I talk with other business owners a lot (I am also a small business owner), and we often discuss the health of our businesses and our plans for dealing with government and changing economic conditions.
One resounding theme of discussion and worry has been ObamaCare (the Affordable HealthCare Act).
On the one hand, it is going to force may of us business owners to hire more people.
On the other hand, we are only going to likely work each employee about 25 hours a week, and hire more people to make up for it. Thing is, none of us are going to be able to pay for ObamaCare. Most of the people we hire are relatively unskilled and they are not paid a great deal of money. They work as unskilled labor in service oriented businesses. Waiters, housekeepers, store shelf stockers, clerks, etc.
Since they are working in jobs for businesses where the profit isn't high, and the regulations and cost are, many businesses are going to be faced with a choice:
Since anyone who works more than an average of 30 hours a week is considered full time, and is therefore eligible for ObamaCare, and since the cost for ObamaCare is going to be somewhere north of $6K per employee per year, many businesses will choose to hire more people and work all employees for 20-25 hours per week. The current employees, all of whom work 30-40 hours per week currently, will likely see their hours reduced to 20-25.
The other options are to raise prices in an already competitive marketplace, difficult to do...
Or, of course, close the business, putting the employees out of a job.
Most of us see no reason to continue to operate our businesses if we can't make a profit, and the cost of ObamaCare will likely reduce our profit to near zero, or at least to a level which makes it not worth operating the business. Most of us put in 50+ hours per week operating and managing, and while we aren't poor, we don't make as much as others think. For many, the additional costs will put them into the red. For the rest of us, we are all looking at the fact that the risk of operating a business will not be worth the very small profit we might have left after the new costs.
A LOT of people are going to be out of work or making a significantly lower take home paycheck because of this. Especially those working in service type industries.
Unintended Consequences and all that.