM PDT

  •  Frezza also promulgated the meme (14+ / 0-)

    of business people as "victims" of potential tax hikes and economic policies designed to help the jobless.  Boo hoo.

    The primary focus of business may be "to make the highest quality product at the lowest possible cost," but who is going to buy the product if nobody has any money?

    -5.13,-5.64; Conviction is a greater enemy to truth than lies. -- Nietzsche

    by gizmo59 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:37:08 AM PDT

  •  Holy shit: facts wrangled from CEI representative? (12+ / 0-)

    Warning!  Warning!  Journalism detected on NPR!  Salient questions asked!  

    The rich are eating the world. The Republicans are their teeth. The Democrats are dentists who refuse to pull those teeth because they are so beautiful and sharp.

    by Leftcandid on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:41:46 AM PDT

  •  It's Not Nearly That Good (19+ / 0-)
    The primary focus of business is to make the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost.

    Wrong. You got it right next sentence.

    making a profit is ... the only thing we should expect businesses to do.

    Producing goods and services is a costly distraction in the modern economy where we let the highest incomes be mostly taken home. Gambling on finance produces the greatest profits the fastest, which is why finance produces now 40% of all profits in the US economy.

    And finance doesn't produce a single thing.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:41:59 AM PDT

    •  Hence the US Treasury Play (8+ / 0-)

      And the safest, quickest way to make money today is to "borrow" money from the Fed at 0% interest cost and invest it in US government debt paying anywhere between 2% to 3%.  That's government socialism at it's best.  

      Gooserock, I know you know this, but I thought that it needed to be added to your very apt comment.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:14:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great Con (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        saluda, Calamity Jean, xaxnar, Thestral

        Gee if only I could have thought of  borrowing money at 0% and then lending it back to the same person, i.e. US Government, at 2-3%.  What genius!  What hard workers!  What contributors to our society!  Is it any wonder that these Street guys are paid so much!  If only the rest of us 99%ers were as smart or worked as hard.

        Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

        by howd on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:47:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What bullshit... (9+ / 0-)

    it isn't even about product quality anymore. It's about gaming the system for personal benefit. You mean derivatives is a "quality product"? Hedge funds...quality product?

  •  Our problem is that the economy (14+ / 0-)

    is neatly divided into producers and consumers. I say "neatly" because that leaves the commercial class, which derives its profit from moving things around, out of the picture.
    What we should do is divide the economy into three parts: Producers, users and abusers.  Then we could more clearly see that the abusers, the middlemen or commercial class, are the one siphoning value from the other two and providing nothing in return.  Where it gets totally messed up is when the whole thing goes virtual and the commercial class simply siphons off the money (tokens of value) and causes the economy to grind to a halt.

    Wall Street is using money like some people use sex--to dominate others and gratify themselves. Period.  It's another example of privatized profit and socialized cost.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuzZQ8LTE2c

    by hannah on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:46:56 AM PDT

    •  It sounds like you're talking about (4+ / 0-)

      health insurance companies, creators and benefactors of the high transaction costs of healthcare.  May apply to other types of insurance as well, but not as tragically.

      Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

      by gatorcog on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:23:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, once you start looking for middlemen, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, Thestral

        they're everywhere and growing in numbers.  Think of the army of political campaign consultants, pollsters, advertisers, media massagers, etc.  Advertising is largely abusive. It's all about creating demand which, in theory exists in the beginning--i.e. we're supposed to believe that producers responds to consumer demand.  But, that's practically impossible.  A user can't want what's useful until after it's been made, if he exists in a world where time is linear and the present follows the past in a fixed sequence.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuzZQ8LTE2c

        by hannah on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:42:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, duh! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jobu, IARXPHD, Kurt Sperry

    This is a revelation to anybody?

    Of course business exist to create wealth.  

    Capitalism is really good at what it does - create wealth, reward innovation and hard work (and good luck), allocate resources "efficiently".

    That means they want to outsource work to the lowest cost region, they want to save labor expense, they want to minimize regulatory compliance cost.  That's what they do - and there is nothing wrong with it.

    But not everything can be measured in economic terms.  That's why government polices and regulations exist - for things like worker safety, environmental protection, consumer protection, infrastructure development, the Fed dual mandate of full employment and low inflation, poverty elimination and relief, education, ...................

    All these are things the country needs, but they are not obvious short term economic benefits to any one corporation.  In fact, any one corporation trying to do these things unilaterally would be operating with a huge competitive disadvantagve, and could not exist.  That's why government needs to make everyone do it.

    why I'm a Democrat - Isaiah 58:6-12, Matthew 25:31-46

    by marking time on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:48:12 AM PDT

  •  He is correct. (8+ / 0-)

    Nobody starts a business for the purpose of hiring people.  The purpose for starting a business is because you believe that you can provide a good or service and make a profit doing that.  

    Of course, successful businesses, even successful small businesses, usually do hire people.  And the most successful businesses hire lots of people.  But that's not their purpose for existing.  I'm a partner in a law firm, which is a small business.  The purpose of the law firm is so the lawyers can make money practicing law.  Yes, we hire people -- young lawyers with no experience, paralegals, secretaries, accounting personnel, IT people, etc.  But that's not the purpose for our business.  

    And, hiring someone is a risk.  Any employer will tell you that hiring someone is an investment -- good if it helps you become more profitable, bad if it is simply an expense that does nothing to increase revenue.  For example, our non-lawyer employees are essentially there so that the lawyers don't have to spend time on the business side of the operation and can practice law -- which is what generates revenue.  And, if revenue drops for whatever reason, and the partners in the law firm are not making as much money as they historically have made -- or want to make -- one of the first things that can be done is to cut non-essential employees who make work easier for the lawyers, but don't necessarily contribute to the bottom line for the firm.

    I know that reality sounds harsh.  But people need to understand reality.  Business is there to make a profit for its owners.  Period.  And owners generally won't sacrifice profitability in the name of providing jobs that don't contribute to the profitability of the business.  

    The other thing people don't understand is that business competes with other similar business for investment and people.  If our profits per partner went down, we'd likely lose our highest producing lawyers to other firms.  That's how law firms go out of business.  We have to compete to keep our profitability level on par with similar businesses.  Same goes for public companies that have to compete for investment dollars - they have to keep return on investment up to a level that remains competitive for investment dollars.  So, despite what some people think, it's generally not an option for most businesses to lower their profit margins simply in the name of hiring more people.  If you don't produce a certain return on investment (and that's what's important, NOT overall dollars) you go out of business because no one will invest (in our case, practice law) with your business.

    If government wants to foster more hiring, there needs to be some incentive for a business to take the risk inherent in hiring additional people.  Simply saying, "you have an obligation to hire people!" is not going to cut it.  The million dollar question, economically, is what will provide that incentive for business to take the risk inherent in hiring more people.  That's where economists on the left and economists on the right disagree.  

    •  Quibble (6+ / 0-)
      one of the first things that can be done is to cut non-essential employees who make work easier for the lawyers, but don't necessarily contribute to the bottom line for the firm.

      This doesn't make a lot of sense to an outsider like me.  Even if business drops, the $10 / hour administrative assistant or $20 / hour paralegal makes a lot more sense (to me) to retain, rather than an attorney whose billable hours clock out at $300 / $400 per hour running the copy machine.  Even in dead times.

      Tea Party manifesto: We're resigned to our collective fate because we don't want no stinkin' collective future with the likes of you

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:18:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Simple. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SingleVoter, Thestral, VClib

        Attorneys will work a little more for the extra money.  The administrative assistant, among other things, saves the attorney some free time and does not add one cent to revenue.  We've done things like increase the number of attorneys assigned to a secretary, decrease accounting staff (and replace with some automation), decrease support services, etc. in lean times -- all of which mean that attorneys may spend a little more time in the office, but may make more money.  We won't cut out support staff completely -- we'll just cut back, which means that the attorneys will do a little more for themselves that they otherwise might have had support staff do.  That's especially true if the attorneys are not working crazy long hours -- 220 or more billable hours a month.  If the attorneys are working, say, 170 billable hours a month, we will cut support staff even if it costs attorneys a bit of extra time doing a few things that support staff might otherwise do (or wait a bit longer for IT services, or make a couple of copies themselves)  in the name of keeping their take-home pay at the level they want it to be.  Or maybe they will spend a bit more time on the business side of what needs to be done.  or they do more actual typing of documents themselves.  There are lots of ways to cut back without cutting out completely.  Maybe we will have a secretary work for three attorneys instead of two -- but she won't do some of the personal services (like helping the attorney with work for charitable and/or community organizations that the attorney belongs to, as my secretary sometimes does) for them, and maybe they'll make a copy themselves, or maybe they'll type stuff out themselves on the computer. Maybe we'll have one less IT guy -- and the time attorneys have to wait for an IT response will go up a bit.  Maybe we'll cut back on office support services, so attorneys have to be more aware of set ups and clean ups for in-office meetings.  There are lots of ways to cut back, without cutting out.  I suspect that the owner of any small business is the same way.

        When attorneys are taking home a lot of money, they are willing to give up a few dollars so as to make life easier for themselves in the office.  When their take home goes down, they are less likely to be willing to make that trade.  

        •  From an efficiency and best use of time standpoint (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aquarius40, Sychotic1, Odysseus, Ultranaut

          ...this still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

          Of course, I understand that the attorneys in the firm want to protect their salaries, and their jobs, so they're willing to take on more of the mundane tasks rather than practicing law when there's a lack of billable hours in a month.

          But from an ROI perspective - it would seem (again, to the outside observer) that jettisoning an attorney or two would provide a lot better ROI than laying off an admin assistant go.  

          I guess that's why I'm not a partner in a law firm.

          Thanks for your viewpoint.

          Tea Party manifesto: We're resigned to our collective fate because we don't want no stinkin' collective future with the likes of you

          by Richard Cranium on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:53:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Jettisoning an attorney makes no sense (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            because the only thing we are paid for is attorney billable time.  Attorneys add to the bottom line.  If we can bill an associate's time for more than that associate costs us (including his/her share of all overhead expenses) we make money on that attorney.  

            We do not bill out support staff.  Clients do not, and will not, pay for support staff services.  That is overhead, pure and simple.  A secretary does not bring in any revenue for the firm.  And, when the amount of money I'm taking home each month goes down, the first place I look to cut is overhead, even if it means a couple of extra hours a month for me.  

            •  I promise you that my attorney... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              howd, Mrs M, xaxnar

              ...bills out every phone call, copy, email and fax sent from his firm while he's working on my case, regardless of whether he or his secretary or paralegal does the task.  He may take home $75 or $100 per hour, but I guarantee you that the "overhead" (including partner profit sharing) is covered in the remainder of the $400 / hour that I'm charged.

              Tea Party manifesto: We're resigned to our collective fate because we don't want no stinkin' collective future with the likes of you

              by Richard Cranium on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:12:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Different thing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                most law firms bill out expenses, like copies.  That is to recover costs.  The primary way of making money is to bill the time of the attorney, or -- to a much lesser degree -- the paralegal.  Paralegals are profitable if you can bill them out, over a year, for more than the cost of their salary plus the overhead in hiring them.  And, just hiring a paralegal does not guarantee that you (1) will be able to generate enough work for them to do to make them profitable (nobody hires a lawyer for the paralegal); and (2) will be able to actually bill for what they do -- they will do a good enough job for me to actually charge clients for their time.  

                Non-legal support staff -- secretaries, accounting, ITS, office support, etc. -- are not billed out, and we cannot recover the time they spend.  Those kinds of employees -- we do not bill for their time -- are overhead built into my billable hour rate.  And if, for example, the amount I take home per hour I work is cut, in order to take home the same amount of money, I need to (1) work more; (2) cut overhead; or (3) a combination of the two.  

                None of our clients will pay for the time of non-legal support staff.  

            •  From an Accounting point of view (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              howd

              That would depend.  Attorneys are like cost centers.  If an attorney is not doing enough billable hours (like your story) in comparison to the other attorneys, he  is dragging down wages throughout the company and it  may, in fact, be better to jettison one attorney, which would bring up salaries all around.

              Of course that would require a good cost accountant (in other words a real accounting person, not a billing clerk) to determine the most cost effective decision.

              #Occupy Wallstreet - Politicians will not support the movement until it is too big to fail.

              by Sychotic1 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:30:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We do have that data (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                and we look at it, believe me.  

                An attorney's profitability to the firm is not based just on his or her billable hours, of course.  If an attorney generates a lot of work for lots of associates, but bills out fewer hours himself, he may well be more profitable to the firm than the attorney who has enough work to keep himself busy but does not generate any work for associates.  

              •  The bosses never see themselves (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ultranaut, 18038, Mrs M

                as dead weight.

                In this case the lawyers are the bosses as such they don't see any of the work of others as valuable. They say things like our time is billable therefor more important. Never mind if 90% of their "work" is collating all the work of their support staff.

                They see it as they are billing for their lawyeriness rather than for the complete legal service which includes all that work done by the support staff.

                As such they make illogical decisions like cutting cheap support staff and farming that work to higher paid attorneys ignoring the fact that said attorney having time to do this menial work means there is insufficient demand for their services and the overall firm would be better off letting that high paid attorney go and retain the significantly cheaper grunts in order to maximize the time of their remaining attorneys.

                This would be the rational business practice. Because an attorney who is making copies is still an overpaid copy-boy while he's doing it even if his potential earnings are so much greater.

                The ultimate failure here is undervaluing the support staff. People like Coffeetalk and his partners don't see that staff as an integral part of the service they are providing looking at them instead as a personal convenience.  

                I'd blame this on the lawyers overblown sense of importance but it's pretty much endemic in the way bosses think.

                •  This is so wrong I don't know where to start. (4+ / 0-)

                  Let's just say that in order for ANYBODY to get paid, people have to hire the firm to do legal work.  And we absolutely positively track how much legal work a lawyer brings into the firm.  Partners are people who have demonstrated an ability to attract legal work, based on their years of experience, reputation, record, etc.  A person coming out of law school has options:  (1) go into practice for himself, and see what work he gets; or (2) come to work for a firm like ours, where he has a sure paycheck, a steady flow of work, and is able to develop a practice and a reputation in an area for himself.  

                  Nobody -- nobody, nobody, nobody -- pays my firm for the support staff.  Period.  end of story.  The support staff relies on the attorneys bringing in legal work in order to have a job.  It's not an "overblown sense of importance." It's a economic realty.  You can be the best legal secretary in the world -- nobody gives us a case to handle or a deal to negotiate because we have great legal secretaries.  

                  The support staff provide a service TO THE LAWYERS so the lawyers can provide a service to their clients.  If my secretary screws up and something is not timely filed, he doesn't get sued for malpractice -- I do.  I am responsible for the legal work performed for clients -- not my secretary, not my paralegal, but me.  My secretary is responsible for performing a service for me so that I can perform legal work for clients.  I pay my secretary for the service he performs for me so that I can be paid by my clients for legal services I do for them.  The client will not pay for support staff -- that's part of the overhead that goes into my hourly rate.  And we pay our non-support staff at the high end of the market because we want to make sure that the best people we can get are providing services to us, because that makes it easier for the lawyers to provide legal services to the clients.   But the clients pay for lawyers.  That's economic reality.  

                  You know (to use an extreme example) Lady Gaga's road crew provide a significant service necessary for people to go see her show.  But nobody buys a ticket based on who the sound engineer is.  The sound engineer provides a service to her so she can give the best product possible to her fans. That's part of her overhead.  She is the one who attracts the paying audience.  That's why she makes zillions more than the sound guy.  I'm nowhere near worth what Lady Gaga gets (not even in the same universe).  But the principle is the same -- the lawyers make more because they are the reason we have clients.  And their compensation reflects how many clients they bring to the firm.  

                  •  I think the truth in this case (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Skex

                    lies somewhere in the middle.  You are correct in that the Lawyers bring in the work, through reputation etc. and they do the things that clericals etc. cannot do, i.e. litigating, etc.  However, it is not a best use of funds to have a litigator answering phones, making copies, filing briefs, etc. which can be done by support staff.  Maximizing profit results in letting support people do those things that they can do in order to free lawyers to do what only they can do.  

                    Without that secretary, chances are your legal briefs would not be filed on time, which would directly impact your business...unless you filed them yourself, which is probably not the best use of your time.

                    So, in order to summarize (I know, too late) it is people like me who look at the cost centers and decide where the best use of talent is.  The only thing that the accountant may not be able to define is some of the intangibles, like the guy who doesn't bill many hours but is a rainmaker...however, I hazard to guess that Accountants that deal with legal firms have figured out a way to factor that in as well :)

                    #Occupy Wallstreet - Politicians will not support the movement until it is too big to fail.

                    by Sychotic1 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:49:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Rainmaking is not an intangible. (0+ / 0-)

                      It's definitely measurable.  And all law firms measure it.  

                      And nobody's talking about lawyers spending hours and hours copying and walking to court to do filing.  If there's a downturn, however, the first to go are people who are not making a profit for the firm.  And if a lawyer has only 150 billable hours of work a month (typically, we bill 180 and up), he's probably still profitable (if he's an associate, especially), but having him share a secretary with 2 other people instead of 1 is not going to keep him  from doing that 150 hours of billable time, but it will cut expenses.  

                  •  No people pay you for legal services (0+ / 0-)

                    Which includes not just your knowledge of the law but also all the ancillary work involved in addressing what ever matter caused them to need your services.

                    Including research, writing and filing briefs and other paperwork, Yes they pay your support staff, it's just indirect.

                    I'm not arguing that a Law Firm can exist without any lawyers my point is that paying a lawyer's salary for someone to do non-legal grunt work is a waste of resources if you could pay someone less to do that same work.

                    Ever heard of something called opportunity cost? That's the cost of doing a lesser task when you could be doing a more productive task.

                    An attorney who's making copies or doing other grunt work is incurring an opportunity cost of what ever the differences between his pay and what would be paid to a non-lawyer doing that same task.

                    This is basic micro-economics here, you can argue and rationalize and try to justify your practice until you are blue in the face but the fact remains that if you do not have sufficient legal work to make full use of your attorney's time doing the work that requires their skillset and expertise then you have a surplus of lawyers and you would be better served letting that surplus go while retaining your lesser skilled personnel to assist the remaining attorneys do attorneyish things.

                    Lets take your Lady Gaga option, yes the people are paying to see her perform but do you think the show would take place if she were trying to do all those other jobs by herself?

                    Or lets take it to an extreme would it really be economically (or even physically feasible) to have a tour of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Katie Perry, Pink, and Kesha with them all doing the work of the crew?

                    No it wouldn't because they don't have those specific skills and even if they did they don't have the time to do all that additional work and perform, not to mention the risks of them being injured in a task unrelated to their primary purpose.

                    Go take a gander through "The Wealth of Nations" the primary virtue of modern economics in Smith's eyes was the efficiencies gained through specialization. This is the wonder of modern economics.

                    These efficiencies exist because a worker who specializes and works on a specific task becomes proficient at that task.

                    Consider something as simple as making copies, That secretary you are busy overworking will be much more adept at working the copier than the average attorney (who tend to be about as technically proficient as Doctors which is to say not at all) So the time that the attorney is fiddling with the menus and figuring out which option will collate and bind legal briefs the secretary would have already completed the task and be moving on to other activities.

                    Further while the lawyer is doing this sort of grunt work he's not actually generating any income by doing Lawyery stuff.

                    The problem is you are thinking of your support staff as a convenience when you should be thinking of them as a force multiplier.

                    The reason larger firms can generally command a higher rate than a private practice lawyer is precisely because they have those ancillary support services available to them and if you think your clients don't take that into consideration when they make their decision then you are more seriously deluded than I first thought.

                    •  Sigh. I haven't been here 20 plus years (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      VClib

                      without knowing how a successful law firm works.

                      Our support staff provides a valuable service.  I have no idea how you got the notion that we don't think of them as valuable.  We pay at the top range of the local market.  But they are not the reason we are hired.  We pay much more to the lawyers -- they are the reason we are hired.  And the lawyers answer to the clients.  No secretary was ever sued for malpractice.  No secretary was ever fired because a court decided a case a certain way.  No, it is the lawyers who are responsible for things like that.  That's why they are "more valuable" and are compensated more.   Are our partners, with college plus a J.D. plus years of experience paid a lot more than our support staff?  Hell, yes, they are.  Because they are the reason the firm exists.  I can tell you that it is far, far, far easier (especially in this market) to replace a secretary with another competent secretary than it is to replace a senior partner with a huge reputation and a big book of business, who brings in real revenue for the firm.  So, guess who is paid a lot more.  Bottom line, they are each paid what it takes to keep them here as opposed to going somewhere else.  Because that secretary can't make more at another firm here in town, he stays.  Same for that senior partner.  

                      I didn't say that lawyers spent a lot of time doing "grunt work."  If by "grunt work," you mean copying, collating, mailing letters, no, I don't do any of that.  But, if there's a downturn in business, and I have to  cut expenses, we will certainly, certainly let go first the people who don't generate revenue for the company.  That's what you do.  In a downturn, if a lawyer does not have enough legal work to fully occupy his time, there is no lost opportunity cost if that lawyer has to do some nonbillable things himself.  "Lost opportunity" assumes that you have an opportunity to do something else and you forgo it.  If you are only have enough work to bill 150 hours a month, then there's no "lost opportunity" if you have to spend an additional 2 hours a week doing something that support staff used to do -- because you still bill 150 hours a month; you work 160 hours a month to do the nonbillable stuff that has to get done.  "Lost opportunity cost" only kicks in if there is so much work that those 2 hours a week results in the lawyer not doing some billable work that was there to be done.  When our firm is that busy -- when we're working 200 plus hours a month and there's still more work we could do -- then yes, we hire more support staff to take nonbillable things off the plates of the lawyers.  

                      Look, we're a big enough firm that we get very very good accounting advice on how to make us more profitable.  Those numbers are distributed to the partners each and every month and we can all track our profitability -- and we do.  But we also track our expenses on a monthly basis as well, and we're always looking for ways to increase revenue and cut expenses.  That's how you make a profit.  

                      Do my clients know I'm a partner in a big (regional) firm when they hire me?  Sure.  But there are other big firms -- our competition --  with equally good support staff.  Clients who are going to hire a big law firm don't chose Firm A over Firm B because of support staff.  Most of them have no contact whatsoever with the support staff.

                      But what I took the biggest exception to is your notion that "bosses" (i.e., the partners) in our firm were, in your words, "dead weight."  That's just ridiculous.  If the partners weren't here, none of the younger lawyers or support staff would have a job.  

                      Really, in a capitalist economy, some people's time is worth more than others.  That's the bottom line.  And it's based on a number of things, like the educational background, merit (we hire generally from the top of the law school class), performance, amount of revenue you generate for the firm, that kind of thing.   And we generally measure that by how much somebody is willing to pay for it -- based, in part, on how easily they can get someone else to do the same quality job as a replacement.  
                      A heart surgeon's time is worth more than mine.  But mine is worth more than my secretary's.

                      •  Just because something works doesn't (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mrkvica, Kurt Sperry, xaxnar, JustinBinFL

                        mean it's the best practice.

                        Really like an accounting firm is ever going to come back and tell a boss that he should let himself go.

                        You keep talking about billable hours. let me ask you this, are the monthly salaries of your associates directly tied to the hours they bill? Do you pay them a lesser rate when they are doing the grunt work rather than generating billable hours? If not then in the aggregate you are incurring an opportunity cost.

                        I understand that there are intangibles to be considered particularly in the legal profession where so much is based on personal relationships. and that there may be other considerations like retaining talent against future needs (I suppose it's harder to replace a good lawyer than a good secretary)

                        But lets not kid ourselves on where the cold calculations lay.

                        It isn't that your time is more valuable than your secretary it's that the service you can provide with your specific skill set that's more valuable. No one would pay you your billable rate to mow their lawn after all.

                        Part of that service includes the work of your secretary and other support staff.

                        You are making the same mistake so many other prima-dona professionals make. All these doctors, sales people, CEOs and other self important individuals who've convinced themselves that because they were fortunate to be blessed with the means and opportunity to gain advanced degrees from reputable institutions, that they are somehow better than all the little people doing the menial work.

                        You've convinced yourselves that you are somehow "special" as if there weren't more lawyers than auto-workers in this country.

                        Your arrogance has convinced you that it's your time people are paying for rather than your overall legal service which includes all that grunt work as well.

                        Your clients aren't paying you because of you're a swell guy/gal they're paying you for legal services.  

                        Do you really think your big clients would keep their business with you if you were to quit your firm and start a private practice sans all that support staff?

                        The simple fact is that you are undervaluing the work of your support staff and probably over valuing your own work and sadly that's pretty much endemic in our current business culture because you are hardly unique in this.

                        I see this all the time in my industry, the executives value their sales staff more than their support staff because their contributions to the business are easily tangible. While customer support resources are much more difficult to account for. How do you quantify customer loyalty that results from a positive customer services experience?

                        You look and you see that your lawyers are the only ones directly generating revenue but you are ignoring all the work that others do that enables them to generate that revenue.
                        That they are able to bill more hours than they actually work themselves because they have others doing that work for them.

                        It's that whole rugged individual myth that the political right bases their entire platform on. That every man is an island and owe their personal success to themselves only ignoring all the social and physical infrastructure that enabled said success.

                        Just like Gaga's concerts couldn't happen and most certainly would not be able to take place in such large venues if not for all the professional roadies and sound and light engineers that do the grunt work for her performances. You wouldn't be able to bill the same rate if not for your support staff. You'd be like those little Indy bands playing small venues.

                        In fact that's a pretty good comparison.

                        Large Law firm = Lady Gaga
                        Private practice lawyer = indy band.

                        Hell in many cases those indy bands are more talented but they'd never be able to play those major venues that Gaga packs because they simply don't have the resources behind them even if they had the celebrity to fill it.

                        Your arrogance continues to this whole notion that without you non of those lesser lawyers would have jobs, as if they wouldn't simply be working either for another firm or in private practice or perhaps for the government.

                        They wouldn't have those jobs but they'd likely have another one. Hell it's not like there would be any less need for legal services if your firm didn't exist.

                        I don't know if your partners are dead-weight or not hell in many ways it's irrelevant since the firm only exists to fill their coffers and they aren't any worse than any other capitalist owner in that respect, but that attitude of superiority of class is projected to the rest of the organizations, junior lawyers are viewed as peers and assets rather than simply employees and that's a reflection of your own biases and not of cold economical reality.

                        You identify with them so you have more empathy for them than those "lesser" support staff, as such you will ignore the fact that when you let support staff go to retain a lawyer you're paying that lawyer $100+ an hour to do a job that you could have probably have gotten done for ~$25 and that's a $75+ opportunity cost.

                        •  Yes, I'm a capitalist. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          VClib

                          And that means that people are compensated based on what someone will pay for their skills, talent and experience.  And that means that if the top of the market rate for a legal secretary in New Orleans is $x, I'll pay $x to someone who is top notch, but I won't pay 2 times $x -- there's no need to, since I can get a very very good legal  secretary for the top of the market rate of $x.  It's only when there is not enough supply (happened here for legal secretaries after Katrina) that the price goes up.  That's how capitalism works.  

                          And yes, because someone will pay $xyz an hour for my time, that means my time is more "valuable" than someone who can only garner $x for their time.  That's what capitalism is about.  That's why I worked my butt off in college and in law school, and for the last 25 years, so I could have the credentials so that someone would pay $xyz for my time.  And they pay for my time -- my time writing persuasive legal arguments in briefs, trying cases, arguing appeals, talking with clients and giving them legal advice, predicting legal outcomes based on my years of experience.  My secretary can't do any of those things.  And he can't attract clients, either, so no matter how good he is at his job, it is far far far less valuable to me than the senior partner who brings work to the firm.  I can replace a secretary pretty easily with another good secretary in today's market.  I can't replace the senior partner who brings in a huge amount of work for the firm.  

                          And we have an accounting group who know far, far, far, more than you do about how to make our firm profitable, I assure you.  So I don't need to take any advice about how to run a profitable firm from a person who thinks that the most profitable people in our firm are "dead weight."  

                          •  Excellent Digression (0+ / 0-)

                            Surprised the beancounter did so well (IMO) against an experienced pro litigator. Probably says volumes about the substantive value of the respective arguments.  It shouldn't have even been a contest. A great lawyer should be able to convincingly argue that water flows uphill.

                            Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

                            by Kurt Sperry on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:56:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And die of thirst in a just world. (0+ / 0-)

                            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

                            by xaxnar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:37:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I wasn't going to go into this again but (0+ / 0-)

                            Way to miss my point.

                            I wasn't talking about the relative value of keeping a senior partner who brings in business due to their reputation. I was speaking of the junior associate who hasn't reached that level of potential yet.

                            You said that you'd let go of support staff before any attorney's because "attorney's generate revenue"

                            What I and others pointed out is that if they aren't actually generating revenue via their work as attorneys then they are actually an expense rather than an asset.

                            This is why I asked if you paid those junior attorney's the same salary during those lean times when there isn't enough work to retain support staff. Because if you are then you're paying attorney's rates for clerical work.

                            I don't know enough about the specifics of your business to evaluate the advice your accountants give you. As I pointed out in the post you replied to and you seemed to have missed there are any number of reasons that might make retaining that junior attorney the superior choice.

                            But simply saying that he represents potential revenue is not a good justification in and of itself for retaining a $100 dollar an hour employee over a $25 dollar an hour employee.

                            As far as the value of your time. No your time is not more valuable than anyone else's. What is more valuable is the specific legal services you can provide as a result of all that work you are so proud of.

                            McDonald's for example would not pay you your Lawyer rate for flipping burgers. They're going to pay you the going rate for a burger flipper those skills you have that don't apply to the work they are paying you to do are irrelevant in that decision.

                            Consider if things really went south for the economy and you had to join all those other out of work college grads with advanced degrees serving latte's at starbux do you really think you'd be able to demand a premium for your "time".

                            No you wouldn't. This is why this idea that your time is any more valuable than anyone else's is stupid. You're services are more valuable not your time. People aren't paying you to sit around daydreaming they're paying you to use those specific skills that demand a premium.

                            The only place time comes into it is in order to account for the amount of effort required to deliver said service. But your hourly rate is based on what you are doing in that time not simply the amount of time. They aren't paying you to doodle after all.

                            And while it is true that your secretary can't attract clients he can facilitate your ability to do so. A really good personal assistant can manage your time and appointments in ways to maximize your potential. They can insure that you are aware of events that might present opportunities to gain more business they can make sure you have a spare suit so you are presentable after you spilled your coffee talking to a fellow partner before meeting a high dollar client.

                            A really good secretary who knows and anticipates your needs is not as easy to find and replace as you think.

                            The same goes for all your support staff.  An IT guy who is familiar with your systems and knows all it's quirks and work arounds is much harder to replace than you may think.

                            Part of the problem with an over inflated sense of importance is that you will tend to not notice the synergies that other competent people can create.

                            You view your support staff simply as an convenience to save you a little grunt work that don't really affect your earning potential when you should view them as an integral part of your service. As enhancers of the value you provide your customers.

                            Those "conveniences" represent quicker and more thorough service being provided to your clients.

                            I wonder based on your attitude of entitlement whether you've really considered these questions.

                            Have you really thought about how much your secretary or other support staff have contributed to the value of your time to your clients. Have you accurately accounted for their contribution to your bottom line?

                            Now maybe your accountants have done so and perhaps your conclusions ended up correct for other reasons.

                            But I wonder how much your attitude is mirrored by your other partners and how much the manifestation of said attitude has influenced the conclusions presented to you by your accountants.

                            Because one thing I've definitely observed during my time in the workforce is that yes men get ahead while those who give realistic assessments tend to be viewed in a less than charitable light even when they are repeatedly shown to be correct.

                            Managers tend to promote people they like and people tend to like people who agree with them. Which tends to create a self-reinforcing echo-chamber of confirmation bias. Which leads to the whole "no-one could have foreseen" non-sense.

                            Bullshit people foresaw the bosses just didn't listen to them because those bosses "knew" better than the peons did.

                            And of course when your decision has the predictable result of hurting your bottom line you just lay off a few more support staff and overwork the remaining that much more to make up the difference.

  •  Government "vs." business (7+ / 0-)

    The Constitution lays out the duties and responsibilities of government, expressly including "Promote the general welfare". That means creating jobs, or at the very least, creating conditions that promote hiring.

    Where in any corporate charter or mission statement does it say anything like that? A private business's sole reason for being is to create profits for the owner(s). Period.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:50:49 AM PDT

    •  Corporations are chartered by the state (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct, mrkvica, Calamity Jean

      and exist at the sufferance of the state.  We can eliminate corporations today, perfectly constitutionally.

      Corporations operate within the bounds set by the state, or they lose their charters.

      We need representatives who will force corporations to work for the good of society.

      "Maximum profit" is not now, and I would argue most of the time, not in the best interest of society.  What restrictions are appropriate?

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:30:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Taxes and job creation (12+ / 0-)

    My mom used to teach tax law years ago. She has an interesting story about a conversation she had with other tax law professors. She asked how they would advise a client on hiring more people or whatever if there was a tax break incentive for doing so. They all laughed. The only thing business ever cares about making a profit. So they are going to do whatever ends up with the biggest profit. So if not hiring means they lose out on a tax break but make more money, then that's what they'll do.

    Large corportations NEED government to regulate them or else they will destroy themselves. A corporation has one purpose and one purpose only — to make as much money as fast as possible. If it doesn't do that, then the stockholders fire the CEO.

    I know which side I am on: the one that does the math.

    by Grassroots Mom on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:57:06 AM PDT

  •  This is certainly true with respect to (10+ / 0-)

    health insurance providers:

    making a profit is not the chief thing - it's the only thing we should expect businesses to do.

    Providing Americans with quality health care is probably the last thing on their list... if it's even on it at all.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:01:28 AM PDT

  •  Small business myth (4+ / 0-)

    I am not sure this fits in this diary, but it is a point I have been meaning to make.

    The whole idea that small business creates most of the jobs in America is a myth. It was all based on a database from the 80's that was flawed. Sure it captured the start up of a small business but failed to record its demise. The company who made it abandoned it for just that reason The truth of the matter is the rabbits aren't creating the jobs, the gazelles are. The gazelles are the small start ups that get a hand up from big business. Other than that, the only small businesses that are making it are plumbers and they aren't making $250,000 a year.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:02:03 AM PDT

  •  Jobs are an expense to business (15+ / 0-)

    They will create them only when they have to because they can't get enough product onto the shelves with the hands (and robot claws) they already have.

    Demand creates jobs. More money available at the base of the pyramid creates demand.

    What's happening inside offices on Wall Street does not create demand. In fact, it only accelerates the flight of dollars to the top of the pyramid, where it does not create demand but oppression.

  •  It's not our job to breathe, but we end up (5+ / 0-)

    doing it to stay alive.

    To say it is not the responsibility of businesses to create jobs is a glib over-simplification.

    It IS the responsibility of businesses to earn profits. If that means hiring people -- and it does mean that for businesses comprising more than a sole proprietor or partners -- it becomes the responsibility of the business to create jobs so that it can fulfill its responsibility to earn profits.

    Government has a different set of responsibilities, but its interests overlap with those of businesses.

    In the best of all worlds, government fosters an environment that is business-friendly without being citizen-unfriendly. Over the last 30-40 years, we seem to have tipped towards (big) business friendly without regard for its impact on the general population and the country as a whole.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:04:43 AM PDT

    •  Bill and I were college roommates (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, dinotrac, IARXPHD, xaxnar

      he wound up at real clear politics, i wound up here.

      Good guy. Wrong about some things, but an honest man. Total libertarian.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:31:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kurt Sperry

      It is not the job of business to "create" jobs, it's their business to make a profit.  "Creating" jobs does not create profit, what a weird thing to say.  The only thing that causes business to hire is either an increase in demand (more people buying the shit they sell), or a prospective increase in demand.  Since our economy is 70% consumer spending, that means people who buy shit are the "job creators."

      Saying that creating jobs is the responsibility of any business that wants to make a profit elides the obvious fact that businesses aren't creating jobs, yet they're earning record profits.  Not only are they not creating jobs, but they're reducing the staff hours of their existing employees.  The average work week is down to 32 hours, and still falling.  If we bought into your claim, we'd have to conclude that American businesses either know less about making a profit than you do, or that they don't want to make a profit.  Are either of these conclusions reasonable?

      The diarist got it right.  I don't even know what economic theory you're working off of.

      Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

      by Fed up Fed on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:17:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's also true that bullets kill, not the people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, xaxnar

        pulling triggers, but we tend to charge the people, not the bullets.

        Some things are natural consequences of others, no matter how stubbornly you refuse to follow the chain.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:42:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reasoning by analogy is a good way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kurt Sperry

          to not understand anything.  Seriously, what the what?  Your post is gibberish.

          To crib from President Obama, this isn't stubborness, this is economics 101.  Consumer demand creates jobs.  Businesses don't hire out of charitable sentiment.  They hire because they have more work that needs doing than their current staff can accomplish.  That excess work is a "natural consequence" of increased consumer demand.

          So, one more time, businesses aren't hiring because consumer demand is low.  Because they aren't hiring, and because they're squeezing the staff remaining to them, they're more profitable now than they have ever been in the history of business.  If we followed your reasoning, these businesses don't really want to be profitable, because they're not hiring and hiring people is the job of businesses that want to be profitable.  That's what you said in your first post, and it still doesn't pass the straight-face test.  It's simply ludicrous.

          Jesus.  Bullets and blame?  Did you think at all before you posted that?

          Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

          by Fed up Fed on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:51:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gibberish? Only to the confused mind. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica

            Given the way you've mangled my posts, I suspect that describes you.

            For example:

            If we followed your reasoning, these businesses don't really want to be profitable, because they're not hiring and hiring people is the job of businesses that want to be profitable.

            has nothing to do with anything I wrote, which was:

            It IS the responsibility of businesses to earn profits. *If* that means hiring people -- and it does mean that for businesses comprising more than a sole proprietor or partners -- it becomes the responsibility of the business to create jobs so that it can fulfill its responsibility to earn profits.

            Words matter, even the little ones.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:30:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mas o menos (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kurt Sperry

              You said any business "comprising more than a sole proprietor or partners" must hire to make a profit.  The fact that you take issue with what I wrote, "If we followed your reasoning, these businesses (referring to the business type you identified) don't really want to be profitable, because they're not hiring and hiring people is the job of businesses that want to be profitable," just means you want to elide the utter stupidity of your original post.

              Large corporations are incredibly profitable right now.  Large corporations fit the frame that you provided (comprising more than a sole proprietor or partners).  By your reasoning, large corporations must hire if they're to earn profits -- that's what you said ("It IS the responsibility of businesses to earn profits. If that means hiring people -- and it does mean that for businesses comprising more than a sole proprietor or partners -- it becomes the responsibility of the business to create jobs so that it can fulfill its responsibility to earn profits").

              Large corporations are not, in fact, "creating jobs."  Most of them are downsizing and squeezing their existing workforce.  We had 22,000,000 unemployed and underemployed Americans last month, and only 3.2 million job openings.  Ergo, you're still so wrong it's as if you've never ever studied any form of economics of any kind, ever.  And yet you're still talking.  Wow.

              Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

              by Fed up Fed on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:40:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's the following "your" reasoning thing... (0+ / 0-)

                never mind that the creations you pass off as "my" reasoning seem to change to suit you, but....

                Here's a silly question:

                How many of those large corporations have zero employees?

                But what do the current hiring practices of large corporations have to do with anything?  Small businesses create most of the new job growth in this country, not large corporations.

                We need a hiring climate that makes it profitable to hire Americans to do things.  If it's profitable to do that, believe it or not, businesses will create jobs so that they can chase those profits.

                If it would make you feel better to ignore those mean and nasty businesspeople, I have no problem at all with the assertion that demand creates jobs.  That is the more accurate assertion, anyway, as businesses profit from hiring only when there is demand for the output of those new employees.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 11:13:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Jesus. (0+ / 0-)

                  Most small businesses are sole proprietorships and partnerships.  You excluded those businesses from your rubric of profitability.  So we're left with corporations.  You said that -- excluding sole proprietors and partnerships -- businesses who wanted to make a profit had to "create jobs."  Since one can't create something that already exists, the phrase implies rather strongly that businesses are obligated to make up new jobs for the sake of profit -- oh, and the magic anti-regulation fairy raises up her ugly head with your "business climate" claim.  BUSINESSES DON'T HIRE PEOPLE THEY DON'T NEED; BUSINESSES DON'T STOP HIRING WHEN THEY NEED ADDITIONAL LABOR.

                  And I'm not "ignor[ing] those mean and nasty business people."  I'm just refusing to buy into your idiot rightwing assertions that businesses hire people they don't need and somehow that translates into profitability.

                  Businesses don't create jobs.  Consumer demand does.  Businesses capitalize on consumer demand by hiring only those workers necessary to do the work generated by the consumer demand.  No consumer demand, no jobs; more consumer demand, more jobs.  Your "business climate" bullshit completely ignores recent history and current evidence to the contrary.  If you don't know anything about the subject, you should seriously just shut up.

                  Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

                  by Fed up Fed on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 11:28:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Gosh -- you really don't like to read, do you? (0+ / 0-)

                    And again, you make up idiot assertions out of thin air:

                    businesses hire people they don't need

                    I've  never said anything of the sort.  That is purely the product of your hateful mind (OK -- I don't know that you are full of hate.  I am simply extrapolating from your "idiot rightwing assertions" and the fact that you are making things up in order to call me an idiot.  Seems fair).

                    And gosh !

                    Your last paragraph...

                    Did you read what I wrote in my last post?

                    I have no problem at all with the assertion that demand creates jobs.  That is the more accurate assertion, anyway, as businesses profit from hiring only when there is demand for the output of those new employees.

                    Why go to so much effort to pretend I disagree with you on that?

                    Seriously, all that bile is not conducive to clear thinking.  Not in the least.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 12:22:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your meme is wrong (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bluegrass50, Kurt Sperry

                      That's where all that "bile" comes from.  You asserted a claim that was demonstrably false and then defended it to the death.  I didn't put words in your mouth when you claimed that it is, in fact, the job of all businesses - excepting, oddly enough, sole proprietorships and partnerships - who want to make a profit to create jobs.  You made the laughable claim that businesses must hire to be profitable, despite the MOUNTAIN of evidence to the contrary.

                      It seems you spotted the flaw in your reasoning, but rather than just admit that your initial post (which, by the way, was pretty condescending toward the diarist, doncha know) was just pig ignorant.

                      You said businesses had to hire to be profitable.  You said that it is, indeed, the job of businesses to "create jobs."  You said these things, and then you decided to die on that hill, despite the fact that you were so obviously wrong that any average grade school kid with only a cursory explanation of basic economics to inform them could have spotted the flaw in your reasoning.

                      So the bile comes, quite simply, from my impatience with willful stupidity.  There is no confidence fairy, regulation has nothing to do with the miserable economy, and businesses aren't going to hire themselves into profitablility.  Anyone who says otherwise simply does not know anything about business, government, or economics.

                      Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

                      by Fed up Fed on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 12:33:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You insist on making things up. (0+ / 0-)
                        You made the laughable claim that businesses must hire to be profitable, despite the MOUNTAIN of evidence to the contrary.

                        What I said is that businesses that extend beyond sole proprietorships and partnerships must hire to be profitable.  Companies make money by doing things and people generally insist on getting paid to do things.

                        Most people understand that.

                        So the bile comes, quite simply, from my impatience with willful stupidity.

                        Let me congratulate you, then, on your ability to master the art in spite of a short attention span.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 12:54:20 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Good god (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Kurt Sperry

                          Perhaps another tack.  How do you reconcile the fact that those businesses "that extend beyond sole proprietorships and partnerships must hire to be profitable" are INCREDIBLY profitable, but aren't hiring?  Do you have some fabulous mathematical meme to counter the reality of the situation you apprently deny?  Corporations ranging from Intell to CNN had their best year ever in 2011, and yet unemployment is going UP.  Got anything to say about that?  Or are you just going to continue deriving comfort from the wingnut fantasy you've clung to this entire thread?

                          Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

                          by Fed up Fed on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 01:30:38 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Point in time, for one, but... (0+ / 0-)

                            first, you are trying to turn me into a champion of large corporations.  I am not remotely that.

                            Having said that, Intel IS hiring.  They are building a chip plant in Arizona and one in China.  That means jobs to make things and jobs to make money.

                            Even shrinking companies hire.  When  I was at Lucent, people were being hired even in the midst of massive layoffs.

                            What isn't happening is hiring sufficient to employ the entire labor force, especially in the US.  Without demand for goods, and, specifically, without a reason to prefer American employees over foreign workers or contractors, that's not going to change.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:38:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Most corporations have shrunk their workforce (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            xaxnar

                            There was an article just a year or so ago about how the largest companies have all shrunk their labor force by 10%, and still made record profits.  Intel may be hiring, but most corporations are not, as evidenced by the fact that unemployment remains high.  Corporations have been making record profits for the past two years, and yet the jobs haven't materialized.  And yeah, corporations often hire while downsizing.  It's called replacing expensive senior employees with lower paid entry-level wage slaves.

                            As for "prefer[ring] American employees over foriegn workers," that's the best reason ever to end free trade agreements.  The other option is to pay our workers less, which will result in an even larger income and wealth gap.  Turning America into a 3rd World country so that corporations will come back for our cheap labor is simply not an option.

                            Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

                            by Fed up Fed on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 08:15:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You also haven't heard me say nice things about (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            xaxnar

                            free trade agreements.

                            I was a volunteer for Ross Perot (yeah, I know, most of you guys think he was whacko) when Al Gore was defending NAFTA and Perot was describing the "giant sucking sound" it would make as jobs were sucked out of the country.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 01:38:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I didn't say you defended free trade agreements (0+ / 0-)

                            But I did notice you failed to address the fact that lowering wages to lure corporations back is the rightwing agenda.  So I'll say again, turning our country into a 3rd World nation in order to make our workers attractive to corporations is not an option.  Do you disagree?

                            Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements and Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding. - Jane Mecom 7/4/1786

                            by Fed up Fed on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 02:12:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, words matter (0+ / 0-)

              ...and so does logic. You're using the same word to describe means and ends and then according equal significance to both uses. That's questionable logic.

              responsible
              a : liable to be called on to answer
              b (1) : liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent; (2) : being the cause or explanation
              c : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties

              So, will a CEO "be called to account" if the corporation doesn't generate a profit? I'd think so.  (That's the "end" part.)

              Will the CEO be "called to account" if--independent of its effects on profit--the corporation's workforce doesn't increase? No. (That's the "means" part; it's subsidiary.)

              •  Not following you. (0+ / 0-)

                If things work as they should -- and in large corporations, they tend not -- A CEO should be called to account if the corporation doesn't generate a profit.

                You seem to believe that is true and, if so, we agree.

                We also agree on your second point.  You would not expect a CEO to be called to account for workforce size independent of its effect on present or future profit.

                I have said nothing whatsoever that conflicts with either proposition.

                What I have said is:

                1. Businesses -- this thread started in the context of small business, not large corporations --  generally have to do things in order to make money.

                2.  Doing things means hiring people.  The fact that you are not hiring today doesn't mean you never hired.  Without people, it's tough to get much done.

                3.  Hiring people requires Demand sufficient to make those hires profitable.

                4.  Hiring American employees requires a reason to believe that American employees will be at least as profitable as contractors or foreign employees.

                I would hope that stuff is relatively uncontroversial.

                Seems the government ought to be looking for ways to pump up demand for things made/sold/designed/repaired by American workers.  With all the money the government spends on procurements each year, you'd think there'd be a few nudges to be found.

                And that's without tinkering around with regulations, tax law, etc, which might have ways to create even greater incentives or to put money into the hands of people who spend money instead of tally up their investments.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:06:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Wealth disparity (12+ / 0-)

    The monopoly game is at it's end, the winners have all the hotels, boardwalk and park place.

    The 99% have given their wealth to Walmart,
    had their pay reduced or eliminated.
    Pay much their income to the health insurance industry if they have health insurance at all.

    Businesses wonder why they have few customers, why people couldn't keep buying homes when prices doubled every 5 years or so.  

    The working class is out of money and out of work.

    We NEED a re-redistribution of wealth.

    We need to bring manufacturing to the US.

    The government should create jobs as it did during the last depression.

    The government or the 99%ers Need to stop hedge fund traders and all of those who make money (gamble with our retirements etc.) and produce absolutely nothing.

    Right wingers should be asked, what's the real difference between government borrowing to create a business and jobs and a private company borrowing to create a business and jobs.
    Really, the only difference is, the government is non-profit.

    They should be asked,  If you were a bank and got a tax break, would you hire more tellers?
    If you were a bank and had more customers, would you hire more tellers?

    To sum up.  Wealth has been redistributed by supply side economics and the wealthy have won the monopoly game.  We need demand side economics.  Re-redistribute the wealth back to the 99%.  That money represents your work.

    While I'm rambling here.  Wouldn't a national health care system make it cheaper to bring manufacturing back to the US?  If I don't have to pay $15,000 per employee for health insurance.  

    Prove me wrong and I'll change my mind.

    by willbjett on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:22:25 AM PDT

  •  I diaried about this concept earlier (6+ / 0-)

    That businesses exist to sell something - a good, a service - and employment is a necessary evil to that end. Only when increased demand requires it do businesses hire anybody, and the pressure is always to reduce employment, or at least payroll expenses, by any means that lets demand still be met.

    "Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters." - Victor Hugo

    by Jaxpagan on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:25:47 AM PDT

  •  It isn't the job of business to provide jobs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini

    However if they want to grow they have to do it.  So a productive and successful business will create jobs.

  •  business only spends money to make (4+ / 0-)

    money.  If it can make more money not spending or spending on equipment rather than people or people somewhere that is not here, that is what business will do.   That is what business has spent a great deal of money on in lobbyists and contributions to Congress and Presidential candidates.  They have bought a tax code and numerous other regulatory structures that pay them not to spend money, to reimburse them for money spent moving jobs offshore and to not tax them on profits when they hide the money offshore, and for the government to pay for or heavily subsidize all the workers they let go in retraining programs, school grants, unemployment, etc. Business is at top productivity, top profits and top cash on hand and many of the largest corporations are sucking taxes up instead of paying them right now, it doesn't need to hire people.

  •  This is bullshit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan

    Sorry, but the npr guest did NOT expose some hidden truth. And please, an employee is NOT an expense. You make money from man hours, pure and simple. The idea is to have work for them to do and then you want employees stacked up like cord wood.  If the economy sucks, you don't make sales, so you don't need employees.
    That's why the idea of tax cuts creating jobs is such a farce. If you put more money into corporate pockets, how the hell is that going to create jobs? There is some kind of moronic notion in this country that if a company can just buy more equipment, they can expand. Hell to the no. The ONLY way to expand is to sell more widgets. Period.

  •  People do go (0+ / 0-)

    into business in order to hire people. They do it to make money. It's as simple as that.
    If the business is successful and there's more demand for their products/services, then the business can grow and hire more people to meet the demand.

  •  Funny considering Starbucks new idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda

    "Much more would be accomplished if just half the energy that goes into this internal battling went into the real activism that we see recounted or proposed in diaries every day. " ~MB

    by roubs on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:47:42 AM PDT

  •  I heard this interview ... (18+ / 0-)

    and Frezza kept saying that the government should not raise taxes on business so that business could create jobs. But then, he said it's not the responsibility of business to create jobs.  If it's not the responsibility of business to create jobs, why should it be the responsibility of government to keep taxes low on business. I say tax business, and spend the money on job-creating infrastructure.

    •  Use It or Lose It (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saluda

      Corporations exist at the sufferance of society.  They can either use the money they hold or lose it for someone else to use.  These hoarders masquerading as business people deserve no credence in our society.  

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:02:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Frezza a True 1%er (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saluda, mrkvica, Egalitare, xaxnar

      Isn't it convenient that Frezza thinks taxes should not be raised sot that businesses can create jobs, BUT its not the responsibility of business to create jobs.  All the profit, none of the costs, just like all good 1%ers!

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:12:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's The Real Kicker (4+ / 0-)

    Businesses FOREGO PROFITS to avoid incurring those expenses, and their shareholders are powerless to hold them to account for deciding not to make profits.

    •  Shareholders are decidedly not powerless. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ultranaut

      Any sufficiently wealthy and motivated group can buy out any public company, take it private, fire the board and CEO, and run it differently.

      I have suggested this before with reference to lawbreakers like Massey Energy.  The total funding needed to take MEE private is on the same order as Obama's 2008 election campaign.  So get 1 million of your closest friends together, and do it.

      Business will not improve until the left GETS INVOLVED.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:34:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Umm...NO. (0+ / 0-)

      If the income from an activity ( say, hiring someone,) is greater than the expense of said activity ( in this case, paying them, providing mandatory comp insurance, ssi contribution, increased administrative costs, etc), then they will pursue that activity.

      If the income from an activity is less than it's cost, they will not pursue that activity.

      Nobody's holding back on hiring to be, I dunno, mean? It's just not gonna help the net, regardless of how it looks on the gross. Gross is a meaningless # anyway.

      A corporation has a legal responsibility to maximize shareholder profit, and any shareholder can file suit against the directors of the corporation if they feel that their profit has not been maximized.

  •  Duh! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, mrkvica, xaxnar, Thestral

    I've been saying for years that there is a much greater connection between profits and job cutting, than profits and job creating. This should not be news or shocking to anyone who has been paying attention. We are a nation of citizens, not shareholders. It would be nice if our elected representatives understood this.

    Battleground Wisconsin: Fascism has come to America

    by jhecht on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:27:20 AM PDT

  •  He is correct that businesses view jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, Thestral

    they provide as necessary expenses, and that businesses have only profit as their goal.

    He is completely wrong about almost everything else he said. Notably and specifically he is wrong about the cause-effect relationship between jobs and growth (they are part of a feedback loop and it is completely incorrect to say that either causes the other in such a linea way), he is wrong to suggest the rich are somehow victims, especially in light of the fact the last few years have been incredibly profitable for them, and he is especially wrong to suggest that businesses have as a goal to produce the best qualiy product at the lowest price.

  •  I almost drove off the road... (4+ / 0-)

    ...when I heard this guy. This is what they business/GOP believe, and it's all to doom Obama. All to the detriment of the people of this country.

  •  having worked at a public company a long time (9+ / 0-)

    it's absolutely true that no matter how progressive the company seems to be, how well-intentioned and caring the managers are, the bottom line is the bottom line, and the only directive that will be followed is "preserve shareholder value."  It matters not whether your business creates widgets, energy, or brilliant ideas -- in a public company you have no choice but to show an increase in revenue in the short term to protect that stock price.  From 1999-2005 our company had numerous rounds of layoffs:  nearly every quarter when top line sales didn't meet the (unrealistsic) goals set by our parent company, we had to cut expenses so the bottom line return to the shareholders didn't suffer.  Never mind our suffering, or the long term detriment to our ability to service our clients.  It was unbearably painful as a manager to be responsible for laying off people with gobs of talent and experience, as well as people with bright and promising futures.  Either way it didn't matter - I lobbied furiously but there was no rationale to save people from the axe.  "This person is vastly experienced, and losing that braintrust would cripple our ability to service our customers"-- axe.  "This young person has talent on which we can build our enterprise in the long term, if we can just hold on to him until next year" -- axe.  "This person's wife is pregnant"-- axe.  Who are you going to bargain with?  The shareholders?  It just doesn't matter.  

  •  Supreme Court - Reconsider Your Opinion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thestral

    Corporations have no Patriotism, they have no national citizenship.  Mitt Romney, NO, Hell, No.  Corporations are not people.  Corporations are simply money making entities with absolutely no concern for the welfare of any governmental structure.  

    Citizens United was wrongly decided.  Just as surely as Dred Scott.  I just hope that we don't have to have another Civil War to correct it!

    The Republican Party is intent on the destruction of every agency of the United States Government except the Department of Defense.  That is the biggest customer of business.  There is no other agency of the U.S. Government that the Republican Party has any use for.

    •  Sigh. Once again. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      The Supreme Court did not hold that "corporations are people" in the Citizens United case.  That's just wrong -- a complete myth.  In fact the majority opinion specifically recognized that corporations are not "persons" but, instead, are groups of people -- associations -- like a club, or a union, or whatever.  

      •  Not exactly true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Thestral

        While the decision did not address corporate personhood, corporate personhood is the mechanism by which corporations have standing to sue in the Federal courts.

        And further, if $$$$ = speech, then how can bribery be illegal?  If I heap great praise upon a politician and he chooses to reward me, that is not a crime.

        However, now that the Supremes have deemed giving money to a politician is a form of speech, if I slip him $1,000 and he rewards me, how can that be a crime?

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 01:44:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You would take away the right of a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          corporation to sue and be sued?????

          No business could be done in this country, because no corporation could ever sue to enforce a contract.  No contract with a company would ever be enforceable by the company or by the party doing business with the company.   There's never, ever, ever been a suggestion by any rational person that corporations should not have the ability to sue and TO BE SUED.  If you take away the right to sue, then you have to take away the right to be sued on the same basis.  Nobody but sole proprietors could operate as businesses in this country.  

          And Citizens United did NOT involve giving money to a politician.  It is still illegal for a corporation to do that.  It involved a corporation spending its own money to make a movie.  The Supreme Court simply held that the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech" was a limit on Congress, and that limit on what Congress could do did not depend on who was paying for the movie.  

          •  No - you're not listening. (0+ / 0-)

            Creating the fiction of corporate personhood for purposes of legal process was a fine idea.  What was not necessarily contemplated byt he Framers, however, was the idea that a corporation should have constitutional rights.

            Every employee, member, officer, director, agent etc of a corporation has first amendment rights.  What possible need does a corporation have for those rights?

            Tellingly, corporations do not have 5th amendment rights.  Had the Framers had any idea  corporations would assert free speech rights, they would have revised the 1st amendment to read "the speech of any person may not be abridged".

            Corporations are perpetual.  Real persons are mortal.

            I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by bobdevo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:24:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The SCOTUS in CU did not base its holding (0+ / 0-)

              on the notion that "corporations have constitutional rights."  The First Amendment is not a right granted to people.  It is a limit on the power of Congress:  "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."  The Court held that there was no constitutional basis in the First Amendment for giving Congress more power to "make a law . . . abridging the freedom of speech" when a movie was paid for by a corporation as opposed to a movie paid for by a very wealthy individual.  

              And, of course, you know that most of "the press" which is subject to the exact same limit on Congressional power is owned by corporations.  If you were right, then Congress could "make a law . . . abridging the freedom of the press" if a particular newspaper were owned by a corporation.  In both cases, the individuals craft the speech (the images and sound in the movie, or the words on the newspaper) , but it is paid for by a corporation. Can Congress "make a law . . . abridging the freedom of the press" if the press is owned by a corporation?  

              •  No- you're still not getting it . . . (0+ / 0-)

                at the time the Framers framed it, speech was something people did.

                I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by bobdevo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:14:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  bobdevo - that's not true (0+ / 0-)

                  During the time of the Framers there was a very active media, it was just all print. The idea that speech was limited to an individual standing on a soap box is nonsense.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:29:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  uh - vclib - the media comes under (0+ / 0-)

                    freedom of the press - not freedom of speech - separate and distinct protection

                    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

                    by bobdevo on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 04:13:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Corporations have some 5th Amendment rights (0+ / 0-)

              Government cannot take corporate property without compensation and corporations have due process rights.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:32:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  bob - the Tillman Act (1907) (0+ / 0-)

          is still in effect which bares any corporation from giving a single dollar to any candidate for federal office.  Corporations can spend an unlimited amount on independent expenditures, but they cannot contribute to campaigns. So your comment that "now that the Supremes have deemed giving money to a politician is a form of speech" is not an accurate statement if you are implying that a corporation is the source of the money.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:37:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as far as i can tell, (0+ / 0-)

            no one has yet challenged the tillman act on the basis of it being an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.  i fully expect that to occur this election cycle

            I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by bobdevo on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 04:17:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  bob - I agree this is the next big case (0+ / 0-)

              However, this is where I think the current SCOTUS will draw the line and they Tillman Act will stay in force. I think the Court will agree that there is a fundamental difference between independent expenditures and campaign contributions. However, if they ruled Tillman unconstitutional but left the limits in place it would not have much impact. I think the next big issue is campaign limits. I think they are easy to target because they are so arbitrary. What makes someone a solid citizen for making a max contribution and a criminal for providing one more dollar?

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 10:39:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  NM Ray - the Republicans like the Justice Dept (0+ / 0-)

      the Treasury Department and the federal court system. They are actually OK with all the enumerated powers, just not the other stuff.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:40:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's dead right - businesses aren't charities (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, HCKAD, mrkvica, xaxnar, ranton

    I actually have zero problem with this outlook. It's not businesses responsibility to create jobs; it's their job to make money. If you start running your business like a philanthropist you'll be out of business fast.

    Which is why of course it is GOVERNMENT'S JOB TO CREATE JOBS in a crisis of low employment. Government has the motivation and the resources to create a real job's program which not only puts people to work and increases demand, helping the economy and the short term, but also builds the kind of infrastructure and research - smart grid, alternative energy R&D - which will create business opportunities and eventually jobs in the private sector as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    •  Slight change (0+ / 0-)

      I'd say, its govt's job to ensure full employment. It could be via actually creating jobs (ie, hiring people as govt employees), or via policies that allow more money into the private sector, increasing demand, which is the driver for businesses to hire more people, in order to meet demand.

      And, start taxing the type of financial activity that produces nothing. Create dis-incentives for such activity, nothing motivates people like money.

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        In the short run, the government needs to be directly involved in getting people jobs. In the long run, things like a financial transaction tax and other policies which give incentives to have all that private money come off the sidelines and into real, substantial investments, and out of unproductive things like loans and trading.

        A great Nation piece on this second part:

        http://www.thenation.com/...

  •  Seems to me (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, fumie, eXtina, Laconic Lib, mrkvica, pgm 01

    that if businesses have no societal obligations other then profit for themselves and the investors then they should not be subsidized with public money's in the form of bailouts or tax breaks . They should not get government contracts. The monopolies should be busted up. An 'ownership society' is not sustainable. It's profits are bogus as they come from the public sector, and yet they do not provide any returns to the public, including a way to buy their cheap stuff. Even that nasty cappie Henry Ford had enough sense to figure this out.

    It's ass backward run amok capitalism, and it's a fail., globally.  Our government is owned  by big multinational business's  and at this point is nothing but an ATM for them. Look at this administration it's working hard to privatize everything that is public, our prisons our schools, our healthcare, even our military.  The government talks a lot about our 'national interests' and the growth and profit of these business's is not in our national interest. they stand in direct opposition to our country's interests.  

    Then there are the Trade deals that are touted as job creating. this fly's in the face of logic and they are not in our interests. Unregulated capitalism that owns the government and has no redeeming value other then profit is too big not to fail. This guy is right jobs are not their purpose. why should our tax money be invested in them. Why not invest our money in businesses that provide value to our society.

    We have a chain of grocery stores in my city that are not publicly traded they hire a lot of people they pay well and have good benefits. They are successful as I'm sure they make a profit for the owners but the add to the community they do business in. Why does our government reward with our money these useless pillagers who should be reined in and regulated and taxed and trust busted. Labpr needs to be part of the equation not just a profit loss.    

       

  •  Why don't we attack their patriotism? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stivo, mightymouse

    Seriously. Why are we not attacking the patriotism of corporations, given this stark and clear admission that the good of our country is absolutely 100% irrelevant to their dealings?

    •  Good Question! (0+ / 0-)

      At the very least this should call into severe question the GOP's supposed standing as the "patriotic" party.

      sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

      by stivo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:54:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How can we still believe in trickle-down? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VictorLaszlo

    Making the rich richer and corporations more profitable is not going to create jobs.  Current economy represents a great opportunity to hire the unemployed to provide more public goods and services.  Now is the time to TAX-and-SPEND.  Yet we are stuck protecting and enhancing wealth while the masses suffer.

  •  Shouldn't be surprising and yet is (4+ / 0-)

    We heard it this morning too. My husband was outraged, but - I have a business minor so I hung out with those people quite a bit - I thought he stated the obvious. They don't hide it.

    The fact that the average person doesn't instinctively get this about business - and that the idea of "job creators" has the kind of traction it does - should be a wake-up call.

    The concept of stakeholders - meaning community, worker, union interests, that type of thing - seems pretty European. American businesses aren't chartered that way, don't seem to be legally obligated to worry about much of anything but shareholder and profit. (and what is a "Shareholder" today, anyway? The guy who owned a million shares for a micro-second during a high-speed trade?)

    The 99%ers movement could have a huge role in educating and questioning the role of business in society. Thank you for posting this diary - it is such an important conversation for us to have.

  •  Time for full Bush mode re business: (0+ / 0-)

    "If you're not with us, you're against us."

    We reach for the stars with shaking hands in bare-knuckle times.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:03:16 AM PDT

  •  A college fraternity brother of my husband used to (0+ / 0-)

    say that  he was bearish on America.  This was back in the 70s!  This may be news to some, but it ain't new!

  •  fixed: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, eztempo, Laconic Lib, mrkvica, pgm 01
    The primary focus of business is to make the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost.

    "We come on a peace thing. White flag?" "White flag!"

    by VictorLaszlo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:04:20 AM PDT

  •  We need to emply the Harry Bridges-ILWU (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eztempo, xaxnar

    model. If technology puts people out of work then those workers share in the economic benefits flowing from that innovation.

    More generally, profit and capital need be accurately recognized as the social product that they are.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:12:09 AM PDT

  •  I've known (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, mrkvica, pgm 01

    my entire life that the goal of business is to make money - not to provide a viable income for its employees.

    I mean, think about it.  That's why we must have regulation on business.  Greedy bastards.

    A man abstemious, rigidly upright, inflexibly honest, ferociously chaste. A man with every virtue, except humility and human kindness. - Ellis Peters

    by nolalily on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:16:54 AM PDT

  •  The "over $250,000" set are "whipping boys"?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, xaxnar

    Seems that, as this guy Frezza defines 'em, the "job creators" that all make more than $250,000 per year -- with hedge fund managers and corporate directors thrown in -- have been coddled by this Administration and Congress, not only for the "past two years", but for the past decade -- hell, last 30 years!

    On the basis of what, pray, is this guy believing that the uber-wealthy, or even the kinda-well-off small business owners, have been beaten up by this or any of the past five administrations?!

    While he's clear-eyed on what the point of business is (to make money, not create jobs), he's very muddled about what constitutes being a "whipping boy".  That designation has been reserved for the middle class and working poor since 1980, according to any objective measure.

  •  Yawn. (0+ / 0-)

    Businesses exist to create profit. Who knew.

    Why should the GOP want to destroy NPR for saying this? It's not news and it's not a secret. It coincides with GOP's values.

    What is the big deal.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 11:02:21 AM PDT

  •  in other words: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica

    Karl Marx was right, again.

  •  Anytime I see or hear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    the words "American Enterprise Institute" in connection with a story or comment on NPR or any other news source, I immediately deploy my protective Skepticism Shield.

    AEI is somewhere right over there in John Boner-landia.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 12:02:25 PM PDT

  •  I've been saying for years. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50

    Businesses hire workers or "create jobs" if the demand for their product/services exceeds their ability to provide that product.  For example, if demand for a car is higher than they thought, they may need to hire more employees to build those cars.

    But no business is going to just "create jobs" for the sake of creating jobs.  If they don't NEED to hire people to function efficiently, then they won't.  Period.  No amount of corporate welfare or tax breaks is going to create jobs.  

    If you want businesses to create jobs, you need to make sure consumers are able to afford to keep shopping and paying for goods without going into debt.  this would mean fundamentally restructuring the entire system to look after the bottom first.  This would be 110% the OPPOSITE of what the country currently does.  We would be strengthening social security, increasing worker pay and benefits, guaranteeing pensions, and ensuring the sick will be looked after without having to go bankrupt.  

    Instead, every action for the past 20 years has been to take away from the consumer or stakeholder and give more and more power to the business.

  •  Frezza honest? Inadvertantly so, perhaps . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, pgm 01

    he was so busy being a corporate suck-up artist he did recite the obvious fact that businesses are not in business to create jobs, they are in business to make $$ for the owners.

    HOWEVER, he neglected to say - or perhaps to understand - that businesses rely upon a social matrix in which to conduct their business . . . the roads and highways allow them to move goods and material, the power grid allows them to have electric lights, the public schools educate them, the internet allows them to communicate.

    All of these necessities are products of government and the social contract . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 01:40:48 PM PDT

    •  None of which they believe is necessary. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01, bobdevo

      If something can't generate a profit for somebody, they don't think it's worth doing. And they resent being asked to pay for it.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:48:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Throw some love? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Thestral

    NPR is lucky I still listen at all. When I no longer hear about what the Tea Party are planning, and which Republican candidates currently have the most juice - then I might consider giving again. The Ken Tomlinson reign under Bush changed the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in big ways, mainly by forcing conservative mythology to receive more air time. NPR's brand has been horribly damaged over the last 10 years, and they're going to have to do more than picking up the contract for Wait Wait Don't Tell Me to put me in the giving vein.

    •  If you don't reward good behavior, (0+ / 0-)

      don't expect things to change for the better.  For Pete's sake, just call or email them to let them know you really appreciated hearing this particular story.  If you want to throw money later, that's your privilege - but don't expect them to read your mind.

      And for damn sure, let your congress critter know you want NPR around, along with public TV and Radio - or it'll be all FOX all the time.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:46:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. I stopped listening years ago and (0+ / 0-)

      only turn it on to hear Car Talk once in a while.

      WAY WAY WAY too rightish for me.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:06:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just another talking head dipshit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50

    How many of these damned conservative "institutes" are there?  This guy is just another conservative hack spewing the party line about uncertainty, taxes, Obama the socialist and it is all nothing but BULLSHIT!  Why don't we ever hear from actual business owners?  Because they would not be talking like this.  I'm pretty sure they would tell us that they can't hire or increase their business because there is simply no demand for their product or service.  The customers just aren't there, the money is not in circulation and everyone of these clowns just makes the problem worse.  

  •  Time for an American-People action to remind... (0+ / 0-)

    those who claim to be "job creators" just WHO has economic power in the country.  It is time for a "spend-out" all across America.  Many will not risk their jobs by joining a general strike, but who risks spending NOTHING on a Saturday or Sunday?  What would happen if Americans spent NOTHING for a day or a series of days?  Would Business who feels no responsibility for helping to get the country back on its feet get the message?!?  

  •  The real tragedy here is that this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, bluegrass50

    is even news.

    The only reason it's news and not already common sensical knowledge is due to the almost total effectiveness of the media and education based propaganda machine dedicated to sustaining tax cuts and low taxes for the wealthy.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:18:32 PM PDT

  •  so Bill says... (0+ / 0-)
    I gave a correct but unsympathetic answer to the question:

    NEARY: But is that good for the country? Is that good for business, even?

    FREZZA: You know, each business is run for the benefit of its owners, its shareholders, its customers and its employees. It's not run for the benefit of the country. That's not why people run businesses.

    I should have said:

    OF COURSE businesses benefit the country. What kind of country would we have without them? But this is a CONSEQUENCE of businesses' pursuit of the interests of their owners, shareholders, customers and employees. Not a PURPOSE. Just as jobs are a consequence and not a purpose of running a business.

    Bill Frezza

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 08:35:40 PM PDT

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