Wednesday, December 09, 2009

If you don't understand the problem, your solutions make things worse

I don't know if you saw this, but if not, you need to! It's a graph comparing the private sector experience of presidential cabinet appointments since 1900 - and it shows that President Barack Obama's cabinet has significantly less business experience than his predecessors.

It's probably no surprise that Republican presidents drew heavily from the private sector, while just under 30% of President John F. Kennedy's cabinet had such experience. But Pres. Obama doesn't even reach 10% - and that lack of experience and understanding of what it takes to create jobs and wealth clearly shows in his policies and actions.

As this post on explains:

This ignorance of what drives the private sector was proven by Barack Obama himself this week, at his so-called “Jobs Summit,” where the POTUS stated:

Despite the progress we’ve made, many businesses are still skittish about hiring. Some are still digging themselves out of the losses they incurred over the past year. Many have figured out how to squeeze more productivity out of fewer workers. And that cost-cutting has become embedded in their operations and in their culture. That may result in good profits, but it’s not translating into hiring and so that’s the question that we have to ask ourselves today: How do we get businesses to start hiring again?

Heaven forbid! Productivity? Profits? Does Mr. Obama believe that businesses exist to hire people? I’m sorry, sir, but it is ALL about the profits. Productivity, and in turn, profitability, is improved either by enabling a constant number of people to produce more, or by reducing the number of people and maintaining constant production. New hiring may improve producTION, but not necessarily producTIVITY. Obama’s ideology, like that of his staffies, is disconnected from the realities of a capitalistic economy. And the policies he supports are similarly disconnected.

And now we come to the by-product of the Administration’s disconnect on private sector economics. If the policies of Barack Obama are truly damaging to business, we would expect to see that demonstrated in the marketplace. And indeed we’ve seen it.

The author then details three strikes against the Obama administration, including comments and statements from various CEOs that prove the damage the policies are doing to our job market.

And now the President thinks that the only way to address the economy is to spend our way out of the problem - failing, again, to recognize that government spending is a primary part of the problem and that more spending won't make it better.

But what do you expect from someone who's never had a 'real' job, had to make a payroll, show a profit for shareholders or meet the demands of a market?

We've 'hired' a man to run an organization without acknowledging that he'd never run an organization before - and in fact didn't know how. Now we're dealing with the consequences of putting in charge someone who thinks the economic system which brought us so much prosperity is evil and needs to be destroyed. We should not be surprised that the outcome is less jobs, more government intrusion and control, more taxes for us and the end of our liberty as we know it.

***Side Note: Pres. Obama's statement above reminded me instantly of some students I once met.

As a commissioner, I attended the first and last class in a special program for high school students - students who were having so much trouble that this program was a sort of last resort. In the first class, they were asked why companies exist. Their answers were 'to give back to the community,' 'to give to charity,' and 'to give me a job.'

I was astounded by the basic lack of understanding that a company exists to make a profit for the owner/investors. Of course, these students with this attitude were not going to make good employees and, eventually, get ahead, because they had no understanding of the economic system and how being valuable to the bottom line would advance them.

Fortunately, by the end of the class, these students were highly impressive. They expressed and demonstrated an understanding of the free market system and how they could use that system to better themselves. They were able to greet me professionally and make a very good impression - something they would have thought was ridiculous at the start of the class.

I bring all this up because the problem starts in childhood when we do not teach the basics of how our free market works - and how it can help people achieve their goals.

Perhaps Pres. Obama should take the class.

1 comment:

Timothy W Higgins said...

And when the kids not in that class grew up, they started protesting against Kroger and the YMCA, attempting to force their lack of understanding on economics onto the rest of the world.

We don't teach Adam Smith anymore in schools at any level apparently. We believe that a government which exemplifies a lack of either productivity or production is the best at determining how corporations will be run. We bring people together by and large for a job summit that have no experience in growing a business (without government protection) or hiring people at all.

Then we wonder what's wrong when a country already up to its eyeballs in debt announces that it will "spend its way to prosperity", and will divert TARP funds into whatever program that they see fit whether they were legislated for that purpose or not.

This is hope and change indeed.

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