Friday, December 4, 2009

The Not-So-Reluctant Warrior

The nuanced approach by President Obama toward military activities -- evidenced by his West Point speech this week on Afghanistan -- is a far cry from his warrior approach to economic issues.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama, famously, declared his intention to destroy the American domestic coal industry. The plan: tax and regulate it out of business. Obama realized that if you tax something enough and put enough bureacratic hurdles around it, it will no longer be economically viable. He was right.

Which brings me to the unemployment problem. What if your plan was to destroy the American worker? What would you do? Why not place enormous taxes on the employment of labor and threaten even more with massive health care mandates? That should do the trick. Meanwhile, Congress is pushing for a guaranteed five day sick leave for American workers -- another enormous tax on employees. On top of the piles of payroll taxes, business taxes, costs of litigation (think "hostile work environment"), and the enormous regulatory burden of OSHA and other business nightmares, the gap between what it costs to hire a new employee and what the employee gets in wage and salary grows by leaps and bounds. Why not find new and interesting ways to avoid hiring employees? Sounds like a plan.

Obama is correct. If you make something completely uneconomic, businesses will find alternatives. Hiring employees has become extremely uneconomic for small businesses. Obama did not begin this trend, but he is pursuing the toxification of employees with vigor with the help of his Democratic Congress.

The Jobs Summit is a joke. Every business person can tell you why businesses are looking for ways to avoid adding employees -- costs. This Administration and this Congress are not reluctant warriors on the jobs front. The Obama Administration has declared war on business and employees and are pursuing that war with a vengeance.

The threat of "card check" alone is enough to dissuade a small businessman from taking on new employees and actively encourages small business to continue to reduce staffing levels.

High unemployment levels are the "new normal." It is common practice now for Obama and his Congressional colleagues to decry the economy of the 1980s and 1990s, when unemployment plunged to the four percent level. No one wants to return to that -- except, perhaps, people looking for a job.