How Many Presidents Does it Take to Screw in a Light Bulb?

Posted: Jul 02, 2011 12:01 AM

Jobs, jobs, jobs, where are the jobs?  

Whether you’re the current President of the United States or a candidate who wants to assume the mantle, the answer to that question may go a long way in deciding your fate.  

I would contend that you must first understand the question before you can answer it. 

Obama clearly doesn't understand where the jobs have gone. 

We have been constantly bombarded by the administration with rhetoric that businesses must be induced to create additional jobs.  

Some say  we can create jobs with tax relief.  For example,drop the corporate rate of 35% to something less onerous, like 20%.  

However, for a company like GE that pays zero taxes, a drop in rates has no effect.  It also destroys the myth that lower rates will create jobs since GE has shown a net domestic job loss over the past few years, even with a zero tax rate.  

Others say to loosen the regulations, they’re too burdensome.  As a small business owner, I can certainly agree with that. But more jobs?  

Uncertainty is another topic that candidates will put in their cross hairs.  Not knowing what to expect with healthcare, government rules, and taxes will obviously be a major detriment to any decision, the least of which is jobs.  

However, the point that everyone misses is you’re asking corporations to create additional jobs,when more than likely there is no need. Companies know full well the number of workers they need in order to be both productive and profitable.  

After all,how many people does it take to screw in a light bulb?  It’s usually not one employee more or even less.  Similar to Goldilock’s porridge,corporations usually have it just right. Therefore, how do we solve the unemployment problem?  


Let’s examine Corning, Inc., located in my birth state of New York.  

According to a recent interview with CFO Jim Flaws, Corning employs 23,500 people, of which 40%are in the United States.  

However, 60%, or 14,100 jobs are located overseas.  

To me, the solution is very simple.  Eliminate the 14,100 employees overseas and bring those jobs back home to the U.S.  

I don’t disagree that overseas labor is cheap, but if the financial incentives were SPECIFIC TO EACH JOB BROUGHT BACK, enough to affect the differential, I would think the choice would be easy.  

Just imagine if Corning brought back 14,100 jobs to the southern tier of New York. The positive impact to the local communities along with multiplier effect on other businesses would be enormous and real recovery would take hold. 

So, to you, Mr. President, and to all the hopeful candidates out there, the answer is very obvious. Don’t try to create new jobs, just bring back the ones we’ve lost. 

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