The Washington DC Uncertainty Principle
"Sears Holdings shares the stated goal of many public officials of creating jobs. But, we don't believe that we need large government programs to generate these jobs. Public officials often fail to recognize the obstacles they place in the way of job creation. For example, over the past year proposal after proposal has been put forward to reform health care, reform the financial system, increase taxes, and add regulations, all with the intention of making the United States a better and stronger country.
"Yet, as a business, trying to understand which of these proposals might become law, what their impact might be on business prospects and competition, and what additional costs they might impose creates a great deal of uncertainty. It has led our management team and board (and I am sure those managements and boards of other companies) to spend inordinate time trying to determine which investments we should make, defer, or cancel and which jobs to create, maintain, or eliminate. The removal of this uncertainty and the constant drumbeat of new threats against various businesses would go a long way to allowing American entrepreneurial energy to be unleashed."
~"Eddie" Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings, via the WSJ
MP: Corporate America is often criticized for being short-sighted and focusing on short-term profits only. But as Mr. Lampert reminds us, it's hard for businesses to focus on long-term goals, profits and investments in an atmosphere of uncertainty about future regulations, tax changes, legislation, and public policy.