September 21, 2010
Job Losses and ObamaBy C. Edmund Wright
Some 2 million Americans lost their jobs shortly before Barack Obama took office, but make no mistake: they lost them precisely because he was about to do so. And to argue against that is to demonstrate colossal ignorance as to what a business owner's first job is, which is to see around the corner and position his business for what is coming.
And business owners saw Obama coming. They saw Pelosi's and Reid's increased power coming, too. They feared that trifecta so much that they went ahead and fired about 2 million people between Election Day 2008 and the inauguration. They were too scared to wait until Obama was actually sworn in.
Now, ironically, this has given some cover to Obama and his apologists to claim that the economy was losing seven hundred thousand jobs a month when he took office. It is a claim he droned on again about yesterday on CNBC's "Town Hall." It is a claim permanently stamped on his teleprompter script, right around something about "what got us into this mess in the first place" and "failed policies of the past."
Actually, six hundred thousand a month is roughly the figure for the period of November '08 through January '09. And these losses marked a sharp uptick from the previous three months. Now let's think -- what could have possibly happened in, say, very early November to cause this?
Oh yeah, Obama was elected. What a coincidence!
Of course, these job losses will forever be part of the statistical record of George W. Bush's presidency. While clearly businesses were planning ahead for the dark days of Obamunism, Bush's and presidential nominee John McCain's total inability to defend business and free enterprise is part of why more Americans don't understand that Obama owns all 6 million jobs lost since November 2008, not merely 4 million of them.
Actually, the lack of free market-understanding from establishment Republicans is responsible for a lot more than this statistical misread, but that's another issue. The bottom line is that Republicans and conservatives need to hold Obama and other liberals to account for all the job destruction that started the minute they were elected.
And they need to do it because it is part of the process of identifying the problems with the economy, and that is necessary before anything can be done about it. The reason everything Obama and the Democrats have tried is failing is because they incorrectly diagnosed the disease and then prescribed the exact wrong medicine.
Whether or not Obama and the Democrats have done all they have out of ignorance or out of part of a Cloward-Piven strategy to crash the entire American experiment does not really matter. Many voters supported it out of innocent ignorance -- and it is those who must be educated so that those currently in office never have the power to continue this again.
Statistics make a compelling case for what I have stated, but an even more compelling case is made by simply understanding who entrepreneurs are and what makes us tick. By definition, we are risk-takers and independent in nature. Life on the government dole or even the corporate ladder does not animate the business owner.
We instinctively knew that the election of a community organizer who wanted to spread the wealth around was going to lead to more bureaucrats in our affairs and more taxes to pay. That's what happens when communities are organized. A lot has been made of the resurgence of Americans getting copies of the Constitution -- and that is a great thing. Sales of Atlas Shrugged have boomed, too, and this speaks to the ticked-off entrepreneur.
Many business owners 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. Many have gotten out, and others have scaled back and laid off their employees.
We have very little appetite to have our lives run by elected or unelected 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 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, both houses of Congress, and a massive army of bureaucrats?
The answer is: we won't!
It is no secret that owners circulated endless e-mails leading up to election day discussing layoff 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.
Risk-takers get into business to be independent. They have gotten out or scaled back for the same reason. With this government environment, it is easier to stay independent if you are tiny enough to fly under every bureaucrat's radar.
And lest someone think that this is Monday morning quarterbacking, the majority of what was written above was written in December of 2008 -- the day the massive November 2008 job losses were announced.
Of course, to the experts, those massive layoffs were "unexpected." To the entrepreneur, they were a matter of course. Moreover, we predicted at the time that the massive job losses will continue. And by "we," I mean just about any small business owner you could have asked. We also knew Obama would duck these job losses.
Well, that was about 4 million job losses ago.
Memo to the president: Mr. Obama, all six million job losses are on you -- and your liberal friends in Congress. You can have all the town halls you want and all the jobs summits you want, and it does not change that fact. Moreover, nothing will turn this economy around until the entrepreneur feels it's safe to come out and play some more.
That probably means nothing will get better for a while -- in other words, while you remain in office. You, Pelosi, and Reid will never get the proper blame for the two million jobs lost in the ninety days before you took office. But on the bright side, I can see about a hundred firings this November that might be a step in the right direction -- and you all will get blamed for those.