Jobs, Hiring and Uncertainty

We all know how to mitigate risks.  We do it everyday in our everyday life.

We drive a car to work, or to school or to a bus stop.  Or we walk.  Across a street or next to one.

We swim.

Or buy a gun.

We know, as rational people, what our risks are.  And we are remarkable at acting in such a way, as a group, that our risks are minimized while our rewards are maximized.

We all do this.  All. Of. Us.

So don’t think for a second that business owners don’t do this as well.

So, imagine this.  You’re in Vegas and you walk up to the roulette wheel and it’s the one we all know.  18 black 18 red and 2 “zeros”.  Pick a color and you have a little less than a 50-50 chance of winning.

But what if, what if, I told you right before you placed your bet that if you waited 5 minutes, the odds would change.  Maybe not for the better, maybe not for the worse.  But they’d change.

Would’ja wait?  Or bet now and run?

Okay, whatever.  Let’s make it more interesting.

Let’s say that if you play, you may have to play between 0 and 10 more games.  And you don’t know before hand how many games you’ll be forced to play.  Only after you commit will you know.

Do ya play?  Or hold your money?

Another one.

Let’s say that you know going in that you are betting at just under 50% odds of winning.  But, the dealer informs you that between spinning this wheel and spinning the NEXT wheel, the odds will change.  How they change in unknown, but they’ll change.

Do you bet now knowing that mid-spin the odds could change or do you wait until AFTER the current spin to decide if the odds are in your favor?  Or, if not in your favor, are WAY against you?

What if no matter WHAT the odds were going INTO the spin, they changed before the ball stopped?  Would you play?  Or would you walk away and find another game?

Fun stuff huh?

Would I or wouldn’t I?  Bet or hold, play or walk.

Now.  Imagine it’s not Vegas and fun money.  Imagine that it’s real fucking life and it’s “send the kids to college money.”

Still gonna play without a very crystal clear picture of those odds?

Me either.

So why would anyone expect business owners to hire someone when they don’t know what the risks and gains of hiring that person will be with this crazy bastard in office?

Health care?

99 weeks, or more, of unemployment?



Seriously, if Obama was the dealer at the roulette wheel, ALL of us would have walked away a long time ago.

Just sayin’.

2 responses to “Jobs, Hiring and Uncertainty

  1. I’ve had some people call me crazy for saying that uncertainty in small business affects hiring. “Amount of customers/revenue affects hiring” is the typical response, and that’s correct, but it’s not entirely accurate.

    Obama, like him or not, has put a lot of uncertainties into the marketplace when it comes to business. Yes, he brought in tax breaks, but as far as pro vs. anti-business policies go, I believe he nets out on the negative side based on many of the programs you cite here. Does anyone not think that there are companies out there waiting on the Boeing decision, or thinking that there may be another crazy 1099 rule created in the next 1.5 years?

    A business adds more people (or more technology) so it can meet demand – that’s true. However, how soon those people are added is another issue that the government plays a more direct role in. I work with a number of businesses, and without knowing at all what their political affiliations are they all give one reason for not hiring early: “I just don’t know what Obama’s going to do with _______”.

    • “I just don’t know what Obama’s going to do with _______”.

      Yup. The dealers tells you the odds of winning are 40-60 against. You put your money down and it changes to 20-80 against. Would you still play knowing the dealer could do that?

      Me either.

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