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Will small business “Going Galt” be Obama’s downfall?

As I read about the unemployment numbers going up, now to 9.8%, I can’t help but wonder if small businesses will be the catalyst that brings down this administration. The commenters to a blog post at Don Surber’s Daily Mail blog seem to be on the right track in understanding why small businesses are not hiring:

Commenter Sean says:

Businesses aren’t hiring because no one knows what in the hell our economic system is going to look like 5 years, or even 5 months, from now.

Will “Cap and Trade” get implemented as the Democrats hope?

How much of an upheaval will “Healthcare Reform” end up being?

Is the administration and Congress done overhauling regulation of the Financial Industry?

No prudent investor is going to bet their money (i.e., invest in growth) when it is conceivable that the government is going to radically alter how 50% of this nation’s economy functions.

Commenter RJGatorEsq. responds to Sean:

Sean is absolutely correct. I am an employer. I know a lot of other small business owners. I, and they, are just about unanimous: “I need some help, but I am not going to hire until I see what Obama is planning to do to us.”

Another commenter responds:

Sean is spot-on, but misses the potential for union mischief with the passage of EFCA. How many entrepreneurs are going to pour their money and effort into starting or expanding companies when a handful of union thugs can show up, bully their way into organizing your firm and then you have to spend two years with an Obama Labor Dept. telling you how much you have to pay your employees?

And finally, another says:

Exactly. Add to that Obama and the Congressional Democrats treating capitalism and every successful business like criminal enterprises to be plundered and you have a manufactured crisis.

Many business owners I have talked with say they are scaling back and not hiring because of the uncertainty of this political climate. Even if the economy recovers, many small business owners will stay on the sidelines because it may be too expensive for them to do otherwise. It’s a capital strike as described in Amity Shlaes’ excellent book, The Forgotten Man.

For example, a man who owns a painting business recently told me that his workers comp costs just went up making each employee more expensive. He is unsure how much worse it will get in the future. The result to this uncertainty? Fewer workers will be hired. The current administration’s hostility towards small business may be their downfall. And as small business provides most of new jobs in the US, it should be. For how long will the citizens of this country stand for roughly 10% or higher unemployment?