JOB (IN)SECURITY: Let’s hope Obama is still watching the polls
By Michael S. Smith II, SCHotline Contributing Editor
Enter the words Job, Security, Improve, Performance, and Productivity into a search engine. Then start reading pieces you find online regarding about the role of job security in employee motivation, performance, and productivity. Even such casual research into the correlation between an employee’s perceptions of his or her job security and his or her performance reveals what most might have already expected:
Performance is bolstered by perceptions of strong job security. Conversely, performance is frequently encumbered by perceptions of low job security.
While I spend much of my non-9:00-5:00 time preparing book reviews for my local newspaper, The Post and Courier, or writing opinion pieces for The Free Enterprise Foundation and SCHotline, not to mention all those letters to the editor, most of my 9:00-5:00 life is spent within the cubicle confines of an office building.
Like many companies in America, the provider of my “day job” has also been shaken somewhat by the current atmosphere of uncertainties confronting the global economy. Despite this, the company’s CEO has emphasized maintaining employees’ perceptions of their job security will be key to weathering this storm. In other words, he too recognizes the validity of the fairly general, non-footnoted assertion I have provided above.
Fortunately, during just about every company-wide meeting held in 2009 the CEO has mentioned mass layoffs should not be anticipated. He has, however, been careful to add a footnote to that rosy news: Below-expected performance levels will not go unnoticed.
In recent months my performance has been fairly consistent with my division’s overall performance. In other words, I too have fallen short of meeting “the mark,” a mark rooted firmly in expectations that my division should meet or exceed its 2008 sales figures. As a result of such shortcomings, my job security — I believe — is in jeopardy.
I suppose it may be in lieu of this predicament that I became so interested in the details of a certain survey of adults in 11 Southern states released November 10.
Produced by South Carolina-based Winthrop University, the recently released Winthrop Poll reveals some 40 percent of Southerners polled expressed they too are concerned about losing their jobs during the next year. According to a November 10 report that appeared in Charleston’s daily, The Post and Courier, the poll extensively surveyed “Independents” throughout the South. “Nearly 900 people, aged 18 and older, were polled between Oct. 24 and Nov. 7. The states surveyed were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.33 percent.” The focus of the poll was to determine Southerners’ perceptions of the president’s performance. (Somehow or another, a question that called for respondents to provide information regarding their perceptions of their respective levels of job security was included in the survey.)
To put it not so simply: Given the number of self-described Independent voters who expressed they are dissatisfied with the president’s performance, it seems negative perceptions regarding job security may negatively impact Americans’ perceptions of their president’s performance — thereby impacting more than just their own performances in the workplace.
I carefully selected the words “Americans’ perceptions of their president’s performance” because I am confident this is not a uniquely Southern trend.
Let’s just hope the president is still hyper-attentive to polling data. If so, perhaps he will start taking the right steps to “fix” the economy. He could start by rescinding his administration’s suggestions that a tax hike for the middle class — something that will only worsen economic conditions in America — will be necessary. And it might not hurt if the Obama administration takes note of the mounting negative perceptions regarding what some critics are decrying as an effort to wreck a sector that accounts for some 16 percent of the U.S. economy, the health care marketplace.
According to a November 11 AP report highlighting the results of the Winthrop Poll: “Obama’s signature domestic policy effort — reforming the nation’s health care system — is running into a head wind from Southerners who said they are satisfied with the cost and quality of their health insurance and unhappy with the way the president is handling the issue.” (See Poll: South isn’t buying Obama health plan)
A November 10 editorial published in The Wall Street Journal highlighted just how political – rather than generous – the spirit driving Democrats’ efforts to force “health care (insurance) reform” truly is.
In Confessions of an ObamaCare Backer WSJ editors highlighted the “calculus” behind many pro-ObamaCare Democrats’ legislative fervors for bringing about health care (insurance) reform:
“The typical argument for ObamaCare is that it will offer better medical care for everyone and cost less to do it, but occasionally a supporter lets the mask slip and reveals the real political motivation. So let’s give credit to John Cassidy, part of the left-wing stable at the New Yorker, who wrote last week on its Web site that ‘it’s important to be clear about what the reform amounts to.’
“Mr. Cassidy is more honest than the politicians whose dishonesty he supports. ‘The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment,’ he writes. ‘Let’s not pretend that it isn’t a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won’t. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration … is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind.’
“Why are they doing it? Because, according to Mr. Cassidy, ObamaCare serves the twin goals of ‘making the United States a more equitable country’ and furthering the Democrats’ ‘political calculus.’ In other words, the purpose is to further redistribute income by putting health care further under government control, and in the process making the middle class more dependent on government. As the party of government, Democrats will benefit over the long run.”
So much for that atmosphere of bipartisanship Presidential Candidate Barack Obama promised would be a hallmark of his presidency.
So much for health care remaining a nonpolitical matter.
In several years Barack Obama will find himself confronted by the same concerns regarding his job security that are today confronting so many Southerners, and Americans on the whole. Perhaps then he’ll realize politicizing health care was not the best step to take in developing a performance record Americans regard as acceptable. Perhaps then Mr. Obama will realize more could have been achieved with less, particularly in terms of legislation passed to “fix” the economy.
Before that time comes, perhaps Congressional Democrats will realize their support of Obama’s agenda is causing many voters to question the quality of their Congressional representatives’ on-the-job performances, too.
If not, perhaps Republicans will realize an opportunity to do what John Cassidy of the New Yorker believes will be impossible: “Rescind” ObamaCare — if the Dems actually decide to make it law.