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Is the American spirit still alive and can we do it? Or should we admit that our time has come and gone and it is now China's turn for spectacular achievements?
I know that our current national malaise -- a result of our current, bitter political climate mixed with a strong dose of corporate greed and recklessness -- does not leave a lot of room for this sort of discussion.
I also know that a lot of the pundits and naysayers would rather want to hear "10 Million Jobs LOST in 10 Months" because that would fill the airwaves and the blogosphere faster than you could bat your eyelids and it would send shock waves throughout the global financial community. Somehow or another, we have grown so accustomed to hearing bad news that the first thing that we expect to hear when we turn on our television sets and computers is Doom and Gloom.
Make History or Be Burdened by History
I also understand that some would say that, in order to be credible, one's statement must be couched in a dose of realism and pragmatism. My answer to that is: If the electorate during the last US presidential election had subscribed to that notion, then junior Senator Barack Obama's candidacy would have suffered the fate of Jesse Jackson's and I, personally, would have never voted for him, volunteered, or made any financial contributions if I were a realist and pragmatist. The point being: We can either make history or be burdened by history, but the choice is always ours.
A Layman's Roadmap to 10 Million Jobs in 10 Months
So what does that have to do with 10 Million Jobs in 10 Months and how is that feasible? Well, here is how I came up with those "layman and very unscientific" figures:
Back in April of 2010, while conducting some research on the number of jobs that our startup, private educational institution could--and needed to--create over the next 12 months, I estimated that, from the required total, we needed, at the onset, to initially fill around 30 commission-based sales openings. It then dawned on me that, in spite of all the doom and gloom you hear in the news, perhaps there could be tons of other small businesses out there who could be in a similar situation. After all, it goes without saying that SALES is the lifeblood of every single business.
I then wondered how many small businesses there were in America. According to the 2009 IRS Databook, 24,197,000 returns for estimated taxes were filed by small businesses. Therefore, if every single small business could hire just one (1) salesperson who is currently out of work, looking for work, is able to perform AND is willing to work on a "commission-only" basis, then, theoretically speaking, approximately 24 million small business jobs could be created overnight. I then thought about slicing that number in half and, instead of overnight, spread that number over a period of 12 months, to come to an average number of 1 million new sales jobs per month, for a total of 12 million jobs over a period of 12 months. And since you need a good slogan to promote something, I thought about reducing the target from 12 months to 10 months, which would make the slogan "10 Million Jobs in 10 Months" sound better and much more attractive. No Ph.D. in economics or statistical analysis required.
After coming up with these "layman" figures, I then decided to google that slogan in order to find out how "realistic" and "pragmatic" were those figures. And, lo and behold, I came across a November 11, 2007 article from Financial Express titled "China creates 10 million jobs for urbanites" at http://www.financialexpress.com/news/China-creates-10-million-jobs-for-urbanites/237992/ :: The article states "Beijing November 11:: China has created more than 10 million urban jobs in the first ten months, meeting the target for the entire year two months before, a senior official said." I then saw another article from Huffington Post by Dave Johnson, Fellow, Campaign for America's Future, titled "Ten Million Jobs Needed - Ten Million Jobs That Need Doing" posted on March 22, 2010 05:06 PM at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/ten-million-jobs-needed_b_508867.html which, more or less, confirmed that I was on the right track about the 10 million figure and not hallucinating.
So What is Stopping Us?
The next logical and rhetorical question that came to mind, especially when it comes to small businesses, is: What in the world is stopping us from getting our butts in gear?
A 3-Headed Monster: Government Policies, Virtual Chaos, Political Climate
However, having been in business for over 30 years, I knew better than to ask that question since one of the answers is so obvious for anyone who has been in business for any significant period of time: The government. We have a structural deficit in our economy that is the direct result of government policies which, on the surface, mean well but eventually wind up resulting in a great deal of unintended and harmful consequences to the same people that these laws were intended to protect in the first place. Various examples of these policies are incorporated and illustrated in the paragraphs below.
A second and most important answer is this: The fast and furious, topsy-turvy and dizzying pace of advances in internet, virtualization and social media technologies combined with the rapid virtualization of the workforce and the workplace have created a Virtual Chaos that has engulfed both corporate executives and policymakers. These corporate executives and policymakers are in a state of complete disarray, scratching their heads and wondering how to make economic sense out of, as well as benefit from, this massive disruption of their existing World Order.
With respect to corporate executives, they are slow to realize the sense of urgency that is needed from the standpoint of making the sort of dramatic changes that are needed in terms of how they do business in order to take full advantage of the huge economic benefits to be gained from the virtualization of the workplace and the workforce. They keep tinkering around the edges and continue to make small and incremental changes that are equivalent to either riding a Porsche on the autobahn at 35 miles per hour or displaying a Ferrari in your showroom garage and taking it out for a spin on special occasions.
Although a good number of small businesses have taken the lead when it comes to taking maximum advantage of the benefits of virtualization of the workspace and the workforce, nonetheless, it is too small a number--may be 2%--compared to the huge number of small businesses that are out there in the US.
For example, the internet combined with e-commerce technology, virtualization technology, workspace virtualization technology, workforce virtualization, social media, social media tools, social media marketing, and virtual organization management education make the most potent, powerful, and unbeatable economic cocktail known to mankind. Other than for certain types of industries which require a physical presence (e.g. manufacturers, hospitals, theaters, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, hotels, airlines, transportation companies, railroads, etc.) most businesses could virtualize their entire operations and pass on some of the huge economic savings to their employees in the form of higher wages. As well, they would be in a position to "hire more employees" in order to expand their base of operations and economic sphere of influence. And why is that not being aggressively promoted and implemented across the board?
Imagine the ton of economic opportunities that this small "shift in attitude and thinking" would create. The economic possibilities and rewards are almost limitless. So now you can ask yourself this question: How many businesses do you know of, big or small, that actually have a "formal plan and timetable" in place to virtualize their entire operations in order to either avoid layoffs or "create more jobs" and expand? Now that you've answered the first question, ask yourself this other question: How many businesses do you know of, big or small, that actually have or had a "formal plan and timetable" in place in order to "layoff employees or eliminate jobs" altogether or just close shop? The bottom line is this, a paradigm shift in attitude and thinking by corporate executives and small business owners needs to take place before we can begin to see the sort of economic recovery that we all want, desperately need, and can have.
With respect to policymakers, they are slow in making the necessary changes in the law that are needed in order to get the hell out of the way of small as well as large businesses that are either sick, slowly dying, on life support or just terminally ill; who desperately need to make the sort of drastic changes needed in order to reverse the downhill trend they've been on. Businesses don't really need--and frankly shouldn't get--help or handouts from the government. However, that being said, businesses can "partner" with the government--but not at the expense of taxpayers--in order to bring about the necessary changes that are needed for a healthy economic climate and the social good. I will not attempt to write a dissertation on the difference between "getting help" and "partner with" since that is outside the scope of this discussion but will rather leave it up to men and women of good will to interpret my statement based on the context of this article.
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US investment in the Netherlands from 2000 to 2010 was nine times more than US investment in China during the same period. US investment in the UK was more than seven times more, and in Ireland nearly three times more, than in China. (Source: Transatlantic Economy 2011
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