Solving our economic crisis one job at a time

February 22, 2011 7:05:40 PM PST
While the top minds in politics and business grapple with ways to put people back to work and to rescue our economy, a Bay Area woman has come up with a very simple idea to improve the entire economy of the country. Her simple idea is this: If every business hires just one person, perhaps the problem would be solved.

Remember back a couple of weeks ago when President Barack Obama spoke to the Chamber of Commerce? He reminded them that U.S. companies are sitting on more than $2 trillion, waiting for the economy to improve.

"Many of your own economists and sales people are now forecasting a healthy increase in demand, so I just want to encourage you to get in the game," Obama told the chamber.

Carla Emil heard that.

"I remember I was in the car and I was listening to NPR," she recalled.

She thought, there needs to be some inspiration to get businesses off the dime.

"I mentioned it to my husband and he said, 'Why don't you do something about it?'" said Emil.

And what she did was write a story that got picked up by The Huffington Post -- a challenge to companies to create just one extra job -- "One job for America."

"And they were very responsive and so that's how it began and that was just last week," said Emil.

Last Thursday, MSNBC picked up on the idea and put Emil and her husband Rich Silverstein on camera. Silverstein, a prominent advertising executive, created a One Job for America website.

In Morgan Hill, the owner of Specialized, a bike company, decided he would take the pledge.

"You know if you really believe something, if you believe you can make something happen, you can make it happen," said bike shop owner Mike Sinyard.

Sinyard has made it happen. This year his bikes ridden by Alberto Contador and Andy Schelck finished first and second in the Tour de France. He says if companies wait on the sidelines waiting to see what will happen, nothing will happen.

"You got to go for it. You got to go for it and make it happen," he said. "So I hope within a few months that we really get a tipping point and things really begin to develop."

As of Tuesday morning, the website showed 78 companies had joined Sinyard in pledging one job for America. By Tuesday afternoon pledges had reached 81.

"I had hoped for more," said Emil. "I'm just an optimistic person."

Emil admits she has high expectations for her simple idea, but then she looked at the list and saw a lot of the companies are small and one job might mean a lot more risk.

"And I thought my goodness, these people are actually making this commitment, taking a chance, and have a belief in this thing. So I'm feeling good," she said.

The thing about Emil's idea is not exclusively about how many jobs are created, but how it promotes optimism and inspiration in place of fear and hesitation.

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