The Billings Outpost

Uncertainty hurts job creators


You can’t steal second base with one foot firmly on first—a saying that is as true for business as it is for baseball.

Businesses are either confident enough in their future and the stability of their surroundings to move forward, innovate, hire new employees and grow — or they are plagued with uncertainty, afraid to move forward, and hesitant to risk being faced with some new and unexpected barrier to success.

We all know that certainty, or the lack thereof, governs our day-to-day decisions — it is no different for businesses. But the Obama Administration, government agencies, and even some of our elected officials seem to ignore the impacts that their policy decisions can have on business confidence. Time and again, we’ve seen elected officials like Sen. Tester disregard what is best for businesses and take positions on bills and administrative rules that exacerbate the level of uncertainty for Montana’s job creators.

Recently, the National Labor Relation’s Board, the members of which are appointed by President Obama, passed a rule that will allow for the formation of micro-unions in businesses across the United States. Micro-unions, or multiple small unions that form within a business, can create not only conflict in the workplace, but also place financial strain on small business owners.

While the impacts of micro-unions on business costs and workplace environments are substantial, what’s entirely worse than both is the level of uncertainty that this rule forces on businesses. If a business is unable to reasonably predict fluctuations in major expenses, they will remain bearish in terms of how they approach expansion. By creating uncertainty in overhead cost estimates, micro-unions not only make the budgeting process more difficult, but also affect how willing the firm is to hire new employees, innovate, and grow.

Sen. Tester had the opportunity to vote against the rule allowing micro-unions that was passed by Obama’s National Labor Relations Board, but instead of standing up for Montana’s businesses and speaking out against this rule, Senator Tester has remained silent on the issue. He chose, not to stand by the side of Montana businesses, but to allow the passage of this rule that will make success more uncertain for Montana businesses.

It comes down to success v. stagnation. Certainty v. uncertainty. It’s that simple. And by remaining silent and allowing the rule to be implemented, Sen. Tester is leaving Montana businesses susceptible to all the uncertainties and barriers to success that micro-unions pose. At this point we can only hope that, should the opportunity present itself again, Senator Tester won’t leave Montana’s job creators stuck on first base.

Sen. Bruce Tutvedt

Senate District 3

Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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