The movie “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt, has turned into a big hit. And House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is trying to use the film’s story, taken from a book of the same name by Michael Lewis, to boost the economy, Politico
“Moneyball” tells the tale Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane’s brief success in fielding a winning team with less money than big-market rivals. He used statistics others were paying less attention to in choosing players, and he took chances on aging veterans and castoffs from other teams.
In its effort to slice into the 9.1 percent unemployment rate and $1.3 trillion budget deficit, Washington can learn a thing or two from “Moneyball,” McCarthy says.
“The thing I love about it is the matrix of measurement,” McCarthy told Politico. “Instead of taking a stimulus and throwing away money, don’t do it the way the Yankees would do it. Do what Billy Beane would do. Take a measurement of what is actually successful.”
Just as Beane has favorite statistics such as on-base percentage, McCarthy likes to focus on the number of start-ups arising, consumer confidence, and the time it takes to build a factory or get a new drug approved compared with the time needed in other countries.
As McCarthy sees it, President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan doesn’t pass the “Moneyball” test. That’s because it opts for massive moves over more effective ones like boosting start-ups.
As an alternative, McCarthy has introduced a bill to make it easier for start-ups to raise capital.
Small companies now have to follow costly procedures to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission before approaching accredited investors.
McCarthy’s proposal would dump that requirement. So instead of having to turn to loans for financing, start-ups could simply bring investors on board as company owners.
The bill would spark hiring, he said, noting that small companies are the country’s biggest engine of job creation. Companies with fewer than 500 staffers added 7 million jobs between 2001 and 2007, while bigger companies slashed 1 million positions.
McCarthy cited Google as an example. “How old is Google? Who would have said that two guys in the garage are going to have thousands of people and a big campus? There’s no telling what hits next,” he said.
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