Business Faces Tough Road Ahead

By Markowitz, Jack | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 8, 2012 | Go to article overview

Business Faces Tough Road Ahead


Markowitz, Jack, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


It is not going to be any easier to run a business these next four years.

The likeliest prospects are taxation, regulation and hesitation ... a most unholy trinity. Yet the voting public, not well schooled in economics unfortunately, went for it.

There were countless losers with Republican Mitt Romney. The coal industry was certainly one. And naturally its suppliers. Time will tell if natural gas, perpetrator of the dreaded "fracking," lost the popular vote, too. So did several million high earners and achievers (also known as spenders, investors and charitable givers). To tax them more "fairly," job creation will suffer collateral damage.

Costs on business are fated to go up in several forms and disguises.

Unions paid for the election and expect to be repaid. Look for Washington to help them organize companies easier. And, in the public sector, to continue making cities, school districts and states uncompetitive via pension and benefit costs. And what's easier to predict than a new push to raise the minimum wage?

Obamacare, socialized medicine in "affordable" clothing, poses billions more in cost burdens to include millions more insured. Countless voters, still unaware of all its angles, won't feel how unaffordable the 2,000-page legislation when it gathers full force in 2014.

And this is assuming the "fiscal cliff" of Jan. 1, 2013, almost $607 billion of budget gap still has to be bridged, can be averted in what remains of 2012.

Meanwhile, President Obama's army of regulators -- of environment, banking, labor relations and more -- heard no signal to back off as the bands played in his election victory Tuesday.

The hoopla made for postponable economics (deal with it later) and distracting "show" when the real need is to know. …

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