Not Funny : Politics, Jobs, and the Unemployed

I can’t wait for this election to be over.

I worked for a Fortune 500 company for 6 years. And after endless cutbacks and layoffs after 2009, my job was finally outsourced. Though I was working as the sole member of my team, created a system for my department that increased my productivity three-fold, and saved the company an estimated quarter million over two and a half years, the obvious solution to our executives was to hire four workers overseas to perform my duties.

Since being laid off, I have been working to broaden my skillset so that I may be more attractive as an employee. I have been unemployed, but have been looking for new work since day one. Now nearly seven months without work, I am looking to becoming a dog walker, or maybe even cleaning houses. Something. Anything.

What does this have to do with the election? Everything.

I am of the opinion that jobs and economic recovery is the most important issue up for discussion for those running for POTUS. It is also my opinion that it is not up to the government to create jobs nor be responsible for recovery. When it comes down to it, it’s up to a board and executives to make decisions about a company, and whether or not they will create work. When the CEO of my former employer explained in an email that ‘These are tough times’ indicating there would be no pay increases and ‘… if we work together as a team, we will all be greatly rewarded’, I thought that our company would succeed, create new jobs, triumph over a sagging market. Instead, that CEO purchased an $8milliion condo. We cut jobs. That CEO’s compensation went from $6.7million to $11.2million annually.

Did the government force her to take that pay increase? Was it the government’s fault that company did not have enough in its coffers to create new projects, jobs, work? In this overly-simplified case, I’d say ‘no’. So why is it that the recovery and job numbers rest on a president’s shoulders?

Political talking points.

Nearly every American can vouch for the importance of getting everyone back to work, and putting our economy back on track by having those workers spending their money on goods and services. So, since it’s a popular issue, folks can bring it along as political ammunition. If, say, the color orange were the most talked about, controversial issue globally, it would then become the POTUS’ job to address the color orange as part of their campaign. Even though it’s not up to the POTUS what happens with orange, because they are/will be the person on duty when orange comes to town they become the executor of the peoples’ desires regarding orange. It’s completely arbitrary.

Now, I wanted to discuss this because there have been some measures put forward during the current administration to create jobs, but have been shot down. Furthermore, it is the opinion of some right-leaning/republican/conservative/anti-liberal/anti-progressive folks that government needs to be small, and should not be creating more government sponsored jobs payed for by taxpayers. The rub manifests therein. Tell the POTUS to create jobs, stimulate the economy, but then tell them that the government should not be spending money to create jobs, and instead insist on providing tax breaks.

Well, as per my example earlier, sometimes people have the means to act, and they simply don’t. I don’t see how giving bigger businesses more money is going to create jobs if that is the attitude of a CEO, board, and executive staff. It appears to be in their best interests to drag their feet about job creation, whine, and wait for the government to budge.

I am hoping that after this election, big business with big interest in candidates will relinquish their stranglehold on job creation. Because, once it is no longer a political talking point to get the current president out of office — either by means of Obama getting a second term, or him being replaced — it becomes time to start moving forward again for those businesses choosing not to re-invest in their country.

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