Lotsa talk for weeks now about jobs – with Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act* being promoted by the White House, numerous smart economists and bloggers, and most Democrats, the long-awaited Pivot To Jobs!!!!!! has apparently arrived.

The Democrats are saying we need to stimulate jobs directly through federal and state spending, that the benefits will outweigh the costs. Short term spending will create income to be spent on food, shelter, household goods, services, luxury items, houses, cars, education, everything which we use. Those transactions will be taxed, which will start a cycle of digging ourselves out of the mess we’re in.  Makes sense to me.

The Republicans say that giving tax breaks to the “job creators” will help them create jobs. Except if they wanted to create jobs they could do so right now – the job creators are stashing cash in investments, not labor. But if jobs are going to be created through tax cuts, from where I stand it will happen at an awfully slow pace. We’ll lose more and have farther to dig ourselves out of. It might just create a downward spiral. I think the Republicans are talking Unicorns and Rainbows, waving magical wands of job creation.

I’m in a small business.  Our sales have suffered over the last three years. Why? I ask tons of customers how they are doing, whether they’ve stayed busy in their own work, why they were laid off (amazing how many people get tattoos when they are laid off, but that’s another story…), and what their sense of the economy – local and nationwide – is.

What I hear from our customers is that they are holding back on tattoo work, or not getting tattoo work, because they aren’t working. They’ve lost their overtime. Couples are down to one-and-a-half, or even just one job. A few are on unemployment. Our business would be better if all of them were working like they were before the crash. Duh. No brainer there.

My impression of what it going on is honed by talking to my customers who are themselves small business owners. When people have more money to spend, these business people will start hiring to meet increased demand. Till then – also a no-brainer – they won’t need people to meet a demand which does not exist.

No surprise I back the Democratic approach; it syncs with everything I think government is structured to address to help us, as a people, as a whole, ride out the storms.

I like Unicorns and rainbows, and magic wands. But I like them in fiction, where they belong, not here in the real world where they tend to really muck things up.

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