Normally, due to the “throw the bums out” dynamic — which unfortunately isn’t finished with “…and don’t replace them!” — when the economy sucks more than usual for most people during an election year the incumbents generally lose. This go round, the Democrats kept the Senate & Obama beat Romney, prompting varying degrees of reflection among Republican partisans & “conservatives” in general on why that happened & how to adjust.
One of those examples of reflection came from American Conservative blogger Rod Dreher. His take is that the Republican Party is too cozy with big business, and conflates policy for the benefit of big business with being pro-market. Both parties actually being dominated by big business elites, particularly in finance, this is quite the No Duh statement. However, due to perception being more important than the naked reality in mainstream political discourse, and the GOP being seen as uniquely mega business dominated among the two “major” parties, he does have a point. After all, the image changing while the reality didn’t would be helpful to the party anyway, and the genesis of these type of observations is that the party just lost a presidential election.
Yet…check out the story* Rod relays to support his point, about an unnamed friend of his who is a Small Business Owner:
I didn’t ask him for whom he voted, because we were mostly talking about our jobs. He said he’s been putting in 100-hour weeks all year long, on his feet all day at his business, and that the difficulty in holding on to workers, even in this economy, has made that necessary. He told me that every couple of weeks, he’ll show up to find that another of his team is turning in his or her resignation. They all tell him the same thing: that they’re starting to make too much money working for him, and that threatens their government welfare check.
“Are you serious?” I said.
“I’m serious,” he said, and he was. This wasn’t a joke for him. And he said his workers — the ones who were quitting — weren’t lying, either.
Assuming that this is true, how meagerly is he paying these people that they still qualify for assistance, or even need it? Why are they allegedly so forthcoming in their reason for quitting? Is he simply having terrible luck at hiring people or does his HR person suck rocks? What is this job where the owner of the company is forced to work 100 hour weeks all year, and could it be mismanagement contributing to the difficulty (if you run things in a horribly inefficient manner, it stands to reason that busting your ass to barely tread water will be a common occurrence)? Finally, since people who quit jobs aren’t eligible for unemployment, people getting disability are considered incapable of working to begin with, and contrary to popular belief straightforward welfare isn’t that generous, what type of “government welfare check” is he referring to?
For someone representative of the neglected small business owner, he sure seems to have internalized the elite mantra. Maybe that’s the point though: a tribal belief to endorse to the laymen for cohesion sake, something to make them feel like part of the group rather than means to an end.
(* – Note: after getting push back on this in comments, Rod yanked his friend’s story from the original post. And closed comments.)