Last week I attended the American Staffing Association’s Staffing World 2011 conference in New Orleans and heard a particularly interesting speaker, Zachary Karabell, an author, money manager and economist. He talked about media coverage and the effect it has on confidence - consumer, business, market, etc. One of his main points was that hearing that something bad has or might happen, or that everyone is not doing something, like hiring, becomes self-fulfilling. Our 24 hour news cycle, with its endless need to create crisis and drive ratings, may be contributing to our inability to get back on track His blog post in June, The Optimism Deficit, covers some similar territory. He writes:
Last week’s post was about the business community and the government working together to create a climate conducive to job growth. That was the Business community with a big B. This week I want to address the lower case b, the men and women like me who run companies or are in management and in a position to hire. It is up to us too. We cannot just wait on the sidelines and expect our government or someone else to take action. The private sector must act too. In recent columns I have told workers they must take risks and I have urged the government to do so as well. Now it’s our turn.
Addressing the topic of jobs last week, I urged business professionals to take responsibility for their own careers and professional development; I am a firm believer in individual effort as the key to success in business and in life. However I also recognize that the business community and our government have responsibilities as well. Putting Americans back to work and our economy back on track requires all of us making investments and taking some risk. That is why I think the American Jobs Act is only part of the solution. Investing in America’s physical infrastructure, and putting teachers and emergency responders back to work as the Act proposes, are critical, worthy expenditures. But the jobs saved or created by the Act are concentrated in union and blue collar sectors, which doesn’t address white collar job losses. The Act also contains tax cuts and credits for small businesses and individuals which would be effective immediately, but much of the actual job creation will take 12-18 months or more. It’s a start but we need more.