Maybe Barack Obama doesn’t really want a second term. After all, he had arguably the nation’s most successful and popular CEO offering to help make his re-election campaign ads, giving him free advice on how to turn the economy around — and warning him he was in danger of losing in 2012.
But there’s scant evidence Obama actually listened to this man — a certain Apple co-founder named Steve Jobs, according to a preview of the forthcoming biography of the recently departed entrepreneur, as reported by the Huffington Post:
“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” [Jobs] told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.
Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
Oh, Obama has tip-toed around the edges of education reform, though generally not in ways that really address the union problem, and of paring back a few regulations — while his administration continues to introduce a host of new regulations that it admits will cost industry billions and billions of dollars.
For all those who argue the “job creators” aren’t really held back by government interference, and that we’re really just suffering from a lack of demand: That’s Jobs, Coca-Cola’s Muhtar Kent, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus and Wynn Resorts’ Steve Wynn — just off the top of my head — making such an argument. They represent a variety of industries, and most of them are making these arguments in spite of the fact that their own businesses aren’t struggling. Apple, for instance, is reportedly sitting on — that is, not investing — somewhere between $70 billion and $80 billion in cash.
But they can see why the broader economy is being held back. Will Obama ever listen to them?
– By Kyle Wingfield