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Oct-02-2011 21:20printcomments

If You Were Wondering Why the Jobs Commission is not Creating Jobs ....

Some companies are thriving in tough times...

Corporate America

(OCEANSIDE, Calif.) - Thousands of American companies are creating jobs and increasing sales at record rates. But with the exception of Facebook, not one is a member of President Obama’'s Jobs Commission.

The CEO’s who serve on a the commission are a Who'’s Who of big, lumbering companies that are resistant to change and slow to grow: General Electric, Intel, Procter & Gamble, CitiGroup, American Express, Southwest Airlines and the former CEO’s of AOL and Time Warner.

The president picked his commission members the same way lots of people pick their stocks: He just assumed big names are good investments. They are not.

Eastman Kodak is the latest dismal example from the President’s Jobs Commission. Just last week, stock of this one-time, big-time, Jimmy Carter era, industrial giant sank 53 percent in one day. Down 85 percent from the beginning of the year, Eastman Kodak now sells for less than a dollar.

If I put this stock into the portfolios of widows, orphans or pension funds, I would go to jail.

While we do not need to pick on Eastman Kodak for losing the race to adapt to modern markets, neither should we rely on to advise us on exactly what cannot do for itself.

Many of the other commission members differ from Eastman Kodak only in degree. Not quality.

GE, for example, has returned minus 6.6 percent per year to its investors over the last 10 years. It’s CEO, Jeff Immelt, heads the commission and regularly makes news for taking federal bailout money and paying almost no corporate taxes.

The commission members who used to be CEO’s at AOL and Time Warner made business history by engineering the worst merger in history.

Southwest may be a good airline, but it has lost 4% a year for the last 10 years. That’s dividends and share price together.

Even before its recent stock dive. Eastman Kodak was losing value at 20 percent a year for 10 years.

Citigroup received one of the biggest bailouts in financial history. Not sure what they are even doing on there. Are they?

A rogue trader at (commission member) UBS recently lost $2 billion of the company's money tarnishing the reputation of the onetime giant of the banking industry and causing the European CEO to resign.

These are the people that are advising our president on how to create jobs? No wonder the unemployment has barely budged in recent months.

These are tough times, no doubt. But some companies are thriving in tough times -- and making money for their shareholders.

Here are just a few: Autozone, for example, is growing and hiring because its CEO figured out that people are replacing mufflers and tires rather than getting a new car.

Apple, of course, is a shining example of the best of America.

CSX is one of America’s largest railroads. Next time you see one of its trains barrelling down the tracks, just imagine it is carrying jobs and money, because it is.

Most people know Priceline from the commercials featuring William Shatner. It turns out that Shatner, who took stock options from Priceline, knew a heck of a lot more about investments than all the other financial and political talking heads combined.

The list goes on and on: Green Mountain Coffee, Panera Bread, Continental Resources. America has tens of thousands of companies public and private that figured out the jobs and growth question.

They are too busy making money to serve on make-work do-nothing commissions. That doesn’t mean we should be too busy to learn from them.


Bill Gunderson is the owner of Gunderson Capital Management in Oceanside, California. Bill also hosts a show on

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.