Renee Ellmers

Unemployment is the most important issue facing Americans today. Millions are out of work and those that have jobs are increasingly threatened with losing them. As with most things affecting whole segments of society, the first reaction is who's in charge, who deserves the blame?

In order to answer that question effectively, we must first understand how jobs are created and the policies that can either lead to greater growth or longer bread lines.

The first step involves creating something of value. An entrepreneur or business surveys the market and asks herself three questions: what does the world need, what skills do I offer, and what activities do I enjoy taking part in? This step requires that all three questions lead to the same answer (which explains why there are so few pet rock manufacturers these days.) Another way to look at it is there must be demand for something, an expert to create and manage it, and a love of making it prosper.

What makes America and its free enterprise system second-to-none is its ability to allow this creative flow of innovation and success to thrive. The entrepreneur with a new idea is given the freedom to take risks and create an entire new industry that future generations will look back on and ask how we lived without it. But in order for this dream to be realized, the second step in job creation must take place: investment.

Investors are like voters - they listen to a sales pitch and decide if this new idea is worth their support and financial risk. The more support an entrepreneur receives from investors, the more likely their creation will reach consumers. Just as in politics, a good idea only takes hold if people buy what you are selling, regardless of how great you think it is.

This same entrepreneurial drive applies to established businesses just as much as new upstarts. If a business is to grow and prosper, it must constantly come up with new products and services that are more efficient and create new value. The more successful they are, the more the company grows, and with this growth comes the need for more workers.

This chain of the job creation process has been fundamentally altered and abused over the last several years and explains the miserable employment numbers we see today. The government has changed its mission from being the protectors of job creators to their worst enemy - and every American is being attacked.

Why, you would ask, is this happening? The answer is control.

Renee Ellmers

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers represents North Carolina's second district and serves on the House Committee on Small Business.