Saturday, June 9, 2012

Straight talk expressed

Or perhaps cast before a Comedy Central audience which has no problems with a mere TV host making millions of dollars, while casting aspersions on the people who provide the finance to make it happen.

Edward Conard is a trooper, no doubt about it, but he missed a few opportunities on this Daily Show appearance.  Such as letting Jon Stewart know that while lonely inventors working in their garages may not be thinking about their future marginal tax brackets, the venture capitalists who he will need to finance getting his product out of his garage and into the marketplace--where the consuming public will render the only verdict that counts--definitely will being calculating their potential after tax profits, before deciding whether or not to move ahead.

Not to mention that those lonely inventors have a way of learning pretty quickly about taxes, as Facebook's Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg have.

While there may be limits to what a supposedly hip television audience can sit still for, it isn't as though Mr. Conard's experiences lack academic support.  As Kevin Hassett and Steven J Davis show;
...the academic literature supports three conclusions about private equity firms. First, they provide attractive returns for their investors. Second, the effect of private equity buyouts on employment in target firms is, on average, quite small. The venture capital side of private equity almost certainly has a positive effect on employment. Third, private equity buyouts accelerate the process of creative destruction: old jobs disappear more rapidly, new jobs get created more rapidly, and productivity growth increases as a result. In this respect, private equity looks like a potent form of capitalism.

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