Let Politicians Know That Startup Jobs Count Too

from the but-politicians-ignore-us dept

A month ago, I wrote about the paradox of job creation when it comes to politicians. These days, they all just love to talk about how they're creating jobs. After all, the news today is all about President Obama's big new "jobs plan." But, as we've noted, such plans can be tricky. The easiest way for government officials to "create" jobs is just to make work. There can be some infrastructure projects that lead to future job growth, but it's way too easy to get sucked into creating jobs by shifting productive uses to unproductive uses. And, in fact, often the best ways to create real jobs -- through disruptive innovation -- have the horrible first act of killing off jobs. As an example, moving from a telephone network where human operators handled all the switching to one where there was automatic switching could be seen as destroying the jobs of thousands of operators. But it also paved the way to millions of new jobs, once the power of an automatic switched network was realized.

Similarly, when there were plans for "job creation" through investing in broadband, we noticed that most of the plans seemed to really be about handing money to big companies, often at the expense of the small startups and next generation of internet companies who actually create sustainable job growth. As was discussed in the recent letter from entrepreneurs to Congress about PROTECT IP, new businesses and startups are really a key in creating jobs.

So it's great to see that Chris Shipley (who was among those who participated in the PROTECT IP letter) has created a wonderful new site called StartupJobsCount.org, where she's trying to help show that when we're talking about job creation, startups and entrepreneurs should not be left out of the equation. She's asking entrepreneurs to step up and say how many jobs they've created in the last five years:
Entrepreneurs are the engine for economic growth and jobs creation. Virtually all of the growth in U.S. jobs has been driven by companies that are less than 5 years old.

Now, itís time to put some real numbers behind the conventional wisdom! If your company is less than 5 years old and is employing one or more people, stand up and be counted
If you're an entrepreneur, I urge you to stand up and be counted.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    Do startups typically employ union workers?

    If not, then Obama's not interested.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Adam, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:11pm

    For a politician, creating a job is only valued if it is clear and obvious that the politician did so; the new jobholder must know to whom they're indebted or the politician isn't interested.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:41pm


    This site is usually delightfully clear of the pretend partisanship over the pretend policy differences between the two main US parties; the two right wing parties that the rest of the world identifies as the polite ones and the rude ones.

    What a pity someone is bringing the fictional differences up as if they have any relevance or meaning.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:46pm

    I think that the only jobs that matter to the president are government and union ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:54pm

    Military / prison are the only growing industries in US.

    The new "jobs" there completely swamp the few relatively benign nettish grifters whom you mention yet again, along with your protest letter, Pollyanna.

    The surveillance state is far more interested in gadgets for control like the new foot scanners than in reviving the private sector.

    You're a dinosaur in your own way by staying blind to overarching macro-economics that the economy is now based on eternal war; the gov't doesn't care much about the rest. It's ripe for fascism. They're already fomenting new wars, so expect the jobs program to be "arbeit macht frei". -- For you kids that means slave labor production of war materiel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

    With the US economy in the shitter, Mike's new strategy is that "piracy creates jobs".

    Good luck with that, Masnick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

    Get Rid Of The Monopolies

    The real problem with jobs in America are the monopolies. Everywhere you look there is some organization (public or private) that has somehow worked itself into the position of being the monopoly supplier of some essential goods or services. Monopolies enrich themselves at the expense of the public by charging high prices for inferior goods or services.

    Commercial competition is the thing that gives consumers the best quality products at the lowest prices. Commercial competition is simply the principle of liberty applied to economics. America got to be prosperous in the first place, compared to other countries, by sticking to the US constitution, which is a superb instrument for advancing liberty. But the rent-seekers gradually built their monopolies. Now the economy is in trouble because of the combined dead weight of all the monopolies. Return to liberty, Americans, you will never be out of economic trouble until you do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:50pm


    "With the US economy in the shitter, Mike's new strategy is that "piracy creates jobs"."

    I thought of a great way to employee people for a couple decades. Have the government hire accountants to go through the books of RIAA, MPAA, and all associated companies. A true accounting would bolster the roles at the accounting firms, the IRS, law firms representing the artists, and corrections facilities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Startup jobs are jobs if they actually get paid. These days, many startup companies are "all the coffee you can drink, and 1% of the IPO in 5 years".

    You can't count something as a paying job without it actually paying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    The eejit (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:57am


    Unions don't exist in America, unless they're part fo the MAFIAA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    The eejit (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:58am


    No-one deserves to get paid: that's a societal construct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:22am


    You see with the US economy in the shitter respecting others wishes not to copy them is a real problem, if people want to get some money they should all violate patents and IP law in general to make a buck and see who survives on that market just like it was before in America, just like it was with Japan, South Korea and now China.

    If there is one thing that history can show is that respecting copyrights in general leads to stagnation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 6:30am

    Pretty much every "job creation" scheme is indistinguishable from the HTFE, the "Holes Theory of Full Employment." Hire half the unemployed to dig holes and hire the other half to fill them up. Nothing useful gets done, but everyone has a job.

    Whenever you hear of one of these schemes, compare it to the above. How much actual value gets left behind after the cash is handed out? If the answer is "nothing" then you just have another variation of the HTFE.

    And in that case, why dig the holes at all? Just dump the money out of an airplane and achieve the same effect. The roads don't get clogged up with extra commuters and nobody gets a blister.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    That site needs a lot more data than the very few now highlighted. Those few are all either "social media" or "consultants".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    David kline, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    So the head of president obama's jobs council is GE's CEO -- probably the number one outsourcers of American jobs.

    Check this out:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904716604576542820083918028.html?KEYWORDS=Noth haft

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    I am often entertained by the talk that America is the place where entrepreneurs and innovators come from, when the fact is every possible roadblock to them succeeding is put in their paths to protect the big players.

    The ideal should be if your the big player, you should still be playing. Most of the big players stopped playing years ago, and just do everything they can to stop anything that might affect them.

    In the past people were in the dark about these things happening, stories of upstarts were relegated to filler deep in the paper. Now there are more and more stories about how the big player fears this neat new thing that could make life better for the consumer, and the lawsuits and legal wrangling to keep everyone stuck with the old methods.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 9:19pm


    It worked for Germany didn't?

    Heck, that was exactly what the US did after WW II and they got 50 prosperous years out of that.

    The reason why is because those people who get paid, eventually spend the money on something which in turn make the manufacturers happy, the thing is today that wouldn't work because Chinese manufacturers are not going to invest in American business.

    To have the private sector invest in something first there needs to be an focking American private sector which there is none at the moment so spending will not increase private sector investment because the investment is being done by those who produce and they are all in China, now in Germany for some reason there are still manufacturing business and they get those to invest more inside their own economies if people buy more from them.

    The only ones that use US resources at the moment are the small guys, not the big turds that think of themselves as big kahunas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 9:21pm


    Want to see something magical happen, let the small business flourish and you will see that any investment in spending will translate to more internal investments, because the small people can't outsource things they need to make do with what they got locally different from the big corporations that don't care where their investments are done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    staff, Sep 11th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    another biased article

    "horrible first act of killing off jobs"

    I knew all along Masnick you were Amish. You're right. We should all go back to horse and buggy which we will anyway if the government keeps killing property rights. Inventors are now going with trade secrets for future discoveries. Whitney came to understand the govt could not be trusted. The Wright brothers didn't trust them either. You and the federal govt can kiss our...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Hide this ad »
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.