Senator Harry Reid said the other day that “millionaire job creators are like unicorns” in that they don’t exist.
Reid would like to raise taxes on rich people, an act Republicans claim would stifle job creation. Hence the unicorns crack.
Reid believes government creates jobs (and it does only if you are referring to hiring more government employees). But now the alleged unicorns—i.e., people who can create jobs—are coming forward and, as John Stossel puts it, “fighting back.”
They have formed a group called Job Creators Alliance. One of their beefs is that government makes it harder for them to hire people:
Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples, got involved with the Job Creators Alliance because he's annoyed that the government makes a tough job much tougher.
He complains that government mostly creates jobs — that kill jobs.
"They're creating $300 million worth of jobs in the new consumer financial protection bureau," Stemberg said, "which I don't think is going to do much for productivity in America. We're creating all kinds of jobs trying to live up to Dodd-Frank … and those jobs don't create much productivity.
Now, Stemberg runs a venture capital business. "I helped create over 100,000 jobs myself," he said. "Pinkberry and City Sports and J. McLaughlin are growing and adding employment."
Government requires so much paperwork that almost every business today must have a compliance department. Because resources are scant, these departments “suck away” creativity. Other government regulations make it almost impossible for a banker to rely on instinct in making a loan to a start-up.
New business concepts have a harder time becoming a reality in this atmosphere:
These successful businessmen realize that in one way, they profit from the regulatory burden. They can absorb the costs. That gives them an advantage over smaller competitors.
"Somebody who wants to compete with us can't because we can afford to hire the guys that can read this stuff and to keep us in compliance with the law. They can't," [Brad] Anderson [former CEO of Best Buy] said.
The Obama administration is making a ludicrous attempt to claim that they have not introduced new and crippling regulations. Here is a refutation of that theater of the absurd claim from the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, not content with putting the kibosh on start-ups, the government is buying more unemployment. Cato’s Dan Mitchell quotes from a letter-to-the-editor from a would-be Ohio employer:
Little did I know that attempting to hire the employees needed, which I had thought to be the easiest part, would turn out to be a nightmare if not impossible. …Before 2009 if our company advertised for an open position, on average we would get 20 to 30 applications, interview six to eight of the applicants, and hire one or two, based on the quality and potential of the candidates.
This process has been deteriorating dramatically since 2009 and now at the end of 2011 it has completely hit bottom. Of all the applications that we have received this year, when asked why they were seeking a job with us, one out of three answered: my unemployment is running out and I have to go back to work. Earlier this year after I hired two new full-time employees, went through our company’s orientation process, fitted them with our work clothing and booked them to start within a week, they both quit. One called ahead of the start date to apologize but wanted to inform us he would not be coming in because the government had just extended unemployment benefits again.
Senator Reid, job creators aren’t as scarce as unicorns—yet.
But keep it up, Sir, and they will be.