President Obama held his “Jobs Summit” – formally called the “Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth” – on Thursday, December 2, 2009, where he summoned 133 civic, labor, and business leaders to the White House to discuss how to curb or possibly reduce the American unemployment rate which is currently stated as being at 10.2%. The actual (U-6) unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 17.2%!
Firstly, if President Obama is actually willing to listen to business leaders as well as the heads of various labor unions and academic institutions, this might have been a good step forward. To date it has been painfully obvious that essentially nobody in Obama’s administration has any practical idea of how the private sector functions.
I’m not sure if that is how it played out though. Parts of President Obama’s keynote speech at the Job Summit leads me to think otherwise.
I want to hear about what unions and universities can do to better support and prepare our workers, not just for the jobs of today but for the jobs five years from now and 10 years from now and 50 years from now.
I want to hear about what mayors and community leaders can do to bring new investment to our cities and towns and help recovery dollars get to where they need to go as quickly as possible.
I want to hear from CEOs about what’s holding back business investment and how we can increase confidence and spur hiring.
That sounds an awful lot like President Obama is asking academia, the labor unions, and local government officials how they think they can help spur job growth, but asking business why they aren’t doing so themselves and need this “help” in the first place.
There’s also the issue of whether President Obama would truly listen to- and act upon the likely responses to the question of what’s holding back business investment and how we can increase confidence and spur hiring?
Now Give One Good Reason Why You’re Not Hiring
As Gary Varvel’s cartoon so aptly points out, there is not just one but several reasons why many businesses – especially the smaller companies with lower margins and market caps – aren’t hiring. So very much of what Obama and his Liberals are trying to do would have a chilling and quelling effect upon American businesses, especially small and mid-cap ones.
If President Obama’s “Jobs Summit” is going to have any tangible value and end up being anything more than yet another PR stunt in his ever ongoing Presidential Election Campaign, he’s going to have to listen to the issues that American businesses have with his agenda. But, for the sake of creating needed jobs, can he and would he cast aside so many key planks of his political platform?
I sincerely doubt that President Obama has the will and strength of character to do so – just as I doubt that any other man placed in that position would. Universal Healthcare, Cap and Trade, and rolling back the Bush era tax cuts on businesses were key promises he made to the Liberals in order to get elected. Turning aside from that agenda would be political suicide.
Face it, how many men would sacrifice their own job in order to get one for someone else? That may very well be the upshot of Obama’s “Jobs Summit.” President Obama may have to gut his own chances at reelection in order to do what is needed to salvage the American job market.