Daily Archives: December 24, 2003

Small Company Hiring Picking Up.

After a long dry spell, hosts of small firms across the country are starting to take on workers again — a significant step in an economic recovery that hasn't seen much job creation. The nation's 23 million small businesses employ an estimated 57.1 million workers — more than half of all private-sector employees — and create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product, according to the Small Business Administration.

A wave of small-business hiring could help sustain consumer confidence and tide the economy over until larger companies regain the will to significantly boost payrolls — and begin restoring the 2.4 million jobs lost nationwide since the recession began in March 2001.

The hiring has been spurred by Bush administration tax incentives and a new eagerness by banks to court small firms. But the biggest factor is improving sales. Low interest rates have kept home sales high, meaning lots of work for the small construction companies that make up the bulk of the industry. Baby boomers are retiring and laying out lots of money for specialized health-care services, which are mainly the province of small clinics. And as big companies shed jobs, they outsource more work. Even with productivity gains, small companies are finding they simply can't meet escalating demand with the workers on hand.

“Smaller companies have less of a cushion, so when demand picks up, they have so little fat there, they have to hire. So they will be the ones to generate jobs,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Economy.com, a West Chester, Pa., research firm. 

WSJ    December 4, 2003

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AP Poll Finds Majority Back War in Iraq.

No war should be pursued merely because it is popular, but in light of the current political debate in America it is important to note that Americans support President Bush's policies in Iraq by a 2 to 1 margin

Democrats can continue to insist that the American people are wrong, but there does not seem to be much of a political future in arguing that position.  We may not be as enlightened as are they, but we do get to pick our own leaders.


Wired: “If we're still in the race in a few months, I think you'll see a tremendous amount of development.”

Wouldn't it be great if Dean and Clark went after Viacom, ClearChannel and Time-Warner, instead of the tiny companies that make blogging and social networking tools.

I find myself hoping they get their asses kicked, hard. I don't expect much of Bush, but I doubt seriously that he would undermine the mostly American software industry by competing with it with free software. Makes the Dems' pitch about exporting American high-tech jobs to India fairly hollow (NH is a high-tech state, so it has been an issue).

One of the reasons American programmers aren't competing here (in America) is that users expect to get software for free, and in that environment little new stuff gets created, and we have to keep creating to justify the greater amount of money we make (over Indians). But if all we make are commodities, then Indians working for low pay beat Americans working for free. (People who work for free have no incentive to please users, or even create usable software.)

How sad to see two leading Democrats fall for, even feed the lie that they can create user-oriented software for free. Shame on both Dean and Clark. They went after the little guy. Who wants a president who does that. Not me. Still looking for someone worth supporting.