I recently received an unsolicited message.  I will share it with you, and my comments will appear below:

Dear Fellow Business Owners:

As a business owner who employs 120 people, we have resigned ourselves to the fact that Barack Obama will be our next president, and that our taxes and fees will go up in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, we figure that the Customer will have to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8-10%. We will also have to lay off 25 of our employees. This really bothered us as we believe we are family here and didn’t know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what we did.

We strolled thru the parking lot and found twenty Obama bumper stickers on our employees cars. We have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.

We can’t think of another fair way to approach this problem. If you have a better idea, let me know.

We are sending this letter to all business owners that we know.

Of course, this man may or may not actually be in business.  But the scenario is realistic and deserves a response.

The Democratic party is not responsible for getting our economy into it’s current mess.  And, frankly, even though I believe that it had the power to help prevent the occurrences that happened to get us into this recession, It is not directly the problem of the Republican party, either.  The problem has as much to do with some greedy business practices at the institutional level as anything else.

A national leadership in any country has a number of economic tools at their disposal to correct the woes of the economy.  They can affect interest rates.  They can offer or not offer economic incentives to businesses.  They can “stimulate” the economy by funding public works projects directly, or even by handing out cash directly to its citizenry.  They can raise or lower taxes.

None of these solutions are absolutely right or wrong.  As tools, they must be used alone or in combinations to improve the economy.  However, some of them do more directly impact various entities of our economy.

No one likes to have an increase in taxes, or to have a reduction in the subsidies that our company receives.  At the personal level, it does hurt.  But I value the wisdom of a leader who has the guts to leave all of their options open.  Part of our current problems stem from inflexible decisions that were made in such a way that the leaders would have to “lose face” rather than adjust their thinking to adapt to the current real situation.

If the election of Obama has caused so much trauma for this guy’s company so far, it is clear that he will be out of business when Obama actually takes office in January.  The fact is that, while the road might be rough for a while, blaming it on recent election results will not solve anything.

Some business owners have chosen to try to adapt to the times and the current economic problems.  Some of them will continue to make a go of their business, even though conditions change from time to time.

We DO have problems today operating our small businesses.  We WILL be making less money for a while.  It is unfortunate, but we WILL need to reduce costs, including labor costs.  (And I’m not even sure of the political leanings of the workers I have had to lay off in the past.  But sometimes I have to choose the employees that make the most sense for the ongoing needs of our business.)

Adapting to economic conditions is a part of doing business.  Controlling costs is a part of doing business.  Having the correct number of employees on hand to do the job is a part of doing business.  Certainly it is not pleasant to lose one’s job due to economic conditions.  But it is preferable to the whole company going under.

If this guy needs a fair approach to his employee cost problem, it would behoove him to reduce the employees that contribute the least to his profits.  He needs to DO Business.  Or, as is his right in the USA, he can fire whoever he chooses, even if it is because he doesn’t like their political views.  (Although it also gives me an idea of why his business is really in trouble.)

Whining about which party is in power will not help.  Nor will whining about our costs of doing business.  Working on a solution will.  We will remain strong if we adapt to the changing world around us.  It will not be a comfortable process, but it will get us through.

It will serve us well here in Cascadia to do what we can to adapt to the world around us.  Whether or not you like the results of the latest elections, we must now go forward and play the hands that we were dealt.  We do what we can, and we will all come out all right in the end.