Can we at least start something?

From an Associated Press story, dated 12 October, 2011:

THE FACTS: Labor Department data show that only a tiny percentage of companies that experience large layoffs cite government regulation as the reason. Since Barack Obama took office, just two-tenths of 1 percent of layoffs have been due to government regulation, the data show.

Businesses frequently complain about regulation, but there is little evidence that it is any worse now than in the past or that it is costing significant numbers of jobs. Most economists believe there is a simpler explanation: Companies aren’t hiring because there isn’t enough consumer demand.

The conservative National Federation of Independent Business asks its small-business membership each month to name the single most important problem they’re facing. Last month, the most common response was "poor sales," cited by 28 percent. Government regulation came in second, at 18 percent.

Concerns over regulation have increased in the past two years – only 11 percent cited it in April 2009, not long after Obama entered the White House. But the rise hasn’t been outside historical norms. More small businesses complained about regulation during the administrations of President Bill Clinton and the President George H.W. Bush, according to an analysis of the federation’s data by the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

High levels of economic uncertainty are another drag on business, but economists say that’s less due to regulation than to fights over government spending and taxes. Both consumer and business confidence fell in August, for example, as the White House and Congress wrangled over the nation’s borrowing limit. But that was a bipartisan dispute that can’t be solely pinned on Obama.

The junk and lies that the republicans are spewing are so contrary to the facts. Perry, Bachmann, Romney, Cain are all creating an alternative reality. Do you suppose that the public is waking up to the twisted unreality that these guys are creating? Does Joe Six-pack have a responsibility to make the company he or his neighbor works for more powerful?

Who is going to give first, and get this economy started? It can’t all be Greece’s fault and problem. The middle class has no money to buy. The banks are soaking them to use their debit cards. The rich are putting all their money into PACs to protect their money. A lot of businesses are finding ways to move commerce and employment overseas. The businesses are holding out for better stock returns. The congress is a quagmire of partisanship. The media only repots the bad news and the fighting.

As Joe Klein said in his recent piece in Time Magazine, the press could do a better job in reporting on what the politicians DO agree on. That would be a start. There are some private corporations beginning to do some micro-lending to small businesses, since the banks (too big to fail!) won’t. Maybe we can get some tax restoration from the wealthy people who can afford it. How abot some public works projects? Maybe we can get regulations to encourage local business while protecting the environment and general public. It seems to me that the obstructionists hold too many cards right now, protecting themselves and deceiving others.

That would be a start.


About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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