“Not Hiring until Obama is Gone”

Via Atlanta’s NBC affiliate:  ‘Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone’

A west Georgia business owner is stirring up controversy with signs he posted on his company’s trucks, for all to see as the trucks roll up and down roads, highways and interstates:

"New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone."

"Can’t afford it," explained the employer, Bill Looman, Tuesday evening. "I’ve got people that I want to hire now, but I just can’t afford it. And I don’t foresee that I’ll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C."

On the one had, this is just a silly local news story.  On the other, it is an example of the way we, in the US, often simplify our politics (and, for that matter, our economy) to a question of who occupies the White House.  This is a view that is, unfortunately, encouraged by the candidates, the parties, and the media.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    The man has a right to expect his elected leaders to understand the banking and monetary system sufficiently to deal with our current problems. However, none of the Obama alternatives have a better grasp. So he won’t be hiring under President Gingrich/Romney either.

  2. @Ben Wolf: But, of course, even if we stipulate as to your specific views on banking and the monetary system, the election of a given president wouldn’t matter unless a like-minded congressional majority was also elected.

  3. John Peabody says:

    Be a cynic…the signs will go away 30 days from now, they’ll have done their job of getting the brand name on the local news during sweeps month. Good job, guys!

  4. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    So, is this your Gellar’s “Halal Turkey” rift ???

  5. john personna says:

    This is the “Drew” demographic. They believe in a thing, and will punish themselves, their company, and their country, to prove the point.

  6. john personna says:

    (The feedback loop cannot be opaque to them.)

  7. John Burgess says:

    There are feedback loops within feedback loops. How much will an employer have to pay for health care insurance? Will that make the cost of adding an employee prohibitive? If it does, getting rid of too-expensive employees is not free, either.

    What sorts of new regulations are coming down the pike? How much will they cost to implement? Are they of a nature that will make the entire business a bad bet?

    Uncertainty about future conditions is a legitimate reason to not start new efforts.

    Rather than some redneck yokel who doesn’t know what good for him, I see someone making prudent business decisions.

  8. @John Burgess: Except, none of those things will change solely because a new president is elected. That is my point.

    Indeed, to pretend like changing the president alone directly changes regulations, taxes, etc. is a major pathology in our politics that needs correcting.

    (That and the fact that the uncertainty that exists is within the economy itself, not the White House).

  9. Robert Prather says:

    This is typical of how infantile our politics has become. Righties complain about uncertainty and then hold our debt ceiling hostage, thus creating massive uncertainty. Hypocrits.

  10. Hey Norm says:

    If there was a shred of logic to his position it would be worth discussing.

  11. de stijl says:

    @John Burgess:

    You make the case for a rational actor.

    I have an alternate take: Manichean tribalism. Here is a guy who thinks that Team Red is good and Team Blue is evil. When Team Red assumes its rightful place in the White House it will be ponies for everyone and a unicorn in every pot.

    He says he’d like to hire now but can’t afford to. A rational actor would hire now if it was profitable to do so. I don’t have access to his books, but my guess is that the reason he is not hiring is a lack of demand.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John Burgess:

    Uncertainty about future conditions is a legitimate reason to not start new efforts.

    Bullshit. There has never been a time in the history of the universe when there was not “Uncertainty about future conditions”. This is just typical Chamber of Commerce bogeyman blather “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”.

    Especially when an election is coming. Did they stop hiring in ’95-’96?

  13. Good for him. We still have a free enough market to the point where he’ll be out of business with that stupid, simplistic attitude.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    This person is just as stupid as those who claimed they were going to leave the country as long as Bush was president…someone making prudent business decisions? Hardly…much more like a redneck yokel who not only doesn’t know what’s good for him but who is also hurting others because of his foolish tribalism…

  15. anjin-san says:

    How much will an employer have to pay for health care insurance? Will that make the cost of adding an employee prohibitive? If it does, getting rid of too-expensive employees is not free, either.

    We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know about the past. Health care costs increased over 100% during the Bush era. I can’t remember hearing conservatives talking about how they could not hire anyone under those conditions.

  16. sam says:

    If you go to the company’s website (http://www.uscranellc.com/), this is what you find:

    William (Bill) Looman is a veteran, a patriot, and most importantly, my friend and brother. He and I along with many other Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen/women and Coasties, served, still serve, and shall continue to serve, so that the Constitution of the United States of America cannot be so trampled as to rob any American of their right to freedom of expression. All of you who have been less than kind in your assessment of Bill for his practice of that freedom, should be ashamed of yourselves. Every American has the right of freedom of speech, through the printed word or spoken, and for you to look down upon that right is to declare that not only do you not believe in the American Constitution, but to also declare to all that listen that you do not care to be branded an American. How sad that is.

    This site is now under construction as we are upgrading our bandwidth and storage to handle the barrage of new business, both the foul, and the resultant new customer inquiry/acquisition that the foul attention has brought us.

    Yada, yada. I’m a Marine, too. So what? Two interesting things here. One, the author of the page doesn’t seem to understand that freedom of expression goes both ways. You have the freedom to express yourself as you see fit, and I have the freedom to say you’re a whatever for expressing that opinion. Two, apparently his antiObama stance is generating new business for the company. Too bad he’ll have to turn it away as he won’t be hiring the staff to handle the increased business.

  17. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    Every American has the right of freedom of speech, through the printed word or spoken, and for you to look down upon that right is to declare that not only do you not believe in the American Constitution, but to also declare to all that listen that you do not care to be branded an American.

    Like I said: Manichean tribalism. “If you disagree with me, you hate the constitution and you’re un-American.”

    apparently his antiObama stance is generating new business for the company

    Given the partisan splits in this country, he’ll likely lose as much business as he gains.

    Too bad he’ll have to turn it away as he won’t be hiring the staff to handle the increased business.

    If he does have a net gain in business because of this, will he have the courage of his convictions to honor his pledge?

  18. Ben Wolf says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You’re correct, of course. Even if a president did understand the system he’d be stymied by a Congress that doesn’t. I just wish this president was getting better advice from people who weren’t advocating the very policies which put us here.

  19. anjin-san says:

    I love the “uncertainty” argument coming from the right. These are the folks who played chicken with the debt ceiling, leading to the downgrade. That road can lead to instability, which is a hell of a lot more dangerous than uncertainty.

  20. ponce says:

    Just a reminder of how dumb many of the people running companies in America are.

  21. Herb says:

    This doesn’t sound like a particularly well-managed firm…. I think that website clinches it.

  22. John Burgess says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: No but the odds of something changing with the same guy on top are lower than with someone who is opposed to those programs that produce more chaos into the system. Aren’t they?

  23. Drew says:

    Alternatively, since JP and others have not yet aquired dictatorial powers to tell businessmen how they must run their businesses, they are behaving in a rational fashion in their own self interests.

    Anyone who does not believe this type of stance is widespread doesn’t speak with very many businessmen.

  24. Ben Wolf says:

    @John Burgess:

    No but the odds of something changing with the same guy on top are lower than with someone who is opposed to those programs that produce more chaos into the system. Aren’t they?

    One would have to show the programs Republican candidates would pursue are somehow less burdensome or damaging. Good luck.

  25. @John Burgess:

    No but the odds of something changing with the same guy on top are lower than with someone who is opposed to those programs that produce more chaos into the system. Aren’t they?

    One suspects that the odds might shift somewhat based on who the president is, but a) change would not be instantaneous, as this gentleman is suggesting, and b) it still very much is more dependent on the prevailing politics of the day and the disposition of congress.

    To wit: Obama was elected and yet, the Bush tax cuts were extended and Guantanamo is still open, to name two specific recent examples.

    Further, I reject the notion, because I don’t think it is supported by the facts, that the uncertainty in the economy is some special function of Obama administration policies.

  26. Herb says:

    Anyone who does not believe this type of stance is widespread doesn’t speak with very many businessmen.

    It’s not enough to speak to just any businessman. Speak to the successful ones.

    I suspect many successful right-wing businessmen would love to do something like this but won’t because it doesn’t make any business sense. It may make them feel good and express their 1st amendment rights, but it will limit their customer base and have negative implications for their bottom line. Like I said….not a particularly well-managed firm here.

  27. anjin-san says:

    Further, I reject the notion, because I don’t think it is supported by the facts, that the uncertainty in the economy is some special function of Obama administration policies.

    You mean you’ve forgotten the well-oiled machine that was the US economy before Obama took office?

  28. Lit3Bolt says:

    @anjin-san:

    The amusing thing is I couldn’t tell if this was snark or another brain-dead Republican talking point. Maybe conservatives really do read TBogg and Balloon Juice and Sadly No! for their talking points, because they’re sadly indistinguishable from parody.

  29. bains says:

    This is a view that is, unfortunately, encouraged by the candidates, the parties, and the media.

    and pundits and bloggers…

    In a recent conversation with a college roommate, very good friend still and very smart fellow, he said something that is just so common amongst the chattering class, and those that still hold their views in high regards.

    He said that is sad commentary upon this country that both parties are more concerned with seeing the other side fail than righting the ship of America.

    While I mostly agree with his assessment, I note that he, and so many other “opinion makers” were absolutely silent when Democrats opposed every policy/plan/legislation that GW Bush voiced approval of.

    What ever happened to that catchy phrase so overplayed after the turn of the century that dissent is patriotic…

  30. anjin-san says:

    I note that he, and so many other “opinion makers” were absolutely silent when Democrats opposed every policy/plan/legislation that GW Bush voiced approval of.

    Well, off the top of my head, Democrats supported Bush on the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and TARP (more Democrats voted for it than Republicans).

    So are you ignorant of history, or are you simply making things up to create a false equivalence?