Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Corporate jobs

We have been told that, for the last several months, the stock market has come bounding back and corporations are once more raking in huge profits.

So where are the jobs?

The GOP claims that the health care reform bill stunts job growth in this country, and cite the fact that few jobs have been created in the last few months. However, study after study have found that this isn't the case. The bill allows those who are looking to retire to do so earlier because they have coverage independent of their jobs, and allows others to leave their jobs to start their own businesses without having to worry about losing coverage. This will undoubtedly lead to more jobs, since small businesses, as the GOP is so fond of telling us, are the backbone of our economy and the greatest source of job growth.

I'm curious why, if the GOP really thinks this about small businesses, why they would fight a bill that clearly helps them. Anyway...

The question of where all the jobs are is a simple one if you think about it. Companies have had to tighten their belts for over two years, shaving spending (including jobs) to make ends meet and stay competitive. Now that they are out of the woods financially, they will likely maintain their streamlined businesses in order to turn greater profits. There may be more jobs created, but not nearly as many as there were before, and some spending might increase, but it is unlikely to reach pre-recession levels.

If you consider this, it makes sense. Imagine you owned a business that hired 100 employees. During the recession, you had to let go of 50 of them to cut costs, and were able to keep the rest and still meet quotas and maintain production. Now that you're doing better financially, do you hire 50 people to a company that is still maintaining its quality and quantity of work, or do you keep doing what you have been and work with a streamlined workforce in order to make more money? Remembering that humanitarianism is not the strong suit of business, and that businesses are required by law to consider their bottom line before everything else, it's no surprise we haven't seen greater job growth.

So how do we jump-start the jobs?

Follow Obama's plan. If the private sector won't open up new jobs, then it has to be done somewhere else. Get people going on rebuilding our infrastructure, creating green technologies, and converting our energy system into a more productive enterprise. If the private sector won't hire Americans, the public sector will have to do so. Another option is to penalize businesses that send jobs overseas rather than hire Americans. Keep in mind that most small businesses don't send jobs overseas; that is a phenomenon of the big corporations. By making it more fiscally sound to keep American jobs, we open the private sector to hiring American workers once more.

No comments: