Austin Hill

What could possibly be wrong with Obamanomics?

Just ask Bill the crane shop owner.

Bill Looman is the owner of U.S. Cranes L.L.C., a Waco, Georgia-based company that sells and services cranes and hoists. He has apparently found it difficult to hire new workers because of the dramatic increase in governmental regulations placed upon small businesses in recent years, and the overall sluggishness of the economy.

Not being able to expand one’s business is an unfortunate thing. But being harassed because you dare to speak your mind about current economic conditions is something different. And it wasn’t until Bill the crane shop owner actually went public with his assessment that our government was impinging on his business, that things got really dicey.

Six months ago, Looman began posting signs on his company vehicles which read “New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.” This wasn’t a political statement from Looman, so much as it was a statement about the current business and economic climate, and his belief that things won’t improve until Barack Obama exits the presidency. "I've got people that I want to hire now, but I just can't afford it,” Looman noted in a recent television interview. “And I don't foresee that I'll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C."

According to Looman, initial reaction to this message was mostly favorable – responses were positive by about a ’20 to 1” ratio, he claimed. But last week, a photo of one of these signs went viral on the internet. This led Bill the crane owner to temporarily shut-off his telephones, Facebook account, and company website, to protect himself from a barrage of threatening calls and web postings.

The fact that an American business owner puts himself at risk simply by having financial struggles – and that he makes matters worse by daring to speak his mind about those struggles - is a very disturbing thing. It tells us that Americans have lost sight of even the most basic principles of both economics, and the “right to free speech.”

First, let’s think economically about Bill’s situation. What is the purpose of his crane business? Does it exist simply for the sake of ‘hiring people,” or is “hiring” the result of Bill’s business first having successfully fulfilled a series of other purposes?


Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.