Dec 12 2008

Where the jobs have gone, and are going

Category: economy,Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:51 pm

A small business owner explains why he is cutting back, which inevitably results in job losses.

The job destruction process has started. We are about 20% of the way through our ramp down process and on schedule to complete the shut down by spring 2009. Watch the financial news and you will see continued job cuts each month. We are not alone in our strategy. Far from it. Atlas has shrugged all over the country.

Like many business owners, we are no longer willing to take all of the financial and legal risks and put up with all of the aggravation of owning and running a business. Not with the prospects of even higher taxes, more regulation, more litigation and more emboldened bureaucrats on the horizon. Like others we know, we are getting out while the getting is, well, tolerable. Many who aren’t getting out are scaling back.


For crying out loud, an Illinois liberal is now “President elect” and he chose another one for his Chief of Staff. He chose Michigan liberals for his economic team. Illinois and Michigan are broke!

It is no secret that owners circulated endless emails leading up to election day discussing lay off plans were Obama to win. Entrepreneurs instinctively understand the danger posed by larger liberal majorities in power. The risk-reward equation and fierce independence spirit of start up businesses are anathema to the class warfare, equality of outcome and spread the wealth mentality of the left.

We have very little appetite to have our lives run by elected or un-elected officials like Barney Frank and Jamie Gorelick. We have no appetite to be taxed even more by the likes of Charlie Rangel. These clowns destroyed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and our entire economy as a result. Congress, by their own admission, cannot even run their own damned dining room with a captive customer base! Some of them refuse to pay their own tax burden. Why in the world would we subject ourselves to their ilk armed with the unchecked powers of the Oval Office and both houses of congress and a massive army of bureaucrats?

We got into business to be independent. We will get out for the same reason.

The fact that Obama is not in office yet is irrelevant. Businesses must see “around the corner” and plan accordingly. Rightly or wrongly, business owners see a huge anti-business shift in motion and they are making preparations NOW. We do not want to have business illiterates like Chris Dodd dictate our decisions from the comfort of his home made possible by a quid pro quo Countrywide mortgage.

Most of the kind of people who start and run businesses are by definition trying to opt out of depending on anyone else — be it a large corporation or government — for their welfare. We take on tremendous risks and responsibilities. We do so expecting a better than average return. Since we require nothing from government, most of us deeply resent and resist being pestered by government.

For nearly 30 years, I have been one of these business people. It was an amazing journey and literally involved blood, sweat and tears. But now I am done. This election screams that we are going to see a deterioration of the risk-reward equation and the ability to be left alone. Apparently, any appreciation of our crucial place in the economy is lost on over 50% of the voters as well as those they elected.

So, like many business owners, I will “stay home” so to speak. Others more brave than I are opting to try and stay in business by cutting way back on purchases and payroll. They have already started. They are not waiting for the little sign on Obama’s lectern to be updated to the official Presidential seal. November 2008 job losses belong to “The Office of the President Elect.” I know. I caused some of them, and I know why.

Read it all, and wish it wasn’t so.

If I was going to go INTO a business right now, I’d consider food storage products, for people preparing for the coming very hard times.


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