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We Have Met the Enemy of Job Creation…and It’s the Government

“U.S. job growth barely picked up in June, the latest sign that economic growth has slowed,” reported the Wall Street Journal on July 6. “The politically important unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, was unchanged at 8.2%.”

Now consider three other stories that underscore why government actions retard job creation rather than stimulate it.

First up: ObamaCare. This from veteran political strategist Rich Galen in Mullings.com:

“For a man or woman trying to decide whether to expand their small business and add a few employees in suburban Omaha, or rural Ohio, whether the (health insurance) mandate is a tax or a penalty is of absolutely no moment. How much Obamacare will cost them – something they’re probably still trying to determine – is all that matters.

“An engineering shop in Omaha and a small manufacturer in Ohio will not alter the unemployment figures. But 10,000 small businesses deciding to hire two or three people will. And they’re not going to do it because in small towns not hiring someone you’re not certain you can keep on the payroll is far less painful than having to lay someone off after a few months. …

“It is now very unlikely that the unemployment rate will drop below 8% before the November elections. Whether the mandate is a tax or a penalty is a fun conversation to have on the set of CNN or MSNBC; but in Nebraska, Ohio, and the rest of the country, low job creation is raising the bar for an Obama re-election.”

Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on the same day that “a tiny amendment buried in the federal highway transportation bill…will put operators of roll-your-own (RYO) cigaratte operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business.”

RYO operations merely provide a rolling machine which customers can use to roll their own cigarettes using their own loose tobacco and paper tubes, thus saving as much as 50% on the cost of a carton of cigarettes, primarily because loose tobacco is taxed substantially less than brand name cigarettes.

However, the amendment in the transportation bill “changed the definition of cigarette manufacturer to cover thousands of roll-your-own operations nationwide.” And that change comes with “regulation costs that could run to hundreds of thousands of dollars” that the small RYO operations simply can’t afford. So instead, they’re shutting their doors, putting thousands of additional Americans out of work.

Adding insult to injury, the amendment was pushed by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) who has received substantial donations from the nation’s largest tobacco company and who has no RYO operations in his own state. In other words, a “hired gun” brought in by a big company to squash small competitors using the force and taxing power of government. Outrageous.

And finally, consider the following: A casino in Atlantic City tells job applicants that if hired, they will be hired for only a set number of years, “as little as four years at a time, after which they will have to re-apply.”

Now, the merits and of such “term limits” for employment is debatable – and no other casino in Atlantic City has gone this route. But what is NOT debatable is that this is a private company that is telling job applicants up front exactly what the rules and terms of engagement are. Anyone who does not wish to take the job under these conditions is free to decline taking the job under these conditions. It’s called “freedom.”

Enter organized labor.

Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union has gathered signatures in an effort to force a public vote on whether or not to allow the casino to impose these employment term limits. To its credit, the Atlantic City city council this week rejected the union’s petition.

“As expected,” said the union’s spokesperson, “rather than let the citizens of Atlantic City vote on ordinances that would make life better for workers in AC, the City of Atlantic City chose to reject our initiative petitions…”

Excuse me, but why should the “citizens of Atlantic City” get to vote on the terms of a private employment agreement between consenting adults? This isn’t about “making life better for workers.” This is a private offer of employment from a willing private employer to a willing private potential employee.

It’s attitudes like this from Unite-HERE and other labor unions that have resulted in government control and regulation over wide swaths of private enterprise, including wages, benefits, working conditions, hours and even “family leave” – areas the government should have no legitimate role to play in private employment arrangements.

Just more examples of the fact that government doesn’t create jobs; government impedes job creation.