Everyone knows that the United States is bleeding jobs. According to one new study, the private sector in the United States has lost 10.5 million jobs since 2007. The U.S. economy lost 125,000 more jobs during the month of June. Approximately a million frustrated American workers have simply dropped out of the employment market altogether over the past two months. But the question not enough people are asking is why so many jobs are being lost. Yes, the large global corporations have been sending millions of jobs overseas where labor is far, far cheaper. And yes, the U.S. government has accumulated so much debt that it is absolutely suffocating the U.S. economy. But there is another very important factor that has been largely overlooked. Traditionally, about 75 percent of all new jobs are created by small businesses. But today, hundreds of thousands of small businesses are being strangled out of existence by all of the oppressive taxes, fees, rules, regulations, paperwork and demands that government keeps imposing on them. In such a repressive environment, it is getting close to impossible for small businesses to thrive, and if our small businesses can't succeed, then we simply are not going to see a lot of jobs being created.
You see, the truth is that over the past several decades the game has become dramatically stacked in favor of large businesses. Big corporations have the money to lobby Congress and other governmental institutions, they get almost all the tax breaks and they are the only ones who get bailouts. They even "help" write legislation on the federal level.
Many times large corporations will even lobby for more regulations for their own industry because they know that they can handle all of the rules and paperwork far easier than their smaller competitors can. After all, a large corporation with an accounting department can easily handle filling out a few thousand more forms, but for a small business with only a handful of employees that kind of paperwork is a major logistical nightmare.
When it comes to hiring new employees, the federal government has made the process so complicated and so expensive for small businesses that it is hardly worth it anymore. Things have gotten so bad that more small businesses than ever are only hiring part-time workers or independent contractors.
So what we actually have now is a situation where small businesses have lots of incentives not to hire more workers, and if they really do need some extra help the rules make it much more profitable to do whatever you can to keep from bringing people on as full-time employees.
Can the U.S. economy thrive in such an environment?
Of course not.
Small businesses are slowly being strangled out of existence.
Unless something changes quickly, small businesses are going to continue looking for ways to shed employees rather than hire them.
The U.S. government has become like the 500 pound fat guy who jumps on a horse and then gets angry when it won't move.
Passing even more ridiculous regulations and raising taxes even higher is not going to fix business in America.
The burdens we have placed on our small businesses have gotten worse under every single presidential administration of the past several decades. Now our great economic machine has become so overburdened and so tired that it is simply refusing to move.
And this is not a short-term problem either. Yes, we have lost a ton of jobs since the beginning of the "Great Recession", but our problems go back a lot farther than that. The reality is that the U.S. population has grown by about 25 million people since they year 2000, and we needed to create millions upon millions of new jobs to support that increased population. Instead, we have lost a total of 3 million jobs since 2000.
Needless to say, that is not a good trend.
There are simply not enough jobs for everyone.
Today, there are more than 5 unemployed Americans for every single job opening.
It is becoming harder and harder to find a job, and the number of Americans who are chronically unemployed is absolutely exploding.
In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
There are millions of Americans out there tonight who feel like punching the walls or drinking themselves under the table out of frustration because they can't find a job.
And many of those who are "chronically unemployed" are about to experience even more pain.
So far, the U.S. Senate has refused to extend long-term unemployment benefits for about 1.3 million Americans. Without this assistance, these Americans and their families will be forced to survive on food stamps and whatever else they can scrape together.
The tent cities that are popping up all over the United States are about to get a lot more crowded.
So is there much hope that this is going to turn around any time soon?
Big corporations are not going to pay U.S. workers ten times more money than what they are paying employees in Malaysia, China or the Philippines just because they feel sorry for them.
Small businesses are not going to hire a lot more workers as long as things stay the way that they are. In fact, many small businesses are going to continue to look for ways to cut employees.
The public sector is the one place that had been hiring more workers, but due to growing concern about exploding budget deficits, there isn't going to be a lot of additional hiring in the public sector either.
The truth is that there is not a lot of reason for optimism right now. The U.S. economy is being battered by a host of economic problems, and with each passing week even more economists warn that we are likely headed for the second half of a double-dip recession.
So if you still have a job, be thankful. If you don't have a job, you are probably going to have to get really creative.
Times are tough and they are going to get even tougher. But it is in the midst of challenging times that we find out who we really are.