Georgia Business: ‘We Are Not Hiring Until Obama Is Gone’

Waco businessman Bill Looman, owner of U.S. Cranes, LLC, has made a new company policy: A hiring freeze has been established until Barack Obama is no longer the President of the Unitted States. In the 11Alive news story by Jon Shirek, the former US Marine makes it clear that it’s not a political decision, but a business decision caused by the policies of the Obama Administration.

About six months ago, Looman put signs on his company vehicles that read, “New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.” A picture of one of those signs from his Facebook page went viral earlier this week. Now, with the 11Alive report and a headline on the Drudge Report, Looman is suddenly receiving a lot of attention. Shirek reports that Looman has unplugged his phone due to the amount and timing of the phone calls.

I know some people won’t like it, but it’s Mr. Looman’s business and his opinion places the continued economic disaster with the policies of the current administration. There is much evidence to suggest that he is either right or, at the very least, not entirely wrong.

The reactions have been mixed. As for me, I sent him a Facebook friend request.

41 comments

    • jm says:

      The banks have been wary to lend. That’s not a policy, its an economic reality that began before Obama became president and was partly connected to the housing bubble burst. Is there anyone to blame? The banks – they started this mess and they continue to perpetuate it.

      • Paul Srch says:

        Let’s not forget the fine folks like Barney Frank, who insisted that home ownership is an entitlement, and created a huge incentive for banks to give loans to people who should never have gotten them.

        And, lest we forget, many of the Obama administration’s policies – regulatory, fiscal, and other – have created such an uncertain business climate that most small businesses owners (of which I am one) are afraid to make any kind of investment in just the things that would encourage job creation.

        • saltycracker says:

          Or those that rushed in when Barney pulled the oversight plug, easy money, Moody’s & others with phony AAA ratings, no doc lending, Goldman Sachs, CDO’s, Countrywide, Merrill Lynch, Chase, Wachovia, new banks, mortgage brokers, real estate interests, irresponsible leveraging…..ad nauseam…..

          Many of the above players went global in their “me first”, take what we can and to hell with the aftermath……

          …….cultural and financial corruption is not limited to any political persuasion.

          Businesses must be very careful in this environment of not having a clue what is around the corner…….

        • jm says:

          That’s what I don’t get. Why are you afraid? What are you afraid of? Your business relies on demand – if there’s demand you need to hire to fulfill the demand. Business by nature is risky. Other than the economic climate which goes back before Obama, what has he done to make it more risky? I keep hearing this from businessmen, but no specifics. They are just afraid but they can’t say why. I get that from my six year old. I shouldn’t hear it from grown men who know better.

          • Paul Srch says:

            Well, let’s take one area of policy uncertainty that has and will continue to affect my web development and hosting company – the so-called “net neutrality” policy currently being pushed by the FCC and others.

            Most of my clients are businesses themselves, and since they don’t know whether or not this policy will be implemented, they’re a bit more hesitant than normal to invest in online presence. It has affected my business, as well as that of developers I’ve talked to.

            Another policy concern is the taxation situation. Are taxes – particularly income taxes – going to increase? Don’t forget – as an employer, a part of my employees’ tax liability is paid by me. If taxes increase, that increases my liability; it might well make is enough less affordable to hire another person that I couldn’t justify it. Conversely, if I do hire someone, and taxes increase, and my liability increases, I would have to (a) raise my fees – which would cause some of my client to look elsewhere for their Internet needs, or (b) shave an already small margin even closer, which would most likely give me less profit to lease an additional server, which in turn would limit the number of hosting clients I can take on.

            There are other policies that come into play, but hopefully that will provide some of the specifics you don’t seem aware of.

    • 22bons says:

      I’m sure Gibson Guitar wouldn’t have a problem identifying specific actions of the Obama Administration that adversely affect their business. But of course they are hiring — lobbyists and lawyers to deal with a glorified fishing expedition and an ominous threat of criminal prosecution. Nor would the largest homebuilders in the nation who are dealing with another glorified fishing expedition at a time of unprecedented challenges in their industry. They too are hiring — lawyers and lobbyists. And then there is Boeing. And that pipeline thingy. Etc… Ad nauseum. I’ve never seen, in this country, an administration so hostile to productive business.

      As a small business owner, my hat is off to Bill Looman for telling the Obama Administration to go blank themselves.

    • Ken says:

      It is absolutely your right to do so. But who will you call next time you need a light bulb changed or you run out of “top shelf” brands?

      • Rick Day says:

        Being 6′ 8″ I am typically the light bulb changer around here.

        And…you know…there is always WELLS.

        More profit in wells than calls, to be honest.

  1. David C says:

    This guy’s an idiot. It’s the small business equivalent of those idiots who said they’d move to Canada if Bush won in ’04. You’re telling me that if Obama’s reelected, he won’t hire anyone for five years, even if he needs somebody? Outside of partisan rhubarbs, most people live their lives and are centered enough to make decisions in their personal lives independent of whatever fellow is in the White House.

    • saltycracker says:

      Like a fox- he’s getting his 15 mins. and either has a plan to handle more business – and for most crane companies it can increase a lot before hiring – or will change his mind if construction recovers more than is forecast for the next 10 years…..

      Obama is very aggressive in picking the winners and loosers in private business – entrenched with Goldman Sachs alumni’s, business will be directed to big inside players that can afford the government oversight or supporting big unions….preferably just a few….e.g., banking legislation, or his attack on fossil fuels premature to widely available economical alternatives is bizarre…..

  2. Herb says:

    And when do you think Obama’s leaving? 2013? No way, no how. Unless you intend to be bankrupt by 2017, I’d recommend not trying to spite Obama, and instead help our flagging economy by hiring.

  3. John Konop says:

    The job of a senior executive is to return the highest rate of return to stock holders. Your job is to adjust your strategy to the current economic conditions. It would seem rather limiting to base expansion on how is in the white house. Yet right or wrong, Bill Looman will have to answer to stockholders not any of us.

    BTW the homeownership debt on demand strategy with no regard to affordability to pump up the economy has been supported by both parties for the last 30 years. Ironically this was during the same time both parties supported a policy of exporting working class jobs and companies to countries with third world standards and limited legal systems. I think both sides have created a BS debate while our country is being sold off.

    • Max Power says:

      [i]The job of a senior executive is to return the highest rate of return to stock holders. [/i]

      Wrong! And the fact that many people believe this is one of the reasons we’re in the mess we’re in.

      • Dave says:

        Enlighten us , Max. What is the function of ANY employee of a company if it is not to increase the value of the company for whom he works? We wait with pregnant anticipation for your learned response.

        • Max Power says:

          It’s quite simple Dave as anyone who has been in business will tell you there are times you have to sacrifice your rate of return to build the foundation for continuing and growing the business in the future. Unfortunately we’ve become so enamored with the concept of shareholder value that American businesses have for years living off the R&D of the previous generation.

          • John Konop says:

            Max,

            It all depends on the life cycle of a business and how it was set-up. Most of the businesses I run or have investments in are in growth mode and we invest the profits into the business. Yet they are private businesses not driven but whims of the stock market ie large position traders, stock analysis………… Public companies are a different animal but investors should be aware of the game.

            Agree or not with the strategy or management the goal is to get stockholders the best rate or return. My personal views on political parties should not cloud my first responsibility to stock holders.

            I have made it clear in public and private that I do business with people regardless to political affiliation, sexual preference, race, religion or gender. And on personal level I pick my friends and associates the same way.

            • Max Power says:

              Agree or not with the strategy or management the goal is to get stockholders the best rate or return. My personal views on political parties should not cloud my first responsibility to stock holders.

              But it wasn’t always that way and the fact that’s become the driver of most business decisions is one of the reasons we wind up with things like Enron. I’ve worked for everything from mom and pop shops to the Fortune 500 and I can tell you there was a noticeable shift in the way business was done starting in the early to mid-90s. Short term stock price became so important it began distorting business decisions and the business suffered for it.

              • John Konop says:

                Max,

                I started out working for the largest public company in my business sector. Than after 5 to 6 years I left and became part of companies that grew businesses to sell to large public companies.

                The concept of large public companies buying up smaller companies for growth has been around since I have been in the game. I remember a president of division rejecting a project I proposed when I worked for the 10k pound public guerrilla because he said buying is cheaper than building. A few years latter I went to the building side and left the company.

                The real issue as I see it is the lack of debt capital for small incubation businesses. Also if you get the debt, much of the core production is done overseas via the cost which does not help our economy on a macro. Yet as an executive your job is to create competitive products not take a political stands. With that said I did invest into a small US company that manufactures the product here. But that was a private choice and part of the decision process. Yet at the end I do expect to make a healthy ROI.

                BTW you could always buy something! 🙂

                http://www.craftykidsusa.com/

                • Max Power says:

                  The real issue as I see it is the lack of debt capital for small incubation businesses. Also if you get the debt, much of the core production is done overseas via the cost which does not help our economy on a macro. Yet as an executive your job is to create competitive products not take a political stands. With that said I did invest into a small US company that manufactures the product here. But that was a private choice and part of the decision process. Yet at the end I do expect to make a healthy ROI.

                  I think there’s some truth to that but I think it hides a truth that’s been dragging on our economy. We simply don’t scale up businesses like we used to. Now when a business expands be it manufacturing or high tech, they’re likely to create less jobs and many of those will be created overseas. Consider Google, surely a success story right? But Google only employees around 20K worldwide. That’s 1/5 of what tyson employees just in the US.

                  I also want to make another point about shareholder value. People forget that for most of the 20th century the stock market was basically flat, a slow growth investment. Instead you looked for companies that were well managed and paid good dividends. Then Reagan came in, deficits suddenly didn’t matter anymore and with so much more money being created the stock market took off, of course it was all with borrowed money but who cares. By the 90s stock price had become the ultimate barometer of corporate health and value.

      • Ken says:

        Employees work for the owners, who are the stockholders. With the exception of a very few, very specific companies that have moral values as their stated goal, then the goal is to maximize profits.

        Charity is a decision made by the stockholders after they receive their profits. Charity is up to the individual; not the corporation. Got it now?

        • Dave says:

          If you’re referring to me, Ken, I “got it” from the start unlike the idiotic response from Max. I run a small business and if I hire anyone it is with the goal that they help the company, my company, make more money, while earning themselves a piece of the action in the process. Period. Any charity I give doesn’t come in the form of employees. Never will either.

          • saltycracker says:

            Correct and as for the housing issue the top execs & boards sang the “shareholder” song to manipulate massive pay & bonuses until the bubble burst. Stock options, if they paid out were just the icing. Capital investments, leverage reductions and dividends would have been in the best interest of the company for the long haul.

  4. I Miss the 90s says:

    Truth be told, this @sshole Bill Looman, is a simple, identifiable case as to why purely free markets can not operate like their proponents naively pretend they will (Black Friday is another popular example of mass economic irrationality caused by emotional shock and a reduction of cognitive capacity).

    He would rather risk making less money because of an emotional reaction. It is, as a matter of fact, no more expensive to hire a new employee now than it was 4 years ago…or 3 years ago (accounting for inflation). In fact, it is less expensive, now and for the next 2-3 years, to hire new employees. Look it up.

      • I Miss the 90s says:

        I disagree…but I do tend to be disagreeable.

        Job seekers age 23-30 have more education than their older counter parts, but not as much experience on the job by virtue of their age (27% of those in the 25-30 year age group have a college degree, only 17% of those between 30-40 do, only about 10% of those older than 40 have a college degree).

        Regardless of this point, however, President Obama did not cause more young people to be over educated and unemployed (or underemployed, but that is a much more interesting topic that is not relevant here). His policies did not cause job seekers to be less qualified.

  5. Jeff Yoder says:

    Georgia and Florida lead the Nation in lost jobs and guess who controls both branches of the Govt? Republicans? So, how are all those tax breaks for the wealthy doing ya’?

Comments are closed.