How a job is created

This morning I called in to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to answer the question “Is it fair that the Obama administration has been called anti-business”. To give you some context, I consider myself a democrat and I voted for Obama (and attended the rallies, etc)

I’ve been ruminating over the issue for most of the day. Here are a few more thoughts.

At the front of every American’s mind right now is the awful job market. America has lost more than 8 million jobs since 2007. Both parties have hitched their idiological wagons to this talking point and are trying to appear to be more capable of solving the issue than the other guy.

The issue is simple: How do we create more jobs.

The answer is simple: You help grow existing businesses and you help create new businesses. That is how a job is created.

Let me say that again in case your ideological lense distorted that last sentence [or in case that blue hurts your eyes too].

You create jobs by helping grow existing businesses and helping create new businesses.

I’m a business owner in Seattle. I own a funded Technology startup. My goal is to grow my business into something the size of Google that employs 25,000 people. I’M THE GUY TRYING TO CREATE JOBS.

I’m trying to create jobs so hard that I work without a salary. Not only that but I invest my life savings into the cause of creating jobs. I also work harder at my job of creating jobs than most people work at their normal job. I regularly pull 80+ hour weeks. [I’m sure you medical interns are laughing at me, but you’re the exception and are clearly insane.]

Three friends of mine in Silicon Valley have taken some of their life savings and given it to me in the hope that they might help me create 25,000 jobs the way Google did.

But what is very very strange is that with all this Democrat and Republican talk of creating jobs, not a single democrat or republican has actually done anything to help my friends and I create jobs.

Nothing.

They haven’t helped startups get access to credit.

They haven’t helped startups spend less on taxes so they can spend more on growth.

They haven’t helped the people who fund startups. In fact there’s talk of putting them out of business because they’re “BANKERS“!

So really the message is that the American government does not care about creating jobs. The Obama administration doesn’t care. The Democratic party doesn’t care and the Republicans don’t care either.

The only job security every senator and congressman cares about is their own. So call or write your senator or congressman today and let them know that if they don’t do something that helps create new businesses and grow existing ones, you’re going to fire them.

While the jockeying and posturing continues in Washington D.C., my friends and I here in Seattle and people like us all over America will continue to work our tails off to help create jobs for you. We’ll continue to burn our savings. We’ll keep working without pay. Our friends will continue to risk their savings to try and help us.

22 thoughts on “How a job is created

  1. Pingback: Build Your Own Solar Power Generator |

  2. Innovation and new start-ups begin without any job-creation specialist’s input. It begins with a gnawing idea in some individual’s gut followed by the courage to pursue it as one of those people who, like the pebble dropper, makes waves and leaves wakes disturbing the accepted and established way things are done, in spite of the many critics. Without that, the specialist contributes what? See Save Pebble Droppers & Prosperity on Amazon and claysamerica.com.

  3. Mark, I’m with you 100%.

    Unfortunately, our tax system is set up to protect those with the big money and to prevent the rest of us from earning our own.

    As much as they talk about taxing the “super-rich” the government doesn’t realize that MOST of those people became rich by creating companies, ideas, products, and services that people wanted and therefore they had to build companies to provide those things.

    As those companies grew, their fortunes grew, and most continue the cycle by investing in the next round of companies, products, ideas, and services. Some worked, some failed, but they continue the cycle.

  4. The blogger is exactly right on one point. The incumbents in congress care only about one thing, their reelection. Nothing else but that one point drives them. And the only real message that gets through their thick skulls is tossing them out of office.

    The only solution to the current problem is to throw out every incumbent congressman (all 435 of them) and every single incumbent senator (all 1/3 that are up for reelection this year) in the fall election. That would send a huge message, one that would be heard loud and clear by the remaining senators that were not up for reelection and to all 435 brand new house members.

  5. Most Republicans want to cut taxes to help business. I don’t know how many Republicans one encounters in Seattle, but we’re all about reducing both the tax & regulatory burdens businesses face (in a reasonable way, not abolishing the FDA or anything). Tort-reform, for example, is something Republicans want, and it helps businesses by reducing frivolous lawsuits.

  6. And here I thought this was going to be an article about “how a job is created”. Why don’t you people title things truthfully?

  7. The post lays out how jobs are created: people take risks and make sacrifices to test a hypothesis that people will pay more than it costs for X.

    The comments pick apart the edges of this explanation or outright say “you are an idiot” or “you are greedy” with no clear explanation of why.

    This is a living example of the short comings of our political process.

  8. And just one more comment. Startup founders are usually the least greedy people in the world. They are mostly like inventors, artists, geeks, who get a lot of satisfaction from their work. For some odd reason they do talk a lot about getting rich, but I suspect that they usually mean “succeeding” and getting enough money to do the next startup.

  9. Testify!

    It’s all just talk until something happens. If Washington wants to revive the American economy, it should be checking the pulse of startups and small businesses.

    Clearly, something is not right.

  10. Thank you for this post, Mark, we – and I mean the world – need more of this kind of clarity about the economy and issues like creating jobs. I’m a European and have always considered the USA as the model of supporting and appreciating entrepreneurship. However, some of the comments on this post and a number of other recent events make me wonder where the world is going :)

    Governments and politicians actually _are_ able to create jobs, but the cost is at least 3-400% higher, they are much less sustainable, they don’t promote competition and innovation, and fill up key positions with the wrong people. (There is plenty of data backing this up, just think about EU countries creating Airbus – successfully but very expensively with taxpayer money. Politicians arranging top management jobs for their cousins does not help the business either, but they feel entitled, after all, they “created” tens of thousands of jobs :))

    While Obama is the most likeable politician I can think of, in reality people like Mark will always have a much bigger impact on job creation than he does. (You just don’t notice, because if Obama creates a thousand jobs it’s a headline, but if 300 college dropouts create 157 startups in a month and in a year they create 2000 jobs you don’t read in the NYT that “157 startups scattered around the country have created 2000 jobs”). Or do you? I’m not reading the NYT. I read this blog and many others.

  11. @SP If you have read mises.org you know that they say something along the lines of “once you start regulating, you have to regulate everything to cope with the consequences of the first regulations”. Now, IMHO the inverse is also true: once you start deregulating, you have to deregulate everything. Am I wrong in stating that, without a well funded government doing stuff, the USA would have been annihilated by the Soviet Union?

    If you say “vote libertarian”, you should also say “remove laws about legal persons” (that is, change the rules) and good luck doing it! Pure libertarianism is a utopia. And you also have to take care not to create neo-feudalism, which is not libertarian at all, but it will arise in no-rules societies because of social networking (mafia) etc.

  12. I certainly don’t expect anyone to act in any way other than self-interest. I just don’t see why the “suffering” of entrepreneurs has anything to do with the argument. If the last paragraph has been something like:

    “People like me [Mark], that are driven to pursue new ideas, want to work our tails off; we thrive on trying to create something new, to create something useful. We are willing and able to take on the risk of pursuing new ideas but Washington is holding us back.”

    then this would have been a post I would have shared. I’m probably just reading into the subtext too much.

  13. Obama and COngress can get serious about the ridiculous exchange rates that Asian countries are using to destroy America’s industry

  14. The comments posted here so far are simply depressing, as they seem to miss the entire point of the message. Jobs are created by entrepreneurs taking risks and trying to get rich by adding value to the marketplace. Every single business in this country and around the world exists because of an entrepreneur trying to get rich. That’s a good thing.

    Think of the millions and millions of jobs created throughout the ages simply by entrepreneurs trying to get rich. We should be cheering for the entrepreneurs of this country and making it as easy as possible for them to hire more employees. The best way to do this is by lowering taxes and killing the regulations that only help large entrenched corporations keep smaller competitors out of the game.

    The author is right about one more thing: Republicans and Democrats don’t care about creating jobs, otherwise they’d lower taxes and make hiring employees and starting businesses easier. Read mises.org. Vote Libertarian.

  15. The comments on this page are generally imbecilic. Doing a startup is like getting a Ph.D. There’s easier ways, more guaranteed ways to get money. If you have the level of motivation and skill to pull off a successful startup, you could probably be making six figures on Wall St. or be working for the likes of McKinsey.

    And instead, you live on a college student’s budget so you can make something that will hopefully be worth something to people.

    Is there some self-interest there as well? Yes, but what did you expect? That he act like a nun?

  16. The first thing that popped into my head when reading this, and I know if is off-point, is, “How are you able to keep working without pay? And is that even a sacrifice?” Then I saw the comments and I almost didn’t bother stating this.

    I agree with the general point though I just don’t think you should have such a deserving attitude. You are doing what you do because it benefits you not because you are trying to help solve our country’s woes. Any by ‘you’ I mean startup founders not you specifically, I obviously don’t even know you.

  17. But the government cannot help you directly, no? Because you are in the USA, not in China. So the whole discussion revolves around: how to make more appealing for “bankers” to invest in job-creating enterprises, rather than to invest in financial stuff, or not to invest at all (in risky stuff).

    IMHO governments cannot do much; they can only change the rules of the game (which some are thinking, probably too slowly) and pressure other government on stopping “unfair” practices (like China with the dollar/yuan ratio, and Obama is doing it, you have to admit it).

    Rather than yelling at Obama, you should ask yourself why the USA economic system is not self-correcting everything; why is the system not creating more jobs by itself?

  18. Pingback: How a job is created

  19. Wow, way to take something horrible, like the huge job losses, and twist it around to make you even more money, and pay less taxes. Maybe you will spend it all on expanding your business, maybe you are just ridiculously greedy.

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