An economic story broke yesterday on a Las Vegas radio station that has reverberated across the country. A small business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, called a local talk show and told the host that because of President Obama’s re-election, he was going to have to lay off 22 employees. Here is a bit of what he had to say.
“I explained to them a month ago that if Obama gets in office that the regulations for Obamacare are gonna hurt our business, and I’m gonna have to make provisions to make sure I have enough money to cover the payroll taxes, the additional health care I’m gonna have to do, and I explained that to them and I said you do what you feel like in your heart you need to do, but I’m just letting you know as a warning this is things I have to think of as a business owner.
“Well unfortunately, and most of my employees are Hispanic — I’m not gonna go into what kind of company I have, but I have mostly Hispanic employees — well unfortunately we know what happened and I can’t wait around anymore, I have to be proactive. I had to lay off 22 people today to make sure that my business is gonna thrive and I’m gonna be around for years to come. I have to build up that nest egg now for the taxes and regulations that are coming my way. Elections do have consequences, but so do choices. A choice you make every day has consequences and you know what, I’ve always put my employees first, but unfortunately today I have to put me and my family first, and you watch what’s gonna happen. I’m just one guy with 114 employees — well was 114 employees — watch what happens in the next six months. The Dow alone lost 314 points today. There’s a tsunami coming and if you didn’t think this election had consequences, just wait.”
Now, I don’t know if this is on the level — we’ll have to wait and see if any companies in that area lay off 22 employees — but it matches the sort of behavior we expect. Is this happening elsewhere, though? I decided to search Twitter for the word “lays off” and see what news stories came up from the stream over the past couple days. Here are the stories I found.
- 10/31 – Kaiser Permanente (CA), 85 employees.
- 11/1 – FirstEnergy (OH), 142 employees.
- 11/2 - Shaw’s (Various states in New England) – 700 employees.
- 11/5 – Lower Bucks Hospital (PA), 30 employees.
- 11/7 – Boeing (WA), 30 percent of its managers from the total it had in 2010.
- 11/7 – Providence Journal (R.I.) – 23 employees.
- 11/7 – Rocketdyne (CA) – 100 employees.
- 11/7 – Research in Motion (TX), up to 200 employees.
- 11/7 – ATI Schools and Colleges (TX) – 172 employees.
- 11/8 – Corning (NY), 100 employees.
- 11/8 – Ameridose (MA) – 790 employees.
- 11/8 – Lightyear Network Solutions (Ky.) – 10 employees.
- 11/8 – CVPH Medical Center (NY) – 17 employees.
- 11/8 – Groupon (IL), 80 employees.
- 11/8 – Mills Manufacturing (NC) – 68 employees.
- 11/9 – Exide Technologies (PA) – 150 employees.
- 11/9 – Hawker Beechcraft (TX) – 240 employees.
- 11/9 – New Energy Corp. (IN) – 40 employees.
The reasons for these lay offs are varied, but most of them involve government action. The companies have lost business because of decisions made by the government, are anticipating higher costs because of government regulations, or have relied on government and were left short by the vagaries of bureaucracy. Mind you, this search took me about 20 minutes, and I didn’t use a particularly sophisticated method to get my results. Keep in mind also that since these stories came from Twitter, they’re the ones people are talking about inside their own social networks. How many more stories are out there people aren’t yet sharing with each other?