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Mitt Romney, Job Creator

“When pressed, neither Mr. Romney nor Bain Capital has offered information to back up his claim of more than 100,000 jobs created during Mr. Romney’s tenure as CEO.” – The New York Times.

Phone transcript, Bain internal document, June 9, 1993:

“Hello, is this the Triple A Animal Container Corporation?”

“Yes.”

“I’m interested in creating an employment opportunity regarding the purchase of a completely airtight kennel for our family dog, one that could be secured to a station wagon roof, specifically a mobile carrier that’s equipped to endure both the liberty of long, open-road, free-market drives and the clumsy government meddling that a sealed car roof container would be subjected to at border crossings. We love the dog, and the dog loves fresh air, and we’re willing to investigate every reasonable option. That sales opportunity could translate into significant – and with optimal market conditions, sustainable – job creation for the Triple A corporation. I’d like to speak with the corporation’s owner.”

“This is Sal.”

“Hello, Mr. Sal.”

“Just ‘Sal.’”

“Are you the owner, “Just Sal?’”

“Owner, president, sales manager, customer service, marketing, repair, cashier, driver.”

“’Just’ Sal – hardly! I’d say you embody workplace productivity. You’re ‘Scalable Sal.’ You just identified eight legitimate, fully discreet jobs.”

“Nine, if you want to count ‘hinge bolter.’”

“I most certainly do. Who says corporations aren’t people? In the case of Triple A, I’d say nine!”

“I’ll have to get new business cards.”

“Not if it cuts into your bottom line, eh, Scalable Sal, ha, ha, ha. The Triple A shareholders wouldn’t want you to diffuse the core efficiencies that have gotten you listed first in your service category in the Greater Boston Yellow Pages. You didn’t earn a leadership position as a result of waste.”

“Actually, we’re first because of the three “A’s.” It’s alphabetical. My wife thought it up.”

“Of course, “A” comes before the other letters! Why, that’s an idea that was staring most of us in the face just waiting to be discovered and commoditized. Given the competitive incentive of a level playing field, an ambitious, resourceful individual realized the full potential of her specialized talent by turning creative inspiration into opportunity.  Three “A’s,” brilliant. Then, your wife works for the company, too?

“She did. Six months ago she ran off with a guy who owns a garbage company – Four A Waste Management. They’re on top of us in the book. We’re not officially divorced, yet. She wants to take the business from me. She claims she’s entitled to it since she thought of the Three A’s.”

“Interesting. Sort of a leveraged buyout. Sounds like a climber.”

“I can think of another word to describe Nadine.”

“So, technically, she’s not out of the picture. She’s employed by the corporation.”

“Technically.”

(Murmuring) “Creative director. We’re up to ten.”

“Excuse me, but you wanted to talk about a container? Sorry, I don’t have a lot of time. I have to get to my divorce hearing by two-thirty and it’s traffic lights all the way.”

“Intrusive government regulations. Restricting free will and movement of commerce. You can guess where traffic lights were invented – Europe. (In a French accent) ‘Don’t tell me what I can do; tell me what I can’t.’ I’d like to see a European think up something as bleeding edge as three ‘A’s.’ But, indeed, I do want to talk about purchasing a completely airtight mobile kennel. Nimble enough to be transferred and clamped to the individualized roofs of multiple family vehicles; sturdy enough to withstand the jolts, swerves, jarring bumps, and sudden stops that occur while driving at very high speeds on interstate highways; fluid enough to allow for ‘internal discharge’ should such a bodily need occur over the many hours required for international travel and the inefficient bureaucracies of government customs agents; and, of course, comfortable enough for a family member like a dog or a small-to-medium-sized child.”

“OK. Sounds like ‘The Contaminator’ could be the right model. I can try to get you one to look at. I’ll have to talk to Nadine about it at the hearing. When she left me, she took all the containers.”

“’The Contaminator.’ That sounds off-the-shelf.

“It is. Minimal assembly out-of-the-box.”

“Economies of scale! Scalable Sal, that’s poetry to me. I could come by tonight. First, though, I need to get something out of the way. I like to be able to fire people who provide services to me. I just fired my lawn service company.”

“Come again?”

“Failure is not an option. Commitment to excellence. That’s the cost of doing business.”

“Sure. Look, I’ve really got to go. My lawyer’s expecting me.”

“Ah, your lawyer. Sounds like he could be intimately involved in the affairs of the corporation.”

“In a way.”

“Excellent.  That makes eleven.”