Two news items hit today, neither of which will likely be trumpeted by the media. Yet both are incredibly important.
The first one is from Jack Welch, who recently made headlines from a Tweet that he sent out last Friday:
Oh, yeah, that created a firestorm of vitriol from the Left which was covered to death over the weekend. I didn’t bother to touch it Monday, since it had already shown up everywhere else.
However, Welch just wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that isn’t so easily vilified, and thus will largely be ignored by the press. Here’s just a taste:
Imagine a country where challenging the ruling authorities—questioning, say, a piece of data released by central headquarters—would result in mobs of administration sympathizers claiming you should feel “embarrassed” and labeling you a fool, …or worse.
Soviet Russia perhaps? Communist China? Nope, that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense.
Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible. And that’s why I made a stink about it.
(Click image to enlarge)
The unemployment data reported each month are gathered over a one-week period by census workers, by phone in 70% of the cases, and the rest through home visits. In sum, they try to contact 60,000 households, asking a list of questions and recording the responses.
Some questions allow for unambiguous answers, but others less so. For instance, the range for part-time work falls between one hour and 34 hours a week. So, if an out-of-work accountant tells a census worker, “I got one baby-sitting job this week just to cover my kid’s bus fare, but I haven’t been able to find anything else,” that could be recorded as being employed part-time.
The possibility of subjectivity creeping into the process is so pervasive that the BLS’s own “Handbook of Methods” has a full page explaining the limitations of its data, including how non-sampling errors get made, from “misinterpretation of the questions” to “errors made in the estimations of missing data.”
Bottom line: To suggest that the input to the BLS data-collection system is precise and bias-free is—well, let’s just say, overstated.
The rest of the post is terrific. Please read the whole thing.
The second item is from another highly successful businessman, David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts, which employs about 3,200 people in central Florida and thousands more in cities such as Las Vegas; Branson, Mo.; and Gatlinburg, Tenn.
In a email to all his employees, Siegel said that he did not want to tell them how to vote — but wanted them to know that another four years of President Barack Obama could make it tough for him to keep people employed.
“You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive,” he said. “My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
“Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits, but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the costs of running a business have gotten out of control, and let me tell you why: We are being taxed to death and the government thinks we don’t pay enough. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation taxes and unemployment taxes. I even have to hire an entire department to manage all these taxes.
The question I have is this: Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation?”
“Even to this day, every dime I earn goes back into this company,” he wrote. “Over the past four years I have had to stop building my dream house, cut back on all of my expenses, and take my kids out of private schools simply to keep this company strong and to keep you employed …”
“So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job,” he concluded.
The entire email can be found HERE.
As the President is so fond of saying, this isn’t politics, it’s math. If Siegel has less money (due to higher taxes and regulation) to spend on his company, he’s probably going to spend…less money on his company.
You don’t need a particularly high IQ to make the next logical jump.
Our economy has been in the doldrums for 4 years, and a continuation of our present course is inviting disaster. Just as I feel priests and other religious leaders have a moral obligation to inform their flock of what is at stake in this election, so too do business leaders have that same obligation.
President Pluralist started this whole “Eat The Rich” mentality early on in his term, and he hasn’t let up since. Fine. Let him deal with the consequences of his rhetoric.
And when he’s once again unemployed next month, I personally won’t care what he has to say anymore.