Thursday, December 3, 2009

An open letter to the White House "Jobs and Economic Growth Forum"

Dear Friends:

Perhaps my invitation to today's White House forum got lost in the mail, but no worries--I'm not the kind of guy to risk a felony by crashing a party at your place.

While you were jawboning at roundtables and breakout sessions, talking about not talking about 30,000-foot solutions, munching on bagels and sipping fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, it was an average day out here in the real world. The vast majority of your fellow citizens were busy at our desks, in the fields, at chalkboards, behind the wheel, on duty or patrol, working on projects, prospecting for new business, keeping people healthy and safe, and, depending on whose numbers you believe, 10.5 to 20 percent of us were simply looking for gainful employment.

As some are fond of saying, let me be clear. I'm not writing to whine--I love what I do. The reason I wanted to drop you a line is because of a couple of conversations I've had this week among peers and associates. You've surely heard the old aphorism that "the market hates uncertainty," and I'd say that fairly represents the feeling at the grassroots business level. Those of us microbusinesses that don't really register on your radar (because we don't have lobbyists, lawyers, stock tickers, or labor unions), well, we're a little freaked out. We're scared that The Powers That Be are going to bail out another company, bank or governmental entity, fund alarmist "emergencies," hire more bureaucrats, print money 24-7, or tax the bejeezus out of us, or all of the above.

Meanwhile, we small fry don't have the luxury of spending money we don't have currently or won't have in the future. We know we're not going to get billions of dollars in bonuses (*cough* Goldman Sachs *cough*). We wouldn't be eligible for unemployment benefits, so we just keep figuring out what we need to do in order to pay the bills. There ain't no such thing as "too small to fail."

You want more businesses to hire people? Start eliminating uncertainty. Stop wasting money on crap.

Then again, the realistic side of me reckons not much will come out of your little summit. (I've been to my share of forums, so I know that the baloney gets sliced pretty thin, and have heard the 4 p.m. cry of "More coffee, stat!") Indeed, the most comforting item I saw about your exclusive confab was a single sentence tucked way down at the tail end of an AP story: "Administration officials said they don't expect major policy announcements from the forum."

But, just for giggles, I'll look forward to seeing the meeting minutes once you've typed 'em up. Thanks in advance.

Jake Poinier
Boomvang Creative Group
Phoenix, Ariz.


  1. Well said. Ditto.

  2. This masterpiece is approved by the Bruzer

  3. Thanks, Pat & Bruzer. There's a lot of lip service being paid to how much everyone loves small businesses and how important we are to the economy, but the gummint's actions lead me to believe otherwise.

  4. I wonder what kind of political connections the "small businesses" had that got invited. Would be an interesting exposé for a news reporter.

  5. I live in Australia, the dark cloud that passed over my state of South Australia in 1965 had either passed Europe and Britain or was on it's way to the U.S. But as the U.S. sneezes and the rest catch {a} cold, I suppose it must be the former. Anyway that's when legislators began serving themselves instead of the public, and we just kept right on getting the leaders we deserved, small l liberals. Your Capital hill, once, many years ago, the bastion of freedom and democracy is now the forbidden city. It's mandarins and rent seekers, cocooned from reality, soddomise and gommorohize with impunity liberal left rule Marxism morphed. They are the barbarians within the gates, I give you 10 years maximum before you lot say enough is enough and storm the citadels. You are no more immune to revolution than Russia was. At least your common man is armed to the teeth.

  6. Thanks for weighing in, Anon. I pray it doesn't come to that, though in the back of my mind I am steeling myself to the possibility.