My friend Bob Cringely disagrees with me on what is causing the decline in entrepreneurial job creation, and that is okay. It will take academics a decade or two to figure out why the collapse is happening. But my experience in running companies is radically different from how academics talk about startups, which is why I trust my gut that the pressure from government regulators is crippling American hiring. In the real world, the degree of uncertainty is overwhelming and hard to quantify. My sense is that new health care legislation will add to the confusion and thus deter, or at best distort, hiring. This morning, I see that Robert Samuelson has written the single best essay on the tension between job creation and Obamacare. Quick slice of it is below, but you really should read the whole thing.
So there’s a balancing act: preserving jobs versus providing insurance. The problem isn’t small. In September, 34 million workers, about a quarter of total workers, were part-time, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But the BLS defines part-time as less than 35 hours a week; Obamacare’s 30 hours a week was presumably adopted to expand insurance coverage. There are now 10 million workers averaging between 30 and 34 hours a week. To the BLS, they are part-time; under Obamacare, they’re full-time.