Friday, September 3, 2010

'Happy Entrepreneurs Day!' (Too) On This Labor Day Weekend



Is there really anything a President or Congress or any state and local government official can do that will help create new jobs in America today?

‘Go on a 4-year recess!’ many people are saying right about now.

At least that would be a 4-year period that business people could make plans and know for sure that nothing would change so could make money doing whatever they do best.

The honest-to-goodness answer is that there is darned little any elected representative can do to ‘create jobs’ themselves as they always promise, year-in and year out.  The only jobs elected officials can technically 'create' in the public sector....are all totally dependent upon the taxes paid by the economic engine called the 'private sector'.

Politicians can help set the legal and regulatory parameters of our nation to the right temperature that will allow the economy to grow like yeast and provide millions of new jobs as one of the most favored outcomes.

But if there is any heavy-handedness from Washington and the state capitals in the form of excessive taxation and regulation,  the 'animal spirits' of human economic behavior that John Maynard Keynes wrote about and the 'invisible hand' mentioned by Adam Smith get squelched and so does the creation of millions of new jobs.

We are seeing that right now, as a matter of fact.  The sheer fact that higher taxes loom on the horizon in the form of the Bush tax cut expiration; Obamacare’s front-end loaded tax hikes and increased mandatory costs in the form of the new health care bill are all conspiring to make business people ‘go on strike’ and wait for the economic and political environment to clear up before investing again.

You'd think that with real interest rates being near zero or even negative that that would be an economic stimulus of biblical proportions but it is not.  There is a severe lack of lending by the nation's crippled financial industry due to massive new restrictions set forth by Washington but wouldn't you think enterprising and perhaps even 'greedy' business people would take advantage of these absurdly low interest rates and input prices if they were more confident about their near-future prospects?

Just to point out the absurdity of any politician 'promising' to create more permanent private sector jobs for you, when was the last time you saw a President of any party come up with a new medical device and market it and make millions?

When was the last time you saw a Speaker of the House like Nancy Pelosi or Newt Gingrich invest in a manufacturing company and operate as chief executive officer to make decisions to manufacture semiconductors or sell a service such as home health care?

Politicians of either stripe can not 'create' jobs for you (unless he is Congressman Darrell Issa who started a very successful security firm before going to Congress).

You know what creates new jobs in America? It has been the template and recipe for economic growth and progress since the dawn of recorded history when human life forms started walking upright on two legs and talking to each other:

‘Enlightened self-interest’ by risk-takers, business owners and decision-makers.

As in: “I wonder if I can invent something today like a wheel or fire or a club and trade/‘sell’ it to someone else for more than it costs me to make it?”

If the cost of making something is less than the benefit (return of your money plus some profit) of what you sell, then you (typically) do it.

That is, if you have a gutsy, courageous streak in you that can put up with all the obstacles and hurdles that you have to overcome if you are ever going to succeed as a businessperson in any day or age. Starting and running a business is hard work. If you have never done so, ask someone who has and see what they have to say about their experiences.

In fact, on this Labor Day weekend, we think it is time to start thinking seriously about changing the name of one of the other federal holidays, (how about Columbus Day?) so we can say this next October:

'Happy Entrepreneurs and Executive Business Decision-Makers Day!'

After all, there would be no labor jobs to be had by anyone if there were no investors, entrepreneurs and executives to start the companies in the first place.

We think business people deserve some sort of commendation or medal from Congress each time they borrow money against their house; max out their credit cards, worry about making payroll and paying taxes, taxes and more taxes to start a new business at any time.  Business executives, both large and small, take all the risks at the beginning...and hope it works out in the end.

And when 4 out of 5 new small businesses fail in the first 3 years of operations, nobody ever reaches out and comforts the people who lost money in the investment. 'That's just the American Way!'.

Businesses do not exist for the sole, or even primary, purpose of providing jobs for people. Or to provide benefits to workers such as health care, pensions or 401k plans.

Jobs are a positive by-product of one simple driving force in nature: ‘Making a Profit by Making and Selling Something That Other People Will Buy.’

We honor all the workers of America out there on this Labor Day.

But we also offer a salute to all the brave entrepreneurs who have a bright idea and then fight through thick and thin to create a company that rewards its shareholders and provides jobs and incomes to all of their employees.

You can’t have one without the other.

lyrics to 'Get a Job' by the Silhouettes:


Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip 
Mum mum mum mum mum mum 
Get a job Sha na na na, sha na na na na
Every morning about this time
she get me out of my bed
a-crying get a job.
After breakfast, everyday, 
she throws the want ads right my way
And never fails to say,
Get a job Sha na na na, sha na na na na
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip 
Mum mum mum mum mum mum 
Get a job Sha na na na, sha na na na na
And when I get the paper
I read it through and through
And my girl never fails to say
If there is any work for me,
And when I go back to the house
I hear the woman's mouth
Preaching and a crying,
Tell me that I'm lying 'bout a job
That I never could find.
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Sha na na na, sha na na na na,
Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip 
Mum mum mum mum mum mum 
Get a job Sha na na na, sha na na na na

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