February 13, 2010

Must read...

American Thinker: Dear Mr. President: Why We Are Not Hiring:

...But first, I must add that every time you step up to the microphone -- for example, your impromptu presser on Tuesday -- the painful decision to shut down my business of eighteen years is validated by your words. And I should thank you for that.

For the record, that decision was formalized on November 5, 2008. Check your calendar.

Some fifteen months later, I can say that it was the best business decision I have ever made. With your hands on the levers of the government and the economy, I wanted to have as little at risk as possible.

Don't get me wrong -- it was a torturous and gut-wrenching decision that went against every fiber of my being. I had to betray deeply rooted entrepreneurial instincts and set some more mundane material goals. And while it might seem extreme, I think my mindset speaks to the real reason businesses are not hiring now.

So what is that mindset?

It's not complicated. I am neither a swooning David Brooks enamored of your pant crease nor a silver-spoon trust-fund baby like Christopher Buckley. I've simply had some twenty-five entrepreneurial ventures -- with a good number of strikeouts to be honest -- and real-world experience told me exactly who you are and exactly what the business climate under your rule would be like....

This piece is just dead-on right. I can say that as one who grew up in an entrepreneurial family and worked in the family business. And Charlene and I are both small business owners (very small, to be sure). And both of us are averse to hiring people, for various reasons that mostly have some connection with government.

One of the structural weakness of the modern world is that many businesses are so big that the people who work in them have little sense of being "in business." They are just doing a job in a big organization—many of could easily move to government or a non-profit or a university and do the same job. A file clerk at Microsoft does not think of herself as part of free enterprise or capitalism; probably does not even make the connection.

Posted by John Weidner at February 13, 2010 9:59 AM
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