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  • The War on Small Business

    Posted by David Foster on July 13th, 2009 (All posts by )

    Dan Kennedy writes about the climate of fear that Obama is creating among small and medium-sized businesses. (via NeoNeocon, who has a discussion of this article)

    Victor Davis Hanson: the war against the producers. (via Dr Helen, who also has a discussion)

    Not to mention the dreadful Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which is having a baleful effect on businesses of all sizes–but particularly small and home-based businesses.

    Obama/Pelosi/Reid are clearly hostile to business in general, but they seem particularly hostile to small and medium-sized businesses. They do not appear to either to understand the importance of this class of enterprises or to have any empathy whatsoever with the people who start and run them.


    10 Responses to “The War on Small Business”

    1. Dan from Madison Says:

      As the owner of a small business I can fully agree that the climate of fear is pretty strong right now. There is so much to worry about from rising tax rates to health care costs, etc.

      One of my employees joked about the health care agenda the other day and I looked him in the eye and said to him (we as of now proivide health insurance for our full time employees) “if you think I am paying twice for your health insurance, you are insane”. That was the end of the conversation.

      I am fortunate in that I work in an industry that flies very much under many folks radars but that can change in an instant. Bummer for me though, I bought the building that my business is located in a few years ago and now the city is absolutely killing me on property taxes. Our state income tax is set to go up by a staggering amount this year as well. We seem to get it from all angles.

      I only have to last about another 20 years or so and it will be over, but I am loading in the Pepto for now.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      “They do not appear to either to understand the importance of this class of enterprises.”

      They do understand them. They want to destroy this class of enterprises and the kind of people who start them and run them.

      Don’t make the liberal mistake of thinking that your enemy’s deadly attack is all the result of a misunderstanding, and that it would stop if they just got to know you better.

      Assume the more likely case, that they know exactly who you are, they know exactly what they are doing to you, and they are trying to destroy you because that is their goal.


      Because an economy based on initiative and innovation and risk-taking is poison to a centrally-planned, politically-directed, static, monitored and bureaucratic business sector. An all large-unit business sector will necessarily become the ally and servant and of big government.

      The entrepreneurial sector is a threat to that model, so Obama / Pelosi / Reid want to destroy it.

    3. David Foster Says:

      Dan…”an industry that flies very much under many folks radars”…homecrafters, thrift shop owners, and small toy manufactuers probably never imagined that their survival would be threatened by the government–until late last year.

      LG…”They do understand them. They want to destroy this class of enterprises and the kind of people who start them and run them”…I think you are correct, although in many cases the animosity is subconscious rather than fully-thought-out.

      There’s a story about an English gentleman who visited the American West, sometime in the 1870s. After meeting a cowboy and talking with him a bit, the gentleman asked:

      “And where is your master, my man?

      Cowboy: “Son of a bitch ain’t been born yet.”

      I think the core Obamaites are clearly on the side of the gentleman on this one–they are truly bothered by the idea of masterless men.

    4. Dan from Madison Says:

      “Dan…”an industry that flies very much under many folks radars”…homecrafters, thrift shop owners, and small toy manufactuers probably never imagined that their survival would be threatened by the government–until late last year.” – that is why I said it can change in an instant, I was thinking of your series on the CPSIA.

    5. Lexington Green Says:

      “…subconscious rather than fully-thought-out…”

      Remember Hillary Clinton’s comment: “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.” Her point was that HillaryCare required an economy that was composed only of large employers.

      These guys are not so much driven by a Nazi vision (I cannot truly make the argumentum ad hitlerum) as by a Fascist Italian / corporatist vision, or at best by a mid-20th century social democrat model that would have looked familiar to Clement Atlee, though he was a better and wiser man than this gang.

    6. david foster Says:

      Just ran across this example of what the CPSIA is doing to a particular small business.

      This Congress and this Administration, of course, don’t give a hoot in hell about what happens to this individual.

      We are entering an era in which nothing will be permitted to exist unless it serves the interests of a large and well-organized voting block.

    7. James the lesser Says:

      Small and medium size businesses don’t have the same ability as big ones to offer sinecures to a Representative’s buddies or hire a retired politician as a lobbyist.

    8. veryretired Says:

      While I don’t disagree with the gist of Lex’s contention regarding the framework of the current regime’s vision, although I would characterize it as resembling Huey Long’s corrupt, populist, corporatist state more than the others mentioned, I am not sure it is focussed malevolence as much as another example of magical thinking.

      I truly fear that the guiding theory of the current statist crowd is the age old dream that anything is possible if we only pray or wish for it hard enough.

      I think their attitude toward any business that they cannot find a political use for, either as a major fund donor, or a populist rallying point to protest competition from evil corporations, is one of indifference.

      And by indifference I mean the kind of attitude which says, “Well, this may make it tougher for some businesses to survive, but they’ll think of something, they always have before.”

      Politicians have become to believe themselves to be similar to natural forces, akin to sunlight or rain—they’re just there, and must be reckoned with. The concept of changing their views or positions in the face of evidence they have created major problems for business groups that they didn’t understand or foresee is as alien to them as the idea of ordering the sun to come up in the west tomorrow.

      Why, then, the pandering to other groups and “connected” corporations? All these guys know and understand is power. If it threatens them, they pander to it. If it is incoherent and disorganized, it is meaningless.

      What must small and medium sized businesses do? Decide whether they wish to surrender and be squeezed dry, or form their own version of AARP and coordinate their efforts to present their case to those in power. They must become a threat that cannot be ignored.

      If you don’t like being a herring, become a shark.

    9. Tatyana Says:

      I’ve received a “liquidation” email from an antique china/silverware shop that was in business for 25 years, edish. (since I have bought vintage Noritake from them I was on their newsletter) Tomorrow is their last day. Their home page says it all:

      “And now, the end is near;
      And so I face the final curtain…
      At edish we did it ‘our way’ for over 25 years.
      On July 15th we will be gone for good. Our shop is one that we hope you, our customers, will remember fondly.”

      And at the bottom a chilling sentence: “One final note: if you know of job opportunities …, either in Salt Lake City or Houston, or beyond, please feel free to contact me.”

      It’s everywhere, and it will get worse.

      Reading what James said above: did you hear that GE just hired Mrs. Daschle?

    10. ultrayellowpages Says:

      Small companies offer their owners a level of flexibility that large companies just can’t match. They are also much easier to keep in the family than large corporations and by keeping the business privately owned, control over the business’ activities and future remains in the hands of those who know it best, its founders.

      Saratoga springs