CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Washington, D.C. is like that girl you used to date who thrived on creating drama. From crisis, to crisis, to crisis, today’s politicians have developed an appetite for theatrics. The fiscal cliff. The government shutdown. The threat of defaulting on the country’s debt. Wednesday’s deal doesn’t fix anything, it just pushes the decision off ’til early 2014.
Many business owners in Charlotte are seemingly sick of waiting for the government to get its act together. “They’re hiring people, and economic conditions have not slowed them down one bit,” says Kenny Colbert, president of The Employers Association. It serves 900 businesses in Charlotte and surveys them every year for their economic predictions. The most recent survey found many business owners are optimistic about the continued economic recovery.
But Colbert says the woes in Washington do have an impact on confidence. Those who are on the fence about growing their companies, hiring new employees, buying new equipment: “All of the problems with the government is just icing on the cake to say, ‘maybe I need to wait a little bit’,” he says.
“The crisis to crisis mentality we have in Washington has really just ensconced the whole economy in a cloud of uncertainty,” says Wells Fargo Managing Director and Senior Economist Mark Vitner. He says eroding business owner confidence has led to much slower economic growth. He blames Washington’s crisis addiction. “That takes a toll. It takes a toll on business confidence, consumer confidence, and it’s something that needs to stop,” he says.
Colbert says one good indicator that the economy is maintaining it’s recovery is that more people are changing jobs. Two years ago, everyone was staying put. Now, more workers are quitting jobs to take on higher paying positions.