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Fri May 25, 2012, 05:28 PM

How many of those 80,000 Staples jobs Romney created resulted in mom and pop stationary stores

going under and losing those jobs? And isn't that just another transfer of wealth to the very rich?

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Reply How many of those 80,000 Staples jobs Romney created resulted in mom and pop stationary stores (Original post)
applegrove May 2012 OP
hedgehog May 2012 #1
Webster Green May 2012 #2
JDPriestly May 2012 #3
applegrove May 2012 #4
Arneoker May 2012 #5
CTyankee May 2012 #35
AtomicKitten May 2012 #6
Mr.Turnip May 2012 #7
magical thyme May 2012 #37
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #8
applegrove May 2012 #11
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #27
uppityperson May 2012 #30
jmowreader May 2012 #36
uppityperson May 2012 #13
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #15
uppityperson May 2012 #17
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #20
uppityperson May 2012 #23
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #26
uppityperson May 2012 #28
grantcart May 2012 #9
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #10
uppityperson May 2012 #12
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #14
uppityperson May 2012 #16
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #18
uppityperson May 2012 #19
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #22
uppityperson May 2012 #21
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #24
uppityperson May 2012 #25
JaxsonRaine May 2012 #29
uppityperson May 2012 #31
trumad May 2012 #32
Warren Stupidity May 2012 #33
grantcart May 2012 #34
Arneoker May 2012 #38
JHB May 2012 #39
applegrove May 2012 #40

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri May 25, 2012, 05:29 PM

1. kick for the truth!

We have a Mom and Pop stationary store here in town. Their prices match Staples, and while the in-store inventory is limited, they will happily order pretty much anything you want out of an inch thick catalog!

Plus - they have an in-store print shop and computer repair!

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri May 25, 2012, 05:30 PM

2. The local stationary store that I liked is now out of business. n/t

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri May 25, 2012, 05:54 PM

3. Precisely!

Big corporations have nearly killed off Main Street capitalism -- the kind of economy in which you personally know and trust the person who sells you the shoes, the erasers, the paper, your kid's notebook, and your lunch.

And Bain Capital is one of the companies that has hastened the demise of really small businesses. A lot of big box stores did their parts too.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #3)

Fri May 25, 2012, 08:45 PM

4. And the word effciency absolutely implies that they do more with less, more sales with fewer people

working in the stationary industry as a whole.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri May 25, 2012, 09:01 PM

5. Personally it doesn't matter to me whether I shop at Staples or a Mom and Pop

as long as the store is good. But a good point has been raised. Did Romney really create jobs with Staples? Perhaps not, if you consider the overall!

And in further bending over backwards to grant him the benefit of the doubt, I think that his career at Bain was perfectly legitimate. (Both Obama and Biden have pretty much granted the point. Of course, whether government should be granting that industry such a free hand, or favoring them with tax breaks, is another matter.) But it was Romney who brought up his career there in the first place, because he said that he knew how to create jobs. But all that he has really shown is that he knows how to create wealth for the partners at Bain (I'm not really sure that Bain or most other private equity firms are even all that hot in making money for their outside investors). We need someone focused on creating jobs for the rest of us.

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Response to Arneoker (Reply #5)

Sun May 27, 2012, 05:35 PM

35. It seems they keep cutting employees at my only remaining close Staples...

I practically have to hunt down someone to help me find stuff...at least in a mom and pop store you had help readily available...

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2012, 05:39 AM

6. With only a minority stake in Staples, Romney had no direct involvement with

... nor any management control of the company. He had nothing to do with job creation: He lied.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2012, 01:31 PM

7. I don't think this is a very good line of attack.

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Response to Mr.Turnip (Reply #7)

Mon May 28, 2012, 10:06 AM

37. would you care to explain? nt

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2012, 06:40 PM

8. Innovation drives growth

 

Innovation drives growth. Innovation in farming, for example, allows a small number of farmers to feed a large number of people. Adding automation increases efficiency even more. You could say that these innovations put small farmers out of work, but they also made it so families didn't need to spend their time growing their own food. When you can figure out how to do a job better, you free up resources(labor) for other uses.

Without constant innovation, we wouldn't have a world in which people are employed making electronics, providing luxury items and services, etc...

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #8)

Sat May 26, 2012, 07:58 PM

11. That is true. But Romney should not be implying he is some magical job creator by using the Staples

example, which I assume is the 80,000 out of 100,000 jobs his campaign is claiming for him to have created. I'm not saying do away with productivity, I'm saying productivity in this past generation has specifically meant no good jobs created.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #11)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:41 AM

27. I do think it's a little ridiculous

 

But it's politics. The truth is stretched on all sides. I will say this though, I have looked at financial SEC filings for every company I could find that Romney was involved with, and I'm very impressed with his/Bain's track-record in turning around/growing businesses.

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #27)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:48 AM

30. I am curious. Did you read the rules when you signed up on democraticunderground?

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #27)

Mon May 28, 2012, 04:13 AM

36. I'm also impressed with the number of companies Bain bankrupted

Bain's record is actually not all that great:

Half the companies they bought made money.
Of the half that did not, half of THOSE companies were bankrupted by Bain.
And of the half that went into bankruptcy, Bain lost 100 percent of its investment about a third of the time.

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #8)

Sat May 26, 2012, 09:56 PM

13. All those farmers who have been put out of work, what about them? They should simply sell

their family home, move to the city, take a minimum wage job at...Staples? They no longer "need to spend their time growing their own food" which frees up labor for other uses? Like...working for a chicken factory at minimum wage?

Your empathy astounds me.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #13)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:08 AM

15. You missed the point

 

The point is, without innovation, we wouldn't have cell phones. We wouldn't have the internet. We wouldn't have cars. We wouldn't have any of the nice things today, including the 'good jobs'.

We would all be struggling to save up enough money or food to weather the next winter. Innovation allows the workforce, as a whole, to move from a less productive job to a more productive job.

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #15)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:17 AM

17. Your point is innovation invents new things? Oh kay. And water is wet. You also say

You could say that these innovations put small farmers out of work, but they also made it so families didn't need to spend their time growing their own food. When you can figure out how to do a job better, you free up resources(labor) for other uses.


Putting small farmers out of work isn't so bad because they don't have to grow their own food. Instead they can go be labor for minimum wage jobs.

And this is good...how?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #17)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:25 AM

20. Why do you think

 

That the majority of workers don't have anything to do with basic necessities of life anymore? It's because we have innovated our technologies so we don't have to spend our labor-capital on those activities. Any time innovation occurs, it phases out old jobs, but opens up new opportunities.

Think of it like this. You have an ancient people who have very little technology, but they can grow, let's say, corn. Some of the corn fields are quite a distance away, and 20% of the population is engaged in growing/harvesting/transporting corn.

Then, someone invents the wheel. This makes transporting corn much easier, so only 15% of the population is engaged in growing corn. Now the other 5% can be put to work in other ways, such as making carts, making wheels, fixing carts and wheels, etc... Now, a smaller number of people get the same amount of work done corn-wise, but the population as a whole gets more wealthy because they now have wheels, carts, etc...

Then, another person innovates by using a water-wheel to grind the corn. Now only 10% of the population is engaged in growing corn. The people who don't have to grind anymore can be employed in other ways. They can start new fields(growing wealth) or work in the water-wheel construction/related businesses.

After enough innovation, you get to where we are now. Less people work to provide the basic necessities of life, which means we have more people to make all the wonderful things like TVs, computers, and political forums.

Yes, innovation can phase out old jobs, but the population as a whole always comes out ahead.

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #20)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:28 AM

23. Close down small farms so farmers can work in factories at minimum wages.This is "coming out ahead"?

Not for a whole lot of people.

Lose the family farm so you can "make all the wonderful things like TVs, computers, and political forums". Wow.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #23)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:40 AM

26. Did you really read my post?

 

Without innovation, the population as a whole would mostly be involved in providing basic necessities of life.

Do you have any comments on the scenario I presented? Do you think we would be better off if everyone worked their own family farm, and we didn't have most of our modern advances?

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #26)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:45 AM

28. There is a middle road. Doesn't have to be no modern conveniences or kick everyone one off the famil

family farm or small business to go work in a factory.

There will always be "innovation", people inventing and trying new things. But to worship that at the cost of quality of life is wrong. Yes, we all could be working in minimum wage factories, making algae into food and have it be oh so 25th century but would everyone be better off?

Some think so. Most of us here do not.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2012, 07:35 PM

9. Independent stationary stores, book stores, drug stores, hardware stores, are all

in general, except for certain niche circumstances are doomed, unfortunately.

This is one of the areas that would show that Romney was a sharp investor of entrepenurial start ups rather than a leaverage buy out guy that used massive amounts of capital to pick off vulnerable undervalued firms desparate for a lifeline.

Problem was that Romney fought hard against the Staples investment at Bain and then got Bain out as quickly as he could:



http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/06/1089253/-Romney-Lies-He-Did-Not-Start-Staples

Two men named Leo Kahn and Thomas Stemberg started Staples.

As they grew their business, Stemberg approached Bessemer Venture Partners, a competitor of Romney's Bain. Stemberg wanted to borrow money from Bessemer to open more Staples stores. Bessemer then approached Bain about joining in the venture to spread the risk.

But Romney didn't like the idea at all. He thought Staples was a bad investment and turned Bessemer down. Not once, not twice, but three times.

Only after other people at Bain pushed did Romney reluctantly reconsider. He still expressed strong opposition to the deal, but would not stand in the way of providing some backing. The proposed investment in Staples was tiny compared to other Bain deals.


Bain then made a modest $650,000 investment in Staples. Because he headed Bain, Romney was offered a seat on the Staples board. While on the board, Romney had no direct involvement in the company nor any management control. He simply showed up at a board meeting every few months. He was absent from meetings more times than he was present.

Bain made additional modest investments in Staples, for a total of $2.5 million. As soon as the company went public, Romney dumped Bain's share and was out of the investment.

When Bain got rid of its stake, Staples was still a small chain, with only 24 stores in New England and barely a thousand part-time jobs. It was nowhere near the mega-giant it would become. With time, Staples grew to more than 2,200 stores with 89,000 employees.

All of that growth occured long after Romney had left Bain and long after he had any connection whatsoever with the company.


A company Romney thought was a bad investment. Which he demonstrated by pulling out as quickly as he could.

What's troubling most about this is how the lie "Romney started Staples" is endlessly repeated by his supporters and even some of his opponents.



The Staples story shows that Romney may have been a good leverage guy but he wasn't very good at seeing trends and investing in talented people with good ideas, something that would be handy for a President to have.

There's a reason that you don't see Romney talking much about Staples, it shows his weakness as an investment broker, he was better at the vulture, buy it cheap, strip off the assets kind of investment. I just can't see how it helps him make a very good Presidential prospect.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #9)

Sat May 26, 2012, 07:55 PM

10. Reliable information

 

The Daily Kos article only references a book for its information.

Tom Stemberg actually recently spoke about Romney, and he says Romney was involved, took a chance on his idea.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/05/22/staples-founder-romney-will-clean-up-obama-economic-mess/

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #10)

Sat May 26, 2012, 09:32 PM

12. What do you think of that letter from Staples owner? Do you agree with it?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #12)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:06 AM

14. Agree with it in what way?

 

That Romney was involved in the process? Yes, I'll take the word of the founder over the word of someone who wrote a book about it.

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #14)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:13 AM

16. Sarah, is that you? Do you agree with "Itís time to let Mitt Romney clean up this mess" for starters

Here, I'll give you a couple more bits.

Do you agree that "President Obama entered office with no experience managing the economy. Having failed to get the economy back in high gear, he now wants to hike taxes on dividends and capital gains and on the business owners who provide over half of the countryís private sector jobs."?

Do you agree with "Instead of more regulations and more taxes, Mitt favors comprehensive tax reform. He supports an across-the-board 20 percent cut in tax rates that will provide tax relief and empower job creators to hire new employees and investors to unleash capital. By eliminating taxes on capital gains, interest, and dividends for lower- and middle-income American families, he will make it easier for almost everyone to save."?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #16)


Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #18)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:20 AM

19. Do you agree with "Itís time to let Mitt Romney clean up this mess"?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #19)


Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #18)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:25 AM

21. Lowering corporate taxes will help how? What are your view on employer based healthcare?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #21)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:38 AM

24. Lowering Corporate Taxes

 

will help by encouraging existing corporations to expand(by freeing up private capital). It will encourage national investments, as the average tax rate on new investments in the US is ~30%. Similarly, it will encourage foreign investment. Right now, the US tax on new investment is on average 7.5% higher than other developed countries, and can be as much as 30% higher in certain industries.

Let's say you are an international investor. All things being equal, would you rather invest in Corp A where your profits will be taxed at 11%, or Corp B where your profits will be taxed at 41%?


http://cbo.gov/publication/17501
http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/27609.html

Healthcare is a whole 'nother topic...

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #24)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:40 AM

25. And what is your view on employer based healthcare?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #25)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:47 AM

29. I think in its current form it doesn't work.

 

Government mandates contribute to as much as 50% of insurance costs, by mandating that certain things are covered by all employers. Some of these mandates can honestly be argued for, but some are ridiculous to the extent of covering elective cosmetic procedures.

The insurance companies, for the most part, aren't the problem. They often have smaller profit margins than most other industries. Interstate competition could help some, but probably only a few percentage points.

We have higher salaries(50-200%) compared to other developed countries, and this contributes to high costs. That's probably just not going to change, unless the government starts mandating physician salaries.

Malpractice insurance needs to be addressed with tort reforms.

I would like to see more free-market work as far as what employers can provide.

I'm not dead-set against a public option, but I am set against the government forcing me to buy insurance.

Sorry, just some points on healthcare in general, was there anything else you would like to hear?

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #29)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:49 AM

31. Yes, 1 last question. Who are you backing for president?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #31)

Sun May 27, 2012, 08:07 AM

32. LOL

Dude --you already landed him, took him to the dock, and fillet him.

Got to say---that was a pretty easy catch.

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #24)

Sun May 27, 2012, 10:35 AM

33. The effective corporate tax rate in the us is one of the lowest of all developed countries.

Also, corporate tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is at historic lows, but the lying rightwing noise machine keeps pushing for more give backs to the rich and powerful paid for by working families.

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Response to JaxsonRaine (Reply #10)

Sun May 27, 2012, 04:56 PM

34. the Staples founder has entered into a political discussion with an agenda



No one disputes the facts laid out in the book that Bain was late to get in to Staples and early to get out.

Wish you could have stayed around so I could have wiped your ass.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Wed May 30, 2012, 07:29 AM

38. The point is not whether what Romney did at Bain was legitimate or not

The point is that Romney cannot have it both ways. He cannot claim that his experience as a businessman equips him with the skills to create jobs for America, and then complain that pointing out that his record at Bain in terms of creating jobs is ambiguous at best is an attack on capitalism. The downside of the creation of prosperity by the capitalist system is all of the people who get hurt by all of the "creative destruction" involved. This is not to indict the capitalists, or even the system. It is to point out that the elected official's goal of jobs creation is fundamentally different from the businessman's goal of making money. The two goals don't have to conflict, but the achievement of one does not guarantee the achievement of the other.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Wed May 30, 2012, 07:34 AM

39. Office supply was not exactly a new field

While growth of Staples may have been good for its execs and stockholders, for the economy in general, as far as jobs go, it was at best a wash (those office supply needs would have been filled by someone) and more likely a net loss (what with that "efficiency" sending more money upward, thus less for employees who would spend it in the course of trying to make a better life for themselves).

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Response to JHB (Reply #39)

Wed May 30, 2012, 05:52 PM

40. +1

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