Why Uncertainty Continues for U.S. Business and Workers, Alike


Reasons include 11 states have more welfare recipients than job holders in this era of entitlement



Updated Sept. 6, 2015


Developments indicate the U.S. has lost its way. There’s no hope for beleaguered businesses and workers unless effective measures are implemented immediately. 

The economy created only 173,000 jobs in August, 2015.

Job creation remains well below the pace needed to reemploy all the workers displaced during the Great Recession. Twenty-three million Americans remain unemployed or under-employed. The average workweek is only 34.6 hours.

David Castillo DominiciObamaCare is both a fiscal and life-and-death nightmare. Some 6 million Americans have lost their insurance policies, employers are forced to cut the hours of workers to stay in compliance and premiums have skyrocketed for individual policyholders.

There have been 10 failed promises by Mr. Obama, including whether Americans can keep their policies, stay with their doctors, and save money on their premiums.

Lack of economic growth has been trending for a long time.

For instance, the last jobs report for 2012 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed job growth was barely keeping pace with the population growth. 

The BLS also listed the professions with the highest and lowest unemployment rates. The highest unemployment rates are in construction, sales and transportation. The lowest unemployment rates are in finance, healthcare and social services.

Involuntary part-time workers

Also, earlier in December 2012, the BLS reported 8.2 million Americans were under-employed – they had to settle for part-time work. Unfortunately, that’s twice as high as the number of involuntary part-time workers in 2006.

Yes, the last BLS report of an increase of 155,000 jobs that month was welcome, but that was still pitiable news about the so-called Obama recovery. The number of jobs created in December was actually less than the month before – there were 166,000 new jobs in November.

Only 1.84 million jobs were created in 2012. There was no improvement over 2011 when Mr. Obama’s economy only produced 1.84 million jobs.

At such a mediocre pace, the pre-Great Recession success won’t be attained until 2019. That’s terrible news for the millions of unemployed and involuntary part-time workers.

“I’m here to tell you, some time in the next couple of months, we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

-Joe Biden, at Pennsylvania fundraiser, April 23, 2010

Conference Board’s 2 cents

What did the nation’s major employers say about this fiscal quagmire in 2012?

“The current moderate pace of hiring could be sustainable if companies believe that economic growth is poised to accelerate a bit in the second half of the year as the fiscal drag wanes and the housing recovery strengthens,” said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis, for the Conference Board.

The Conference Board is an association comprising about 1,200 public and private corporations from 60 countries.

“The key to boosting the labor market is stronger demand – a task made slightly more difficult with new higher withholding rates,” she added. “Additional uncertainty surrounding the next round of political wrangling over the fiscal budget also leads businesses to be hesitant in hiring new workers.”

Her bottom-line: “Weakened business and consumer confidence doesn’t bode well for any acceleration in the hiring trend.”

Fiscal Cliff deal

Americans failed to get good results from the Fiscal Cliff deal cut by Congress and the president. All it did was create higher taxes for individuals earning $400,000 and couples making $450,000. Many of those are small businesspeople – A.K.A. employers.

So nothing was achieved.

The nation’s debt is more than $17 trillion and climbing. A two-year budget deal was reached in December 2013, but the heavy spending will continue.

In 2012, the House of Representatives passed a budget and sent it to the Senate, where it was ignored. The Senate, under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hadn’t approved a budget in more than three years.

Messrs. Obama and Reid are oblivious to the fact that red ink always follows poor planning.

Further, instead of showing an interest in putting a halt to the heavy spending and the $17 trillion debt ceiling, Mr. Obama and Democrats are signaling they’ll seek more tax increases.

So look for more business angst and waste – in money and time – instead of real progress.

Escalating entitlement mentality

Workers and businesses are increasingly burdened – having to underwrite an entitlement mentality. Why?

Eleven states have more people on welfare than they have working. That was revealed in the Nov. 25, 2012 issue of Forbes by writer William Baldwin. (See: Do You Live In A Death Spiral State? – Forbes)

The 11 states:  California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico and Hawaii.

For every 100 workers in California, there are 139 residents are drinking from the welfare trough. Is it a coincidence that seven of the 11 states backed Mr. Obama in the election?

Avalanche of new regulations

Federal agencies are required by law to announce their proposed regulations that affect the economy by each April and October. This process allows dozens of bureaucracies to circumvent oversight by Congress.

Guess what?

If you’re a businessperson coping with the shortcomings of the Obama Administration, you’ll be shocked by two developments:

Firstly, the Obama Administration ignored the law. It released its 2012 agenda for regulations on the Friday just before Christmas. That meant relatively few people would even notice the furtive, onerous administration charade because of the holidays.

Secondly, the government’s Web site has introduced more than 5,500 new regulations comprising thousands of pages. The regulations will affect nearly every industry.

The American Action Forum estimates the aggregate cost to implement the regulations will be $123 billion.

The Obama Administration’s morass shows questionable priorities in other ways. As of this writing, some 50 percent of the deadlines – for implementing ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank law – have been ignored or missed.

No wonder business and workers, alike, are apprehensive. No business would succeed if it was operated like Mr. Obama and Democrats conduct their affairs.

From the Coach’s Corner, see solutions by a noted economist here.

“I’m here to tell you, some time in the next couple of months, we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

-Joe Biden, at a Pennsylvania fundraiser, April 23, 2010

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.  

Photo courtesy of David-Castillo-Dominici at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.