‘Job creator’ myth debunked


NYT reporters don’t seem to have access to the same facts as NYT columnist Paul Krugman, maybe because he doesn’t have an intranet connection to the newsroom. I’m kidding, but who knows? On Friday, Krugman lit into Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for misleadingly referring to Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, as a job creator, even though Apple employs only 43,000 people in the U.S. while indirectly employing 700,000 people in other countries.

Yes, the Times did report those figures in a piece that helped explain why Apple does so much work in totalitarian China — the Chinese government subsidizes huge manufacturing centers with reliable supply chains and ultra-cheap labor — and so little in the U.S.

However, a more thorough investigative piece would have put Chinese manufacturing efficiency in perspective by including the sometimes startling information in Krugman’s Friday column:

Germany remains a highly successful exporter even with workers who cost, on average, $44 an hour — much more than the average cost of American workers. And this success has a lot to do with the support its small and medium-sized companies — the famed Mittelstand — provide to each other via shared suppliers and the maintenance of a skilled work force.

The point is that successful companies — or, at any rate, companies that make a large contribution to a nation’s economy — don’t exist in isolation. Prosperity depends on the synergy between companies, on the cluster, not the individual entrepreneur.

But the current Republican worldview has no room for such considerations. From the G.O.P.’s perspective, it’s all about the heroic entrepreneur, the John Galt, I mean Steve Jobs-type “job creator” who showers benefits on the rest of us and who must, of course, be rewarded with tax rates lower than those paid by many middle-class workers…

I think Krugman’s larger, implicit point is that American corporations do what they do — off-shore millions of jobs while being treated to gigantic tax breaks — only because our corrupt political system allows them to do so. We could be Germany, a democracy with strong unions, good wages and universal health care, if we had laws that reined in the Ayn Rand disciples who sell out American workers but are portrayed as heroes by the American media.

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4 Responses to ‘Job creator’ myth debunked

  1. Pingback: The ‘job creator’ myth debunked

  2. Pingback: Links 1/30/12 | Mike the Mad Biologist

  3. Totalitarian?
    Didn’t they give that up?
    Do they actually care, any more, whether anybody even reads Marx?
    Much less that sociopathic crackpot, Mao.
    “Mass murderer” is too kind for his like.

  4. Questioner says:

    One reason for job export is that our internal tariffs exceed our external tariffs. Internal taxes include income, social security, property & other taxes:

    WASHINGTON, March 30 [2012] (Reuters) – The United States will hold the dubious distinction starting on Sunday of having the developed world’s highest corporate tax rate after Japan’s drops to 38.01 percent, setting the stage for much political posturing but probably little tax reform.

    Japan and the United States have been tied for the top combined, statutory corporate rate, with levies of 39.5 percent and 39.2 percent, respectively. These rates include central government, regional and local taxes.

    Japan’s reduction , prompted by years of pressure from Japanese politicians hoping to spur economic growth, will give that country the world’s second-highest rate.

    This has triggered complaints from U.S. politicians and business groups.

    “This isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke,” said Senator Orrin Hatch, the leading Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

    “Every industrialized country around the globe understands that tax rates can determine whether or not businesses succeed or fail,” Hatch said in a statement.

    Across most of the political spectrum there is broad agreement that the U.S. corporate tax rate is too high, though few corporations actually pay that rate because the loophole-riddled tax code gives them lower “effective” rates.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/30/us-corporate-tax-rate_n_1392310.html

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