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Subject: Obamacare killing small business hiring rss

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Agent J
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bjlillo wrote:


I'm so glad Congress is working on trying to get us a bunch of new workers with immigration reform while this pile of crap law is killing the prospects of many of them and we've got millions who have already dropped out of the workforce.


Me too! DJ will be a full citizen soon.
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That quote from CNBC is a bit misleading, it makes it sound like the 41% doing a hiring freeze and the 38% pulling back expansion plans are independent, that's not necessarily true as the respondents to the question were able to select multiple options (the numbers add up to well over 100% for that question).

For another take that is not Obamacare specific, but is about small business hiring, here is the National Federation of Independent Business report from May:
Quote:
Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg issued the following statement on the April job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The survey was conducted in April and reflects the responses of 1,873 sampled NFIB members:

“April was another positive, albeit lackluster month for job creation—but small-business owners are expressing a bit more enthusiasm in hiring plans in the months to come. According to NFIB’s latest data, small employers reported increasing employment an average of 0.14 workers per firm in April. This is a bit lower than March’s reading, but still [b]the fifth positive sequential monthly gain.

“Thirteen percent of the owners (up 4 points) reported adding an average of 3.2 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 13 percent reduced employment (up 2 points) an average of 3.0 workers (seasonally adjusted), producing a seasonally adjusted gain of 0.14 workers per firm overall. The remaining 74 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Almost half (49 percent) of owners surveyed hired or tried to hire in the last three months, and 38 percent (78 percent of those trying to hire or hiring) reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.

“Eighteen (18) percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, which is unchanged from the previous month. This measure is highly correlated (inversely) with the unemployment rate, and its failure to improve suggests that the unemployment rate will not improve unless, of course, more unemployed left the labor force.

“But the big news is that job creation plans rose 6 points, to a net 6 percent of small employers now planning to increase total employment in the next three months. This is a nice improvement over the 4 point decline in hiring plans we saw in March. Not seasonally adjusted, 18 percent of owners plan to increase employment at their firm (up 3 points), and 4 percent plan reductions (down 1 point). Perhaps the ‘frost’ in March didn’t do as much damage to the ‘green shoots’ as many had feared. But we’ll see. Owners remain pessimistic and wary about the future of the economy and see little reason to hire relative to what would be expected in the fifth year of an expansion.

“The NFIB labor market indicators remained more or less on track, with an improvement only in plans to create jobs. But that gain simply walked back the 4 point decline in March, so it would be premature to proclaim much progress for small-business hiring. We shouldn’t expect much from the Labor Department jobs report on Friday, either—probably a little change in employment and little change in the unemployment rate, either up or down, is all we will see.”

Perhaps if the GOP can stop trying to repeal Obamacare and instead pass immigration reform, the small businesses that wanted to hire, but could not find anyone might be able too.
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bjlillo wrote:
jmilum wrote:
That quote from CNBC is a bit misleading, it makes it sound like the 41% doing a hiring freeze and the 38% pulling back expansion plans are independent, that's not necessarily true as the respondents to the question were able to select multiple options (the numbers add up to well over 100% for that question).


I suppose it would be misleading if you don't have a basic understanding of business and think that "growing your business" == "hiring."

It's sloppy writing:
Quote:
Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare.

[...]

Another 38 percent of the small business owners said they "have pulled back on their plans to grow their business" because of Obamacare.

It is misleading when a question allows for multiple answers to be selected.
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Dave G
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We're hiring and growing. Yes, it might be more expensive, but it's just stupid to stop aggressively growing your business because the new growth comes at a lower margin than in previous years. Small business owners aren't a monolithic group. Some are good business people who will manage their business well under the new reality just as they did the old. Some are idiots who don't understand the law, can't figure out what to do, and will instead choose to let their businesses fail rather than adapt and succeed.
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Dave G
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It's telling that this poll doesn't differentiate between business that aren't hiring for rational, cost-based reasons associated with the ACA and what portion are idiots who couldn't explain the first thing about the new rules but figure it must be bad and that's why their business isn't growing.
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Dave G
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bjlillo wrote:
b a n j o wrote:
If 60% of all small businesses hired someone, unemployment would drop drastically.


Your reading comprehension appears to be insufficient to participate here.


Go take your Terra Mystica turn already. Sheesh.
 
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bjlillo wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
It's telling that this poll doesn't differentiate between business that aren't hiring for rational, cost-based reasons associated with the ACA and what portion are idiots who couldn't explain the first thing about the new rules but figure it must be bad and that's why their business isn't growing.


One in five businesses have already fired people because of Obamacare. That should be fairly telling for you. Here is how some of the people who understand the law are preparing for it:

Quote:
Twenty-four percent are weighing whether to drop insurance coverage, while 18 percent have "reduced the hours of employees to part-time" in anticipation of the ACA's effects, the poll found.


Read the rest of the article. It's quite telling.


Yes, especially the part where it is suggested that people are not reacting based on facts about the impact of ACA.
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Dave,

I agree that there is a lot of misinformation on the part of ACA - and that part of the concern is a bit overblown. There are however some thresholds where hiring has a significant financial - 50 employees is one (IIRC - I am not a small business owner - nor do I play one on television).

Obviously, it may make sense to hire that 50th person - if the benefits outweigh the costs - but this is a larger threshold.

Further, part of what the survey is hinting on (I suspect) is a general distrust of the current administration visa vie business. For example, Obama's planned announcements today on climate change are viewed with trepidation - especially if it causes energy prices to increase. These elements add up.

But again, anyone stupid enough to "spite" the president and not hire someone even though they would benefit considerably probably should not be running a business....
 
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
We're hiring and growing. Yes, it might be more expensive, but it's just stupid to stop aggressively growing your business because the new growth comes at a lower margin than in previous years. Small business owners aren't a monolithic group. Some are good business people who will manage their business well under the new reality just as they did the old. Some are idiots who don't understand the law, can't figure out what to do, and will instead choose to let their businesses fail rather than adapt and succeed.


I'd be willing to bet that 20% of small businesses are shrinking/struggling at any given time. That said, I think it remains to be seen how much of an impact various government programs will have, including Obamacare, sequestration, bailouts, immigration reform, etc.
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lfisher wrote:
Yes, especially the part where it is suggested that people are not reacting based on facts about the impact of ACA.


I dont think it is saying what you think it is saying..


Quote:
One group that favors Obamacare for small businesses said the findings reflect misconceptions about its true effects as well as the need for continued outreach by reform advocates to the small business community.

"We need to do more educating about the law," said Rhett Buttle, vice president for external affairs for the Small Business Majority, an advocacy group that has run informational meetings for owners about Obamacare.

"We think small business owners stand to benefit under the ACA," Buttle said. "We think small business owners, as they learn more [about the ACA] ... will save money in the long run."


is the only part where I can find stating anything about how small businesses may not be understanding - but the article nor the SBM gives any facts or back up to what this misconception is.

Got to agree with BJ on this one.
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bjlillo wrote:
lfisher wrote:
Yes, especially the part where it is suggested that people are not reacting based on facts about the impact of ACA.


One in five have already fired someone because of Obamacare. Let that fact sink into your head. One in five small businesses has fired someone because of Obamacare what they believe about the ACA, regardless of whether it's factual.


FTFY.

If a business owner is too stupid to understand a piece of legislation that's going to affect their business on the scale of the ACA, that business owner deserves to fail. That's capitalism. There are probably business like Chad mentioned that are close to the 50 employee line and having to think hard about how they're going to handle crossing that threshold. Then again, small businesses have to do that all the time. Do you add part-timers or is it time to start thinking about full-time people and benefits? Do you make a capital investment in a second production line in anticipation of growth? Do you buy a delivery truck of your own or look for an outsourced solution so you don't have to deal with licensing and insurance and all that jazz?

The good business owners will do fine. The dumb ones will fail. Watch me not shed any tears for stupid people who can't run successful businesses.
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bjlillo wrote:
lfisher wrote:
Yes, especially the part where it is suggested that people are not reacting based on facts about the impact of ACA.


One in five have already fired someone because of Obamacare. Let that fact sink into your head. One in five small businesses has fired someone because of Obamacare.

1 in 5 claim they have fired someone because of Obamacare.
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Utrecht wrote:
lfisher wrote:
Yes, especially the part where it is suggested that people are not reacting based on facts about the impact of ACA.


I dont think it is saying what you think it is saying..


Quote:
One group that favors Obamacare for small businesses said the findings reflect misconceptions about its true effects as well as the need for continued outreach by reform advocates to the small business community.

"We need to do more educating about the law," said Rhett Buttle, vice president for external affairs for the Small Business Majority, an advocacy group that has run informational meetings for owners about Obamacare.

"We think small business owners stand to benefit under the ACA," Buttle said. "We think small business owners, as they learn more [about the ACA] ... will save money in the long run."


is the only part where I can find stating anything about how small businesses may not be understanding - but the article nor the SBM gives any facts or back up to what this misconception is.

Got to agree with BJ on this one.


Based on other things I've read about how people misunderstand the law and its implications, I think it's not far-fetched to think that many of these people don't understand it.

Also, much like parenting, there's no test to become a small business owner. Just having that title doesn't make you especially informed about regulatory issues or even a particularly good businessperson. I've met some really incredible small business owners, and also some incredibly stupid ones.
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Assuming for a second that those stats are accurate, couldn't it very well be possible that many small companies were growing because they were fucking over their employees, and now that the ACA is in place they are less able to fuck over their employees and subsequently have to slow down their business growth?

That's not really my theory or argument, it's just a counter-example, or really, the same example spun the opposite direction.
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Utrecht wrote:
But again, anyone stupid enough to "spite" the president and not hire someone even though they would benefit considerably probably should not be running a business....

Gallup had this to say about the survey participants:

Quote:
Gallup Chief Economic Dennis Jacobe said small business owners' answers in the poll "is consistent with owners' tendency to be more Republican than Democratic, higher-income, more against big government, more conservative and less optimistic than Americans overall."

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I wonder if these are the same business owners who claimed they would immediately go out of business if Obama got re-elected.

Of course business owners are going to give answers based on a political agenda, both pro and con. Only real payroll data can be accurate. Owner (and employee for that matter) opinions on political hot potatoes can be trusted about as far as their opinions on board games can be.
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TheChin! wrote:
I wonder if these are the same business owners who claimed they would immediately go out of business if Obama got re-elected.

Of course business owners are going to give answers based on a political agenda, both pro and con. Only real payroll data can be accurate. Owner (and employee for that matter) opinions on political hot potatoes can be trusted about as far as their opinions on board games can be.


That's not a good measure. I trust BJ's opinions on board games completely, but I wouldn't believe him on anything related to politics.
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The 50 employee rule has already hurt my daughter’s employer. Her employer is not an idiot. She has run a successful business for a long time. The community is booming and the business really wants to grow. She has 49 employees. She needs a dozen more.

For her to move forward, she has a couple of terrible options:

1. Pay the penalty for going over 50 employees, which amounts to about $50,000 per year for her. She can’t do that. Not many small businesses could take a $50,000 hit off the bottom line simply for hiring a few more employees. If the business can afford to pay the penalty, it is still a $50,000 hit that didn’t exist before Obamacare.

2. Quit hiring - and fire - all employees receiving insurance subsidies. Don’t hire people from low income households, you know, the type of people that really need jobs. What an awful incentive to discourage hiring of low income employees. Anyway, she can’t do that because she is in an industry that pays low salaries.

This is one anecdotal experience, but there is a huge small business growth killer in Obamacare. To grow beyond 50 employees you better have a tremendous business with high margins that is going to go from small to large very quickly, but I think that is a small percentage of small businesses.
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I work for a small business and it has not hurt us one bit, we are growing and have added 6 employees in less than a year.

The only small business this really hurts are:

1. Greedy owners who can't live on 300K a year instead of $325.
2. Owners who should probably not be running a business anyway because they don't know how to run a business properly.
3. Mom & pop business who should probably just close up shop and retire anyway
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A couple of things:

1. The poll doesn't say that 1 in 5 businesses have fired people because of ACA. What it does say is that 19% report having "reduced their number of employees." This encompasses not only letting people go, but also moving people from employee status to contractor status, and not replacing employees lost to other attrition.

2. I wonder, BJ, if you approach all issues the way you've approached this one: look at a single study or poll, assume that its results are universally applicable, and call for sweeping policy changes on that basis. If that's not how you approach other issues, why are you taking that view with this one?
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Ogsponge wrote:
I work for a small business and it has not hurt us one bit, we are growing and have added 6 employees in less than a year.

The only small business this really hurts are:

1. Greedy owners who can't live on 300K a year instead of $325.
2. Owners who should probably not be running a business anyway because they don't know how to run a business properly.
3. Mom & pop business who should probably just close up shop and retire anyway


I quoted this solely as evidence of why you work for someone else. The bitterness and ignorance demonstrated by your list is truly epic. You must be a democrat.
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Sky Knight X wrote:
The 50 employee rule has already hurt my daughter’s employer. Her employer is not an idiot. She has run a successful business for a long time. The community is booming and the business really wants to grow. She has 49 employees. She needs a dozen more.

For her to move forward, she has a couple of terrible options:

1. Pay the penalty for going over 50 employees, which amounts to about $50,000 per year for her. She can’t do that. Not many small businesses could take a $50,000 hit off the bottom line simply for hiring a few more employees. If the business can afford to pay the penalty, it is still a $50,000 hit that didn’t exist before Obamacare.

2. Quit hiring - and fire - all employees receiving insurance subsidies. Don’t hire people from low income households, you know, the type of people that really need jobs. What an awful incentive to discourage hiring of low income employees. Anyway, she can’t do that because she is in an industry that pays low salaries.

This is one anecdotal experience, but there is a huge small business growth killer in Obamacare. To grow beyond 50 employees you better have a tremendous business with high margins that is going to go from small to large very quickly, but I think that is a small percentage of small businesses.


If they need 60 employees and can't afford a $50k cost increase, it doesnt sound like a very successful business. Sorry. $50k should be chump change to a business that size. Something doesn't add up.
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Sky Knight X wrote:
1. Pay the penalty for going over 50 employees, which amounts to about $50,000 per year for her. She can’t do that. Not many small businesses could take a $50,000 hit off the bottom line simply for hiring a few more employees. If the business can afford to pay the penalty, it is still a $50,000 hit that didn’t exist before Obamacare.

If she needs about 12 more employees, they would be expected to at least make the company back their salary (normally more else why hire them?), otherwise they weren't needed. I don't know what they make there, but at low wages it would still be somewhere around another $200k revenue at least for the company. If the company chooses to go the penalty route instead of providing insurance, it appears it has a revenue stream to tap in order to do that. Yes, the company won't be making as much money as before, but they will be providing employment and insurance for more people.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:


If they need 60 employees and can't afford a $50k cost increase, it doesnt sound like a very successful business. Sorry. $50k should be chump change to a business that size. Something doesn't add up.


Dave, I know you went to college and all, and I know you're in an MBA program... but frankly, you're full of shit on this one.

$50K is chump change? Sure, as long as it's not your $50K and there is no chance it will ever be your $50K. Then it's chump change. It's attitudes like yours, the dismissal of the "value" of fifty-thousand-dollars to a small business, that make me less than confident that college is worthwhile for people who aren't going to be scientists or doctors. Clearly it doesn't teach the value of money... at least in the business schools.

Managing people for someone else is awesome Dave, and no doubt you're a good manager. But rounding off such large sums of money when you don't know the business, it's product or service, it's market, it's situation, it's employee benefits package and about 100 thousand other things, well, that's the arrogance of someone who performs well so long as his paycheck clears. But when it's your business, your investment, your own personal money - there is no time that $50K is "chump change".

No business I ever owned had 60 employees. But I owned one for 9 years that had between 35-45 (depending on the "business cycle") and 1/10 of that amount was not chump change. Hell, 1/100th wasn't chump change. I even fired people for being habitually late (because the loss of their time to my customers, even at $7-12 an hour wasn't trivial), I fired one person for stealing the petty cash fund (proving that just over $100 was not chump change to me, a small business owner) and I agonized monthly over hourly and salaried workers and how many I could afford to keep employed even though in that era $20k a year was good money.

Some of you all have missed BJ's point - that the ACA is an unknown and that not knowing is, at best, an expensive proposition and possibly a fatal one to potentially thousands of small businesses.
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bjlillo wrote:
Golux13 wrote:
A couple of things:

1. The poll doesn't say that 1 in 5 businesses have fired people because of ACA. What it does say is that 19% report having "reduced their number of employees." This encompasses not only letting people go, but also moving people from employee status to contractor status, and not replacing employees lost to other attrition.

2. I wonder, BJ, if you approach all issues the way you've approached this one: look at a single study or poll, assume that its results are universally applicable, and call for sweeping policy changes on that basis. If that's not how you approach other issues, why are you taking that view with this one?


1. You're wrong.

Quote:
And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered "yes" when asked if they had "reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act."


BJ, "reduce the number of employees" is not the same as "fired employees," no matter how big you make the font. I am sure some of the small businesses interviewed did let people go. I'm sure others reduced their number of employees by turning them into contractors, or by not hiring new people when their old employees left. So it is inaccurate to say that 1/5 of the small businesses surveyed said they have fired employees because of the ACA.
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