This is one of my favorite stories:
A west Georgia business owner is stirring up controversy with signs he posted on his company's trucks, for all to see as the trucks roll up and down roads, highways and interstates:
"New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone."
"Can't afford it," explained the employer, Bill Looman, Tuesday evening. "I've got people that I want to hire now, but I just can't afford it. And I don't foresee that I'll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C."
I have a friend whose politics are very different from mine (I always know exactly what the liberal elite line is going to be on any issue after a brief chat with her). I made the mistake of mentioning this story to her. She was incensed. I tried to calm her down and convince her that Looman isn't refusing to hire because he doesn't care for the president. He can't hire:
Looman made it clear, talking with 11Alive's Jon Shirek, that he is not refusing to hire to make some political point; it's that he doesn't believe he can hire anyone, because of the economy. And he blames the Obama administration.
Still, my friend would not be mollified. She insisted that Mr. Looman isn’t helping things. Mr. Looman and others like him should set about solving the unemployment problem right now. (Picture a Georgetowner metaphorically stamping her Chanel-shoed feet.)
But our unemployment problem isn’t something that can be solved by people of good will holding some meetings and figuring out how to hire people.
The simple fact is that we have policies in place that make business activity of the sort that leads to job creation almost impossible.
Here are just a few recent examples:
The two Democratic appointees to the National Labor Relations Board are taking steps to accelerate the process by which a company goes union, an effort to beef up the anemic (7 percent in the private sector) union membership. Such a move would further hamstring businesses.
The Congressional Budget Office has just estimated, as reported in the Washington Times, that the 2009 stimulus package, while boosting the economy in the short term, “crowds out” private investment and “will reduce output slightly in the long run – by between 0 and 0.2 percent after 2016.”
As a result of what Kimberley Strassel calls “a toxic alliance of ideological activists and trade protectionists,” the storied Gibson Guitar Corp, which should be focusing on making guitars, was raided by federal agents and now exists in a “state of harassed legal limbo.”