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September 13, 2011

Unwinding The Tangled Web

Shawn Burns

President Barack Obama is still roundly criticized for his stimulus spending and now for his plan for job creation. Former President George W. Bush, in the twilight of his second term, authorized the federal government to spend billions to bail out our banking system. Both plans have their faults, failures and critics.


But the approach by each president is nothing new. In times of crisis the government tries to institute new programs because our leaders feel it is their obligation to do something, even if that something turns out to be a monumental failure. The intentions may be noble, but what is the result?


It’s the result that counts.


Many economists estimate that there will need to be 21 million new jobs created in the next 10 years to get us back to where we were before the Great Recession. That is a lot of job creation. Right now the idea of creating that many jobs looks to be an impossible mountain to climb when we are currently watching job growth happen at a rate of tens-of-thousands per month. What we need is nearly 200,000 new jobs created each month for the next 10 years.


Can it happen? Will it happen? What will be the thing, person or event to get the ball rolling?


Ross Perot once said: “Most new jobs won’t come from our biggest employers. They will come from our smallest. We’ve got to do everything we can to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality.”


There has been a sharp decline in new start-ups in this country in the last five years. People are afraid and unwilling to take a chance right now.


“Small and mid-sized companies in this country historically have been responsible for creating the overwhelming majority of new jobs in the private sector. One of the most-common misconceptions about our private enterprise system is that large companies, such as the Fortune 500, are integral to the process of job creation in this country. The truth is quite the opposite,” said Michael Milken, an American business magnate, financier, and philanthropist.


What will it take to get small businesses back to hiring and being willing to expand and take chances?


More government spending isn’t the answer. Bank bailouts by President Bush and the stimulus spending by President Obama haven’t worked. Banks still won’t lend money and businesses still aren’t hiring. And we all know the banks and many businesses have the money, but they are afraid to do anything with it.


Uncertainty breeds fear.


Maybe the answer lies elsewhere.


Vice President Joe Biden got closer to the answer when he said: “We've got to make it more attractive to have jobs here in America and for corporations to be here.”


From New York City, it is 6,945 miles to China.


Because of the regulatory and legislative web of rules and laws that we have created in our country, it is cheaper for a company to manufacture their products in China and ship them 6,945 across the ocean back to America for consumers.


This is the problem and it’s worth repeating: It is easier and cheaper for a company to produce their product in China and ship it 6,945 to America for consumers.


It is time for every level of government to examine our legislation and regulatory laws that are killing job growth, that are discouraging new start-ups, and that are creating the uncertainty that has been breeding so much fear in our economy that everyone has been holding their collective breath so long, we are on the verge of collapse.


Our government – local, state and federal – needs to be reminded of the acronym K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid.


If a team of lawyers, legislators and bureaucrats are needed to explain a law or regulation then it needs to be repealed. End of discussion.


A thorough inventory of our laws and regulations should be conducted to identify those that should be simplified and those that should be repealed.


Businesses, both small and large, will not expand or hire new people if they continue to live in a constant state of fear because of the tangled web of regulatory and legislative uncertainty in our country today.


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