Bubblegum Politics Good for Youth, Killing Small Businesses (Added: California Hates Business)

HotAir nails it!

Since it’s not a web ad featuring a super cool, hipster-celebrity making suggestive analogies about President Obama’s oh-so-dreamy and glamorous political qualities, I doubt it will get nearly the same traffic as Team Obama’s recent Lena Dunham ad — which is most unfortunate, because rather than a cotton-candy, war-on-women appeal to the youths, we actually see the real-world effect that Obama’s policies have had on hardworking, middle-class Americans.

President Obama’s policies have been brutal to the business world, and small businesses in particular. An onslaught of red-tape regulations, ObamaCare, the threat of higher taxes, generally poor economic growth — none of these have been kind to entrepreneurs or owners trying to grow their outfits. Despite the Obama administration’s several showy moves to come to the aid of small business, their vital signs just haven’t picked up, via Bloomberg Businessweek:

The measure estimates employment at independent companies with fewer than 20 employees that use Intuit’s online payroll product. Companies with fewer than 20 workers make up nearly 90 percent private employers in the U.S. …

Companies with fewer than 20 employees have actually shed jobs during the economic recovery; the Intuit Small Business Employment Index was 0.9 percent lower in October 2012 than in July 2009. Moreover, since May, the index has moved in the opposite direction from BLS estimates of overall employment, with Intuit reporting a loss of 10,000 small business jobs in each of the last two months alone. …

Compensation and hours are similarly weak. Adjusting for inflation and seasonality, monthly compensation for all employees (including the owners) at businesses with fewer than 20 employees is 10.2 percent lower than when the president took office.

California is in a worse boat that Virginia, for instance, we [California] have ranked dead last 8-years in a row as far as a business friendly environment goes:

Editorial (OC Register): CEOs rate California dead last for business, again

It was alarming the first three or four times California was ranked last among 50 states for business environment. Now, Chief Executive magazine’s annual ranking, based on a survey of 650 chief executives on taxation, regulation, workforce quality and living environment, again places California dead last, 50th of 50 – for the eighth year in a row.

Eight years in a row ceases to be alarming. It now is a defining status.

[….]

Gov. Jerry Brown insists those who say California is unfriendly to business are wrong. But Mr. Brown, of course, is not the chief executive officer of a private business. He is the top executive of a deficit-burdened, intrusive, bloated government bureaucracy that has perfected squandering other peoples’ money while botching delivery of services such as education and lavishing public employees with unaffordable pay and benefits.

California public school teachers are the nation’s highest-paid, while their students’ performance ranks among the worst. The state’s various unfunded pension and retirement health care benefits promise to bankrupt the already overextended government.

As chief executive opinions go, Mr. Brown’s are considerably less credible than CEO magazines’ private-sector leaders.

“California’s enduring place of perpetual decline continues in this year’s ranking,” the magazine said. “Once the most attractive business environment, the Golden State appears to slip deeper into the ninth circle of business hell.”

The CEOs aren’t alone in their harsh critique. The state got an “F” grade in January from Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation in a survey of 6,000 small businesses across the nation, and the Tax Foundation ranked California 48th worst on business taxes.

There is little prospect of improvement. Despite finding itself in a hole, state government keeps digging. This week the state Senate Judiciary Committee killed a California Chamber of Commerce-sponsored job-creator bill to protect employers from inappropriate litigation.

Mr. Brown’s Air Resources Board is ratcheting up costly new regulations and preparing an ill-advised cap-and-trade carbon-emissions auction to coerce private energy providers to do things the government’s way. The governor and other Big Government champions also are advancing proposals for the November ballot to extract upwards of another $20 billion per year in taxes.

As CEO magazine’s poll shows, the state’s failings are obvious to business people. But Mr. Brown and California’s other governmental leaders just don’t get it.

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