To the Editor:
At a meeting of the Jobs and Competitiveness Council, President Barack Obama was told: “I’m sure that when you implemented the Recovery Act, your staff briefed you on many of these challenges.” At this point, Obama smiled and interjected, “Shovel-ready was not as ... uh ... shovel-ready as we expected.”
The council, led by General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt, erupted in laughter. Is it funny that 14 million Americans are looking for work and our employed president can crack a joke with his CEO friends.
This council has a mission of leaving “no stone unturned” to boost the country’s anemic job growth; but, in fact, these CEOs haven’t been roaring engines of job growth.
• GE’s domestic workforce shrank by 25,000 between 2001 and 2010.
• AmEx employed 28 percent fewer workers in 2010 than it did a decade ago.
• Kodak’s workforce dropped to 18,800 last year from 75,000 in 2001.
• Xerox’s employee base shrank by one-third between 2001 and 2009.
It’s a wonder that this council after four months offers a list of immediate must do, job-creating ideas that is so uninspiring: More money to retrain workers? More tax dollars retrofitting commercial buildings to boost energy efficiency? More government loans passed out by the Small Business Administration?
Obama hasn’t a clue on the economy and the reality of doing business in America, but creates a council of CEOs who have worked to reduce their “bottom line” to make greater profits that reward their personal earnings.