The alternative would be to treat companies as if their primary purpose is to provide employment rather than turn a profit. That system might work for a while -- a very short while. But it would destroy innovation, reduce productivity and ultimately make everyone, including workers, poorer.
If a company isn't profitable, it won't stay in business, even if the owners are pure altruists. Companies fail for lots of reasons: Their products or services are inferior, they lose market share to competitors or they become bloated and inefficient. Turnaround firms like Bain Capital specialize in solving the last problem.
But in order to get a company back on its feet, someone has to make tough decisions by eliminating positions that are extraneous, cutting jobs that aren't vital to the bottom line and trying to produce more or better products and services with fewer people.
The country could do a lot worse than electing a president who knows how to do exactly that. After all, one of the biggest problems facing the new president will be dealing with the debt we've accumulated running a Leviathan federal government. Who better than someone who has cut costs for years in the private sector to bring those same skills to the job of president?
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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