Since 2000, the labor force has steadily declined, but Department of Labor figures show hiring is up. August through October 2013 employers added an average of 202,000 jobs. Let’s go back to basics: You get a job because someone needs some work done and is willing and able to pay you for it. Someone who is willing and able to compensate you with wages, sound working conditions, benefits, opportunities for advancement and intrinsic rewards enough to persuade you to turn down all competing offers and accept the job; and willing to put up with your human deficiencies in getting the work done. He or she does this because you present the education, skills, expertise, judgment, grooming, intelligence and social skills necessary to get the job done and most importantly, to return to the employer value that exceeds what it costs him/her to compensate you.
Black Americans are often misled by broadcast reports that promote the “producers-vs.-takers” theory that: America is divided between “producers” who work hard and pay taxes and “takers” who see themselves as victims, demand entitlements from the government, and don’t care about their own lives. Many Blacks see the Republican Party as the “party of the producers,” but not in a desirable way.
Make no mistake, it’s entrepreneurs who put up the capital for the enterprise, take responsibility for loans and other financing, pay expenses and own the assets including revenue. If there’s more revenue than expenses, they enjoy profits that enable them to live well and invest in another round of entrepreneurship. If there’s less revenue, and if the losing trend isn’t reversed, the enterprise eventually fails, and the entrepreneur goes bankrupt and has to implore banks or other financiers for capital to try again, or becomes the employee of some other more successful entrepreneur.
Jobs come from successful entrepreneurs and investors willing and able to risk a buck on you in order to have the potential to eventually make a couple of bucks for themselves and for the next round of investment, which in turn has the potential to create a new job or enable you to receive a raise. In order for that to happen, there has to be freedom of contract, respect and protection of private property rights.
“Politics” only exacerbates the process. It wasn’t the POTUS, or Congress, but small businesses that created some 65 percent of the net new jobs of recent years. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that over the 15 years from 1993 to mid-2008, 31 percent of net job gains resulted from the opening of new establishments. The remaining 69 percent are also due to successful businesses of all sizes that expanded. Most of the workers employed by Black-owned businesses are minorities. Of the 1.9 million Black-owned businesses existing in 2007, 106,824 had paid employees.
(William Reed is head of the Business Exchange Network and available for speaking/seminar projects through the Bailey Group.org.)