Confessions of a Job Creator

In this era of unemployment running rampant, the GOP has come up with a new political buzzword: “job creator”.  A political masterstroke, the term embodies the very optimism that the unemployed or underemployed crave, while at the same time assuaging the guilt of the wealthy in this bad economy by allowing them to view themselves as the caped superheroes the world has been waiting for.  The perfect juxtaposition to the “soak the rich” demagoguery the Democrats routinely use to rouse their populist base, it has the added benefit of being true.  After all, any term is true if you control its definition.

So how have they defined “job creator”?  Very simply, they have defined job creator as any person who is responsible for employing others.  Or anyone whose profession relies on ancillary support. Or anyone who has the potential of perhaps hiring others.  After all, if someone has the potential of hiring others, the only thing keeping them from realizing that potential is their crippling tax burden, correct?

Using this heroic language, the GOP has been able to match the populist rhetoric of the Democrats, and convince large swathes of the American people that their saviors are close at hand, if only the government would get out of the way, and let these noble titans help.  I am here to tell you that that is not true.

Under the GOP definition, I am a job creator.  As a physician, my work depends heavily on ancillary support personnel.  Additionally, our small business employees twelve people.  In a very real sense, my professional existence creates jobs, and those salaries are paid directly through my income.  I am a truer job creator than most people to whom the GOP talking heads refer.

And yes, I do believe my taxes are too high.  When I see the beaureaucracy inherent in the governmental systems, I cringe that I have to contribute to such inefficiency which would never be allowed to exist if the invisible hand of the market were allowed to work on protected federal systems.  My taxes are too high because the government could get along with much less, if it could work smarter.

I will not, however, claim my nonexistent intent to hire more people if my taxes were to drop.  Running a business is about maximizing profit, and minimizing costs.  Yes, even a medical practice is bound by those concerns.  I have sat in countless strategy planning meetings with partners, colleagues, and other concerns.  And I have yet to hear the question “how can we afford to hire more people?”  The question is most often “how can we do more with the people we have?” Or sometimes “Can we afford to let anyone go?”  This has nothing to do with the tax rate at the time, it has everything to do with the underlying goal of any business: maximizing profits by minimizing overhead.

Even when the opportunity for growth arises, the first question is “Will we NEED to hire more people?”  Hiring someone when running a business is not considered a positive outcome.  Employees and their benefits are the largest contributor to overhead by far.  A positive outcome is growth of the business through efficient use of existing human resources, or leveraging technology to allow growth without human resources.

So when the GOP claims that cutting taxes on “job creators” will lead to these altruistic citizens spending their newfound extra wealth on employing your out of work family member and saving the economy, they are selling a pipe dream.  Those new found profits will be spent on maximizing income for the owner (the whole point of a business), be it a corporation, a person, a board, or a group of shareholders.  If doing so requires actually hiring someone, well, that’s just a risk they’ll have to take.

Hello World!

That’s what WordPress, who is hosting this inaugural attempt at a blog, wants me to call my first page. I, however, prefer a more traditional beginning:

Bismillah-Irrahman-Irrahim

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficient and Merciful.  The traditional phrase with which Muslims begin all projects, big and small.  As a proud Muslim, it seems foreign to me to begin this undertaking in any other way.

That is not to say that this site is going to be dedicated to Islam, or to my beliefs.  Truth be told, I am not sure what, if anything, it will be dedicated to yet.  Some summer intern at wordpress (hopefully not a full-fledged employee) has written up a three page guide detailing a process by which to delve into your psyche and determine what your blog will be about, and I received it when I signed up.  It was well written, no doubt, but fell on deaf ears.  I suspect most people who start a blog have an idea what they want to accomplish, and I am no different.

I see this as an outlet, and a way to express my opinions, hopes, dreams, musings, reflections, etc.  Topics will not be limited and hopefully will range from the mundane to the philosophical.  From politics, to life, to religion, and everything in between.  A repository for my ever-changing ideas on the topic of the day, and a vehicle with which to share those ideas.

I don’t foresee a lot of readers of this blog who don’t already know me well, but one never knows what the future holds.  That’s why, while I don’t see the need to introduce myself, I will bore you with a few of the biographical highpoints for posterity’s sake:

I am a thirty something year old (still!) interventional cardiologist in the Los Angeles area.  An active member of the Dawoodi Bohra congregation of the Shia-Ismaili Muslim tradition.  A father of two wonderful girls, ages 9 and 6.  A political moderate–but doesn’t everyone say that? Even the biggest wing nuts I know!  And a hack on the golf course, who loves the game too much to actually keep score.

Enough boring intro stuff… Hopefully you, the reader, will find something here to pique your interest in the coming months, years, or however long this experiment lasts.