For U.S. businesses, one risk looms larger than the labor shortages and historic inflation of the post-pandemic economy – the risk of our own government brought on by polarization and dysfunction weighing heavy on the minds of executives across the nation.
“The only risk that businesses say is rising – is getting worse – is the risk that comes from our own government,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Clark at the State of American Business on Jan. 12. She noted that the U.S. Chamber’s board members are most worried about the lack of national leadership to solve complex problems and outcompete adversaries.
Warning the dangers posed by being locked into a cycle of hyper-polarization and dramatically disruptive power swings every election, Clark highlighted that parties are taking power focused solely on undoing whatever the previous party did rather than working together to empower business and move the country forward.
“Beyond the deep frustration, what does this really mean? It means businesses don’t have the clarity or the certainty to plan past the next political cycle,” Clark said. “It means our country won’t be able to advance an agenda that extends beyond two to four years, or pass the policies needed to position us for our future.”
Clark cited several examples of government failure. A border crisis allowing millions to cross illegally when employers cannot get visas processed for engineers and nurses they desperately need to hire. Or businesses standing ready to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure after the federal government’s historic investment but unable to approve projects.
“Let me close with a message to our partner in government today: Do your jobs, so we can do ours. Make government work so businesses can keep working … so we can keep doing the things that society needs, expects, and trusts us to do,” Clark said.