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Letter to the editor: Capps, let business get back to business

IN THIS ARTICLE

Published January 13, 2012

Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted in response to a commentary by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara’s op-ed in the Jan. 6, 2012 issue of the Business Times entitled ”Local business, political leaders agree on job creation goals.”

Dear Editor:

Since she has never run a business, I recommend Rep. Capps read the book “Job Creation” by Andy Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr., and Westmont College entrepreneurship professor Dave Newton. They emphasize that the reason businesses are not creating jobs is because of the uncertainty created by the government through “massive federal spending programs, increased taxation, more business regulations, and greater intrusion into the lives of private sector companies.”

The free market creates jobs when businesses need to expand to meet specific needs in a targeted market, and these jobs have to pay for themselves from the company’s sales. In contrast, Rep. Capps and President Obama are again trying to determine what jobs will be created, by having the government pick winners and losers in energy, health care and technology.

Actually, many available jobs go wanting for lack of qualified applicants. Instead of emphasizing college for everyone, we need to align education to available jobs. We need to return to more vocational training and apprenticeship programs, as Germany has done, so that applicants have the right skill sets.

But maybe there is hope for Rep. Capps after all. She has “introduced legislation to help experienced military medics quickly transition to civilian emergency medicine.” However, she fails to point out that it is government-backed regulations that require these medics “to start from scratch at the most basic training level to receive certification for civilian EMT jobs.”

I suggest Rep. Capps also could create jobs by introducing legislation to end restrictions limiting the scope of practice for mid-level medical providers, limiting your right to drive a taxi, or your right to braid hair without getting a license. It is time to let customers, not the government, select winners and losers.

We also don’t need government funding of research. How much taxpayer money has been wasted on corn-based ethanol, the Chevy Volt and Solyndra? Locally, $16 million went down the drain for the now-defunct California Space Authority. Rep. Capps could also read Frederic Bastiat’s classic “What is seen and what is not seen,” which shows that individuals can spend their own money more productively than the government.

— Bruce K. Bell,  Moorpark