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Solutions Not Rhetoric Needed About Unemployment

November 5, 2011 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed

After my near aneurysm yesterday regarding how certain elected officials truly do not understand how personally and financially devastating it is to lose a job,  I thought I might step back a moment and take a breath.

I usually do not blog angry as I did last night so bear with me. So today I’ve been trying to think of solutions.

I would like to see real, tangible ideas in our state government presented that would address helping small business. Tax incentives (and I mean local, independent and not corporate) where for every hired full-time person there is some kind of tax break for that business that go further than what is in place right now. I’m no economist by any measure but there is bound to be a way to bring small business and employees together. Creating jobs allows a tax credit. Expand on what we already have because as we all know, small businesses employees more people than corporations. There are good ideas out there that I don’t hear being discussed so let’s bring that first and foremost to the head of the line of public conversation. Let’s talk about apprenticeship programs for skilled laborers, how green industry can bring jobs just as much as wining and dining larger corporations. As I said, I am no economist but common sense is common sense.

Small gardens feed people just like corporate farming operations do, if you know what I mean.

Of course, there are incentives already in place but where government could assist is to look at what’s working and what isn’t. Despite what we have been screamed at in mainstream media, this isn’t about government creating jobs. It’s about partnerships with small business seeking solutions. A bipartisan committee could actually take a hard look at what would be effective and what wouldn’t. As I said, I know this tools are in place already but at this point it would be interesting to see what common sense approaches could be taken.

If the state succeeds, despite who has partisan control at this time, everyone succeeds.

Back in September, Tennessee Democrats went across the state and met with a variety of business owners, toured their facilities and had conversations on what they needed. My brother-in-law has a business and told House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh and Senator Beverly Marrero  that if other businesses succeed, he succeeds as he has owned a screenprinting shop for roughly 15 years. (They visited him and other businesses on the western leg of the tour.)

When businesses started flaying a few years ago and larger businesses, such as Goodyear closed shop, his business has also been impacted. Due to circumstances where my sister worked full-time in that business, she has had to take another full time job to help their family finances stay afloat. They are not unique. This is happening to a lot of families across the state. Democrats from all across the state participated in the Tour meeting with real and concerned business owners, not just those who can afford a Chamber membership. Listening and having a face to face conversation is the most valuable thing any elected leader and their staffs can do.

The Republicans have done that as well so I won’t knock all of them on this.  I don’t know how this was actually helpful (still eyeballing you, Lt. Governor) because it doesn’t have to be an us versus them sort of conversation happening around the state. It is rhetoric and happening everywhere not just in this state. Congratulations to Ramsey for making Think Progress this morning incidentally I say with a great deal of snark. People, there is not a thing in the world wrong with being pro-business and pro-employee. With that said, there is something wrong with stereotyping people in crisis.

This isn’t Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches of who has the star on their belly and who doesn’t, this is real life for 400,000 Tennesseans.

Finding a job is a full-time job in itself. Take into consideration that many companies now only accept online applications, cell phones are crucial when it comes to communicating with potential employers, travel to interviews is expensive and the list goes on.

I am just a part-time writer from a small town in Tennessee but even I can see that we have methods in place that can be expanded on with a real and meaningful conversation between our elected leaders, small business and the public. As Bill Clinton recently said smart government is what is needed right now with positive strategic measures that focus on what is fixable and what is not.

And don’t demonize and stereotype folks who are having a rough time right now, work with them. Most people have a great work ethic, there just isn’t any work. It’s not hard to grasp that.

 

Categories: Tennessee

Discussion (1 Comment)

  1. by Kris

    How are you defining small business on those statistics? It appears that businesses making 100 million or more employee nearly half of all employees and 50 million or more is over half.