A lot of rhetoric has emerged over the past few years about what it takes to get the economy going.
The phrase “job creators” has become a political buzzword that is often times used to denounce any form of regulation and used to support theories that big corporations, millionaires and billionaires should continue to receive large tax breaks and exemptions.
A combination of these efforts should be explored, but it is also worth looking at what the No. 1 reason is for businesses not hiring new employees: a lack of demand from customers.
A Gallup survey released in February showed that 71 percent of small businesses that are not looking to hire new employees are holding back because there is not enough demand to justify new hires.
A similar study was conducted and released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses in May. The NFIB study showed that declining sales is the largest reason why small businesses are not hiring, much more so than business taxes or government regulations.
Studies released by the American Sustainable Small Business Council, the Main Street Alliance and the Small Business Majority also cite weak customer demand as the most important problem facing small businesses.
I have had round table discussions with small-business owners in Murfreesboro and across the newly drawn 4th Congressional District. They all say the exact same thing: They will hire new employees when they have more customers.
When consumer demand is listed overwhelmingly as the primary reason why businesses are not hiring new employees, the government should be doing everything that it can to make life easier for the largest consumer base in our country: working families that are part of the middle class.
Put simply, when working families have more money in their pockets, they are going to become customers who purchase goods and services in our local communities from our local businesses.
A strong middle class is vital to a strong economy, and this is something Congress and my opponent do not seem to understand.
Republican U.S. Rep. DesJarlais has voted to allow payroll taxes to increase on working families who are part of the middle class, and he has voted to give more tax breaks to big corporations that often times only add to our employment crisis by sending jobs overseas.
To me, the real job creators are working families – the mom who buys her daughter a new outfit before she starts school and the family that hires a local construction company to do home improvement projects that have been put off.
When the demand for goods and services increases beyond what small businesses are able to produce with their current employees, then, and only then, will they hire new employees.
Improving our economy is about more than buzzwords created by chief executive officers, lobbyists and partisan organizations. It is about listening to what small-business owners are saying and recognizing that customer demand is the No. 1 reason why they are not hiring.
That is why fighting for working families is so important, and it is what I commit to doing if elected to Congress.