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U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during his reaction to the Supreme Court's upholding key parts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul law during a rooftop news conference in Washington June 28, 2012. Romney sai
Mitt Romney probably won't be bragging quite so much between now and the election about all those jobs he supposedly created at Staples. In an inconveniently timed move for Romney's presidential campaign, the office-supply chain announced it would be closing 30 American stores and downsizing 30 more. How will that affect jobs? We don't know, because Staples is doing its best for Romney on that front:
Staples spokesman Kirk Saville would not comment as to whether any job reductions are in the works when the company lowers its store count by a net total of 30.
One analyst suggests that Staples might allow cuts to happen through natural attrition in a high-turnover workforce. But let's be serious. If you're closing 30 stores to cut costs, you're cutting jobs. Jobs held by people who are just barely getting by to begin with.

Of course, Mitt Romney was never responsible for creating the 90,000 jobs at Staples he has frequently claimed to have created. And his own convention speech laid out what was wrong with the jobs model at Staples, where sales associates make an average of just under $9 an hour:

[W]hen you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits. [...]

But driving home late from that second job, or standing there watching the gas pump hit 50 dollars and still going, when the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a big loss, in those moments you knew that this just wasn’t right.

Mitt Romney didn't create those $9 an hour jobs he knows just aren't right, but he wanted us to believe he did. For a while, those jobs were pretty much the basis for his entire presidential campaign. Now some of them—we don't know how many—are going away. Kind of like Mitt's political career.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 08:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  how many net new jobs were created? (16+ / 0-)

    The advent of big box stores provides convenience (and reduced selection) but "90,000" new Staples jobs does not mean 90,000 new jobs- in the meantime many (all?) mom and pop stationery stores were eliminated.  That s capitalism and competition, and I don't have a problem with that per se.  Still, people are not buying more pens and paper than before- the jobs have simply shifted to Staples.  No net new jobs at all.

    The business plan of such big box takeovers is to put a Staples on every corner to drive the little guys out of business, and then to cut the number of stores when there is no longer any competition.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:01:50 AM PDT

    •  I do have a problem with this kind of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HappyinNM, phree, zinger99, sethtriggs

      capitalism, when it replaces decent-paying jobs that include a good measure of autonomy or decision-making power, and opportunity for advancement, with crap-paying, demeaning, robotic jobs.

      At a mom-and-pop shop, a worker might move up the ladder, even to ownership one day, or could at least learn entrepreneurial skills useful in other jobs. At places like Staples, you're just a low-paid, replaceable cog.

    •  Make that 48% now. Are 'relocation camps' der (0+ / 0-)

      Mitt's solution for the displaced workers he doesn't care about?

      Romney: Wrong on GM. Wrong on bin Laden. Wrong on tax cuts. Wrong on austerity. Wrong on Medicare. Wrong on the 47%. Wrong for America.

      by SGWM on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:16:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly - but that isn't the only fallacy. (0+ / 0-)

      Mitt claims to LOVE small business and the "uniquely American" spirit of entrepreneurship.  But from what I've seen of the "big-box" business model, after mom & pop are forced to close their store, at least one of them winds up working at the big-box store that forced them out of their business.

      OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

      by mstaggerlee on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 09:17:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The real story is Bain and Brick and Mortar stores (6+ / 0-)

    During the 90's when the biggest change in business practices in the history of mankind was taking place (the internet), Romney and Bain were building a giant chain of Brick and Mortar stores, instead of concentrating on the internet.

    This demonstrates Romney's vision of the future.  Staples was doomed from the day they decided to go Brick and Mortar.  Look for Staples to go the way of most book stores and fade out of existence.

  •  Here's my question... (4+ / 0-)

    will he still tout his job creation record at Staples in his stump speeches.  Or was he for his job creation record at Staples before he was against mentioning it again?

    Concerned citizens want to know!

    "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side."~Little Ricky Santorum

    by Dahankster on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:04:10 AM PDT

  •   If you crunch the numbers (17+ / 0-)

    comparing the figure provided from Romney's partial '11 tax return vs. the average wages of the folks at Staples whose jobs he claimed to create, you find out that if Romney had made his 13.7 million dollars by working a 40 hour, 50 week job the way the Target employees do (if they're lucky enough to be hired full time), he'd have made more in every minute at $114.14 per minute than each Target employee did per day at $72 per day.

    And this, my friends, is why our corporate personhood puts us at the same level of inequality as nations like China, Madagascar, and Rwanda, with our most recent Gini score of .475.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by progressivist on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:05:22 AM PDT

  •  Bain is contemplating to take Staples private (5+ / 0-)

    From your link;

    A Fortune report on Sept. 13 found that several private equity firms are considering a buyout offer for Staples. The potential buyers include Bain Capital, a private equity firm that helped to launch Staples 26 years ago and was once led by Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.  
    Bain has bought other retail companies like Toys 'r Us, Guitar Center and Michaels.

    They squeeze them to the max and then take them back into the market to monetize the squeezing.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:13:29 AM PDT

  •  what gripes me (14+ / 0-)

    is you can't even buy a single marker anymore at a big box store, you have to buy a wastefully packaged  plastic pack of  6 or 10 or 24 or something...and they are expensive.
    The big box office stores put all the smaller office supply, art supply, stationary, cards, camera and computer stores out of business. They took them out of the heart of neighborhoods and downtowns.. now you need a Walmart size building  to run a store and  they are going down because they can't compete with serves them right, but i want the
    little and mid sized stores back.

    •  People have to support them, I know some (10+ / 0-)

      communities that still have small coffee shops, video stores, small stationary stores because the people in the community are relentless in supporting them.  I have friends that are like that and they live in a charming community with all the local amenities.

      •  In my town (7+ / 0-)

        our local bookstore beat Borders

        and our local stationary store has expanded, while Staples never made it in the door.

        Circuit city died, Best Buy is dying.  Our local electronics businesses that build computers, gaming stations etc and repair computers are all thriving.

        Our local pet supply store is doing better than the PetSmart that moved in.  

        Oh, and while Whole Foods moved in on dying supermarkets our two natural foods supermarkets are eating their lunch (one just expanded into a bigger place built from ground up to be "green", more than doubled its floor space and tripled its sales....two blocks from a Whole Foods that always seems empty)

        If your community supports the local businesses, the big box companies don't always win.  Not everyone shops strictly on a few cents less here and there.

    •  Yep, and that is exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      defluxion10, hotdamn, sethtriggs

      what everyone was afraid of when the box stores came to town. Put the mom and pops out of business, then raise prices.
      I shop Big Lots, Dollar Store, and thrift shops. Same products, lower prices.

      If the Fetus you Saved was GAY, would you still fight for it's RIGHT'S?

      by snoopydawg on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:43:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I shop in town, when possible. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, snoopydawg

        You can't beat the service when you go into a business run by a guy/girl whose lifeblood is his/her business.
        Especially hardware stores...any person who runs their own hardware store is exponentially more knowledgeable than the collective staffs of the three closest Home Depots.

        "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin

        by hotdamn on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:30:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Amazon is my source (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hotdamn, sethtriggs

      for an amazing variety of things. It started with books, then consumer electronics, and it's expanded to include many of the things I formerly purchased from the big box stores.

      I pay an annual fee for an Amazon Prime membership so I get free shipping on just about anything and there's no minimum purchase. So within the past few months I've purchased vitamins, whole black peppercorns, a salad spinner, assorted cables, a large screen television, and a leather recliner.

      A couple of days ago I decided to replace my "Chum" eyeglass retainers and found just what I needed at Amazon and UPS will deliver them later this morning.

      So I think that all the big box stores are getting hurt by this shift. Back when I first started doing business with Amazon I never would have imagined that I'd choose to buy so many things from them rather than a local store.

      Twenty years ago there were lots of local stores selling clothing, office supplies, etc. But, now they are mostly all out of business. It all started when K-Mart came to town, then Walmart, then Staples.

      This week I noticed that our local Western Wear store is going out of business which is really too bad because it was the last place to get shoes repaired.

      The only place that seems to be doing well is a family owned store that sells a wide array of kitchen gear. I've purchased all of my Messermeister knives from them along with a lot of other cooking items. But, I'm sure that they are under pressure from the online stores because I can get most of those knives for 15-20 percent less via Internet dealers.

      At any rate, I agree that the Brick and Mortar stores are hurting and I really don't see that changing. I'm not sure that Staples and Best Buy still have a viable business model.

      The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

      by Mr Robert on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 11:36:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I notice is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      just how expensive office supplies are, when the only thing around is Staples or Office Max. Sheesh! No wonder small businesses are struggling: they're blowing all their income on copy paper or file folders.

      Staples doesn't just treat its workers badly; it treats its customers poorly as well. Plenty of slimy, deceptive business practices.

  •  As I sit here at work (9+ / 0-)

    I pick up the office products ordered from staples, heres what they say:

    Staples Rubber Bands
    500 Staples Drive
    Framingham MA 01702
    Made In Thailand

    Stapes Standard Staples
    Staples Superstore
    500 Stpales Drive
    Framingham MA 01702
    Made In China

    Staples Large Envelopes
    Made In Mexico

    The good news is, they still get their Paperclips in the USA.  

    •  Rubber bands, staples, envelopes (14+ / 0-)

      The bulk of my hands-on experience is in heavy machine tools, but I've worked with enough light stamping and injection molding to be pretty certain that the labor costs per unit of those particular products is tiny. As in if you have a U.S. based operation with compensation at (just for the sake of argument) auto industry wages prior to two tiering, it MIGHT add a couple of pennies to the on-the-shelf retail cost compared to the prevailing labor compensation in any of those other nations.

      Low labor costs will soon be eclipsed by ever increasing transportation costs due to Carbon Energy scarcity. The Financial Elites are so intent on suppressing labor dignity that they are willfully blind to the cost drivers that will soon overwhelm all of us, including them.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 10:44:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope some is keeping track (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      Over the past few weeks, articles trickle out about companies promising job layoffs.  
       Bank of America
       Best Buy

        BoA said that it was accelerating the layoff rate.

        I'm not a CT type of person, but, we need to keep these accelerated layoffs in mind when the Sept / Oct labor stats are released.

  •  Staples founder in 2002 (0+ / 0-)

    Only one mention of Bain(they referred us to Avery Dennison) and none of Mitt.

    Some people have short memories

    by lenzy1000 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 10:59:25 AM PDT

  •  Romney folks will just blame this on the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Obama" economy. Not worth drawing attention to, IMO.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 11:46:05 AM PDT

  •  The Staples store near me closed a few months ago (0+ / 0-)

    much to my dismay.  The next nearest is an inconvenient hike.  There never seemed to be much activity at that Staples, but it was really handy for the kind of supplies I need.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 12:53:38 PM PDT

  •  So THOUSANDS of small stationery stores (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yawnimawke, HappyinNM

    that Staples put out of business will re-open?


    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:03:08 PM PDT

  •  No surprise. (0+ / 0-)

    They closed two in Paramus, N.J. over the past eight months.

    So much for creating jobs, Willard?

    "Do they call you Rush because you're in a rush to eat?" -"Stutterin' John" Melendez to Rush Limbaugh.

    by Nedsdag on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:09:59 PM PDT

  •  rMoney Bainic button (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:10:00 PM PDT

  •  Minimum 1200 employees laid off. The good news (0+ / 0-)

    is that it opens the market back up for mom & pop stores. Although I will say, locally here for office supplies, most companies buy from Quill instead of office max or staples. Staples was more for regular consumers. That being said, I used to buy "office supplies" like envelopes, pens, etc. from the local Hallmark store that closed like 10 years ago.

    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ The Bible says that. Ask Willard aka 'I love America sooo much' Romney

    by yawnimawke on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:16:23 PM PDT

    •  That's not necessarily a good thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      considering that "Mom & Pop" usually tend to be the biggest wingnuts in the community . . .

      Corporations at least have some accountability and modicum of social responsibility (or all hell can break loose, as the recent Chick fil A debacle showed).

      •  goes both ways. a whole lot depends on the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        community you live in. My hallmark store owners were very nice people. they were religious (at least they sold a whole lot of god stuff besides cards and stationary) but they also let you have an account based on how often you came in. They gave me an account just by taking my name (and i didn't even ask). I was short a couple of dollars on a figurine for my mom's birthday (I asked how much, she gave me the $$ and I said I didn't have enough ~ "oh dear don't worry about that you can pay us the difference later"). They had my business for the rest of the time they were there. I bought everything I could from them and only used that account maybe three times. I could call them & have them hold figurines for me until I had time to pick them up, have them order things for me, etc. They were just really sweet.  Unfortunately, when the husband got sick, they sold the business and the new owners shut it down and turned it into a Radio Shack.  And now, my closest Hallmark store is a couple of towns over run by a hippie new-ager. She's nice too. But I just started buying my supplies from Quill and reimbursing my company.

        I would like to have a small office supply store here in town though. I don't need to buy things in bulk and I like the small stores. I just wish someone would open another Hallmark franchise here. I hate buying Birthday cards at the grocery store.

        For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ The Bible says that. Ask Willard aka 'I love America sooo much' Romney

        by yawnimawke on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:41:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was mostly speaking from personal experience (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          there's a guy in my neighborhood who owns a dry cleaning business that I post about from time to time (so I won't rehash his nuttiness right now).

          In my extended family, there are also a few Mom & Pop wannabes - who unabashedly exploit some of the more naive family members for free labor, etc etc.  And then on top of it, in true Tea Partyish fashion, game the system to make sure they're eligible for government retirement benefits (SS etc) by putting them on the books for the minimum amount of labor needed to qualify (and then having them work for free the rest of the time . . . ).

          •  lol! I know what ya mean. I think most family (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            owned businesses do take advantage of family labor. But it can work both ways there too. My great uncle used to run a diner in St. Paul and my uncle (my mom's brother) was always getting into trouble so my grandmother would ship him to St. Paul to work with there for awhile to get him to straighten out. I was a little kid so I didn't know what all the angst was about. Now I get it.

            At the same time, I know what you are talking about cuz the last company I worked for, one of our clients ran their business just like that. The majority of the staff was extended family, the owner paid himself and his kids very, very well, but not the rest of them. And boy was it contentious over there. AND they were all republicans. This way they didn't have to hire minorities either (very racist).  

            For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ The Bible says that. Ask Willard aka 'I love America sooo much' Romney

            by yawnimawke on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 06:23:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  At this rate (0+ / 0-)

    I will be expecting Mitt Romney to actually lose control of his bladder and pee all over himself at the start of the first debate.

    Or to be gripped with an uncontrollable fit of loud, concussive farts whenever he pauses in his oratory.

    Even before Tampa, after the primary was no longer in doubt, if it weren't for bad luck, Mitt Romney wouldn't have any luck at all.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:18:01 PM PDT

  •  $22.50 down to $9 is "good news" for GOPers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republicans view wage destruction as being some sort of great thing for the economy and is obviously a major goal of their policies.  

    Of course, that person who got once $22.50 was "greedy",  particularly if they belonged to a union.

    We're supposed to believe that moving  the money that once went into wages into ever fatter CEO bonuses is going to result in prosperity for everyone. What a crock of shit.  The saddest thing of all is that many victims of this state of affairs will be voting for them all the same, no doubt blaming illegals for what their own party is doing to them.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:19:03 PM PDT

  •  Romney blindly trusted Staples closures would (0+ / 0-)

    happen after election day ...

  •  He may not have created the jobs (0+ / 0-)

    but the pay scale is his. His and the rest of the one-percenters who have beaten middle-class workers down.

    The power of the Occupy movement is that it ....realizes a fundamental truth about American politics… there is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

    by orson on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:20:26 PM PDT

  •  I guess the economy has to support (0+ / 0-)

    a certain number of these employers for whom attrition is built right into their business model. You can watch it on craigslist: they always spam the Help Wanted ads, because their wages are so low, and/or working conditions are so perfectly atrocious, they are constantly hiring. I guess some such business proprietors get rich this way. I don't respect business proprietors who get rich this way. I respect the ones who actually create living-wage jobs.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:20:33 PM PDT

  •  Mitt won't shed a tear. (0+ / 0-)

    These people are part of those 47% that Mitt doesn't care about anyway.  Anyone who works at Staples and votes for Romney is delusional at best.

    Reaganomics raped the American worker & this depression is the result. When will we wake up & vote with our own financial interests?

    by phree on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:25:11 PM PDT

  •  What's the opposite of the Midas touch? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Romney touch?

    Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two make four.  If that is granted, all else follows. -- George Orwell, 1984. Now on Twitter.

    by kindler on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:26:32 PM PDT

  •  Net jobs created? (0+ / 0-)

    I've always had a problem with the idea that Staples ever created any jobs.  For every person employed by Staples, there were probably two workers or worker/owners put out of jobs at independent, local stationery stores.  

  •  In retrospect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Perhaps it would have been wiser for the Republicans to have supported mega stimulus spending rather than the paltry amounts they succeeded with.  Instead they choose the path of driving the economy into the ground by austerity, believing that a poor economy was the route to power.

    Conservative social issues always do better in a good economy.   Republicans may not have run on them (in name only) this cycle but they sure have hell have voted on them and not much else.  

    Every time I make the statement that "You don't get the country out of the rut by cutting spending and loosing jobs"  I have found that no one disagrees, mostly they agree enthusiastically, irregardless of political persuasion.

    I'm also noticing that as the uninformed move toward paying attention to the election, they are aware of the compromises that Obama had to make to Republicans so they could drive down the economy.  They blame Republicans for this, like it or not.  It's beginning to look like the great compromiser is going to have a good election.   Hopefully he won't blow the lead and agree to more compromises with the Republicans in the future, but for that we need to win the trifecta.

    As I said, perhaps it would have been better for Republicans to ...

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:35:56 PM PDT

  •  In all fairness. (0+ / 0-)

    With over 1000 stores in N. America, it is quite possible that they will be able to close 30 without much in the way of layoffs.

    If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

    by MikePhoenix on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:49:12 PM PDT

  •  Did you notice Bain Capital might buy Staples (0+ / 0-)

    It was at the end of the article:

    A Fortune report on Sept. 13 found that several private equity firms are considering a buyout offer for Staples. The potential buyers include Bain Capital, a private equity firm that helped to launch Staples 26 years ago and was once led by Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney
    Plus they're closing 45 stores in Europe by year end.
  •  You're all missing the obvious conclusion (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt was there?  Good times!

    No Mitt?  Disaster!

    Vote Mitt!

    If you have proper identification, of course.

  •  What a sorry state of affairs when we have to (0+ / 0-)

    mourn the loss of a few $9 an hour jobs.

    That's what happens when people decide the Chinese should make things and Americans should stand around at minimum wage to put them on shelves.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 06:58:10 PM PDT

  •  Staples didn't create one job in the US (0+ / 0-)

    It isn't like people weren't buying office supplies in the US prior to Staples coming along.  They simply bought it from a larger variety of vendors.  The "success" of Staples simply put many of those other vendors out of business.  Whereas those mom and pop shops kept most of the profits, now it goes to number of people earning low wages and Staples shareholders.  There was simply no net gain and probably resulted in an overall loss of jobs in the US.

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