January 27, 2014 by David K. Sutton
Boilerplate Republican: It Will Kill Jobs
Republicans say no to many things, like a minimum wage increase, or increased taxes, or sensible regulations to safeguard the public (I’m talking to you West Virginia), on the premise that it will hurt businesses, therefore resulting in job losses. But they need not prove these claims, its good enough for Republicans to simply posit them as truths. Of course this is all boilerplate stuff for Republicans. Good at coming up with “common sense” excuses for why we can’t do something or why something is bad, not so good with coming up with the evidence to support the claim.
So is it any more silly to suggest businesses not open shop in a northern state due to the higher cost of snow removal? Or maybe a business that relies heavily on imports should think twice before building a store in the middle of the country, due to increased transportation costs. Or maybe businesses should stay away from the South due to the fact that many of the red states are the poorest states in the country. And why would businesses dare operate in Alaska, or better example, Hawaii? Lots of logistical issues to deal with in those two states, why be burdened?
Of course the reason why all of these scenarios are silly is because human beings are good at adapting to change. The problem is, getting that change, is always harder than adapting to it. Can a regulation or a tax become too burdensome for a business to survive? Sure, but it’s not a zero-sum game. Increasing a tax, or introducing a new regulation doesn’t automatically mean business failure or job losses. A modest increase in a tax, or the introduction of a sensible regulation, will lead to adaptation, not extinction.
Yes, its possible a business will adapt by reducing it’s labor force, but I think Republicans put way too much emphasis on this possibility by again, pretending it’s a zero-sum game. In this still slow economy, businesses are already running lean on the labor side. Many businesses are already making do with fewer employees charged with doing more. So it’s not a sound assumption by Republicans to believe the first reaction by a business to any tax or regulatory change will be to cut jobs. Instead its hyperbole designed to support an ideology. And I don’t know about you, but our economy (and more specifically our personal economies) has had about all the ideology it can take over the past 30 years.