How much do Americans know about the Affordable Care Act? For instance, would they understand why some restaurants are starting to charge “Obamacare fees” to their customers? Do they understand what a minimum wage hike does to a construction company’s ability to stay in business? Do they know about prevailing wage laws that allow union bids to dictate the wages of a government-funded project?

In addition to these concerns, the National Labor Relations Board is fast-tracking devastating rules that will encroach upon the relationship between a business and its employees.

Bad government policies hurt good people. But many people simply don’t understand how or why and blame the wrong people when it happens.

A well-informed public is the best defense against these policies. That is the cornerstone of a new partnership between Job Creators Network (JCN) and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

Bernie Marcus, who co-founded The Home Depot, strongly believes employers have the legal right and an obligation to educate their employees on how government policies affect their jobs, paychecks and families. He also believes that taxes, regulations and government mandates have pushed the nation’s free enterprise system to a dangerous tipping point.

Essentially, the American Dream is at risk for future generations. Polls have shown as many as 80 percent of Americans think it’s harder to get ahead than ever before, and that the next generation will find it even more difficult to succeed.

That’s why Marcus and several other entrepreneurs and business leaders created JCN—to help inspire employees to become more involved and informed through its Employer to Employee (E2E) education program. JCN provides educational materials that help employees connect the dots for themselves between government policies and their impact on jobs, pay, benefits and families. Because JCN is non-partisan, its E2E content avoids politics and labels that might cause some employees to tune out.

JCN already has begun distributing educational materials to several ABC chapters via weekly email newsletters that include links to items such as one-page “Kitchen Table Economics” lessons, easy-to-read infographics, and short videos that talk about paychecks rather than politics. There is also a dedicated employee website for the E2E program, InformationStation.org, that houses all of JCN’s educational materials.

The vast majority of businesses care about their employees, along with their wages, benefits and families. However, it is not always easy to find the time and place to explain how the decisions made by policymakers in Washington, D.C., as well as in state capitals or on city and county government boards, impact their livelihoods.

Employees are an untapped reservoir of support for the very policies that help businesses thrive. Labor unions have been educating their rank and file for decades, and they have the right to do so. It’s time for open shop contractors and other supporters of free enterprise to start doing the same.

Working together will result in an educated, engaged workforce that can take what they learn and share it with their families, friends and neighbors—all of whom will be empowered to make informed decisions that will shape the nation’s future for robust business growth and job creation.

Visit JobCreatorsNetwork.com to get involved and inspire employees to defend free enterprise and their own livelihoods.  


Alfredo Ortiz is president and CEO of Job Creators Network. For more information, visit www.jobcreatorsnetwork.com or contact Chris Singerling, ABC senior director of political affairs, at singerling@abc.org.