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November 04, 2010

Obama to Businesses: "I really love you guys. Really. Now hire somebody!! Please"

The President finally realizes that he can't make it without support by, and support for, American businesses. But does he really get it? I don't think so:

...in his post-“shellacking” news conference Wednesday, Mr. Obama came close to conceding the chamber’s main argument, that American businesses have concluded — wrongly, in Mr. Obama’s view — that his policies are antibusiness.
“And so I’ve got to take responsibility in terms of making sure that I make clear to the business community as well as to the country that the most important thing we can do is to boost and encourage our business sector and make sure that they’re hiring,” Mr. Obama said.
Emphasis mine. You see, Mr. President, there are two things wrong with your statement. First, it's not your business as to whether they're hiring - they'll hire when they need to. Don't micromanage our businesses.

Second, "boosting" and "encouraging" the business sector is only indirectly related to hiring, because success in business doesn't necessarily depend on number of bodies. Successful businesses are profitable, stable, and strategically positioned to prosper in coming years. If hiring supports those goals, then they hire, but if downsizing, outsourcing, or freezing hiring supports those goals, that's what they do instead.

So telling business that you're now going to support them so that they can start hiring is like telling someone you're going to start a restaurant so people can poop more. It's a likely consequence of feeding them, but it has nothing to do with why you're running a restaurant.

If the President really wanted to overcome his communications problems, he would say, "I want to support a business environment where businesses can be strong, stable and profitable." That's a message that businesses can understand and respond to. And I think he would have said it that way if anybody in his administration had the slightest clue as to how business thinks. But as we all know, those people are in very short supply in his Cabinet.


So it's no surprise that Obama thinks of businesses as a social works program, existing solely to provide people with income and benefits (and pay corporate taxes, of course). And no wonder that he thinks it's just their inherent, obstinate evil characters or being miffed at the President that prevent them from hiring. If only his teleprompter would give him the key words needed to convince business to forswear evil profits and start hiring!! Just. Need. The Right. Words.

I swear, I think I'd rather have the Constitution require that Presidential candidates have at least run a lemonade stand than that they be natural born citizens.

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posted by Geoff at 04:02 PM

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