Covering Romney

By Chris Daly

Here’s the text of a letter I submitted to the New York Times for publication yesterday. Since they have had 24 hours to act on it and have not contacted me, I am assuming that they are not going to use it. (Everyone makes mistakes.) So, I am posting it here:

TO THE EDITOR: 

Re: “Tall Tales about Private Equity” (Op-ed, May 23): 
Steven Rattner makes a valid point about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s track record of job creation while Mr. Romney was the head of Bain Capital. Mr. Rattner argues that Bain’s primary goal was to make money and that job creation was secondary. He notes that in the case of Bain’s involvement with Staples, Mr. Romney claims credit for all of the 89,000 jobs Staples had by 2010, rather than the 42,000 employees it had when Mr. Romney left Bain in 1998.
From another point of view, even the 42,000 figure may be too high, because it is not a net figure. Staples is a big-box office supply chain whose success led indirectly to the closing of some uncounted number of small stationery shops, all of which once had employees too. When the loss of those jobs is reckoned against the gains at Staples, the net number of jobs gained in that retail field is probably much lower.
–CHRISTOPHER B. DALY
Boston, May 23, 2012

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