Where the hell is our recovery? How come so few new jobs? Why is our middle class shrinking? Complex questions I know. Many economists and political guys thrash about for answers. They rummage through data.
The answer to all these is as fat as a pizza. Yet these guys don’t see it. Because they look through the wrong lenses. And they’ve got their noses stuck in the mozzarella.
Through the right lenses, this problem is as clear as Perrier. Big business is romping in the sack with government. Both enjoy the romp. But the guys getting screwed are small-business people. And indirectly, you.
You may have read similar stuff in this column before. I repeat it because this is the most essential problem our economy and people face today. We peer through the wrong lenses. Doing so, we misjudge capitalism. And we fail to see how easily we could revive the economy, job numbers, and the middle class.
A few points: Small business creates our new jobs. Small business thrives on freedom. Regulations drown freedom. A simple truth. Regulations drown freedom.
For many years, Washington, D.C. and the states have poured forth waves of new regulations on business. In the last six years, a tsunami. Last year, Washington swamped us with 26,000 pages of them.
These regulations overwhelm our entrepreneurs. And snuff out the dreams of would-be entrepreneurs. So much so that we see fewer new ventures every year. We see small businesses expand all too slowly.
Big business squawks about the regulations, yes. But too often it colludes with big government in them. Big business (and big unions) buy lawmakers. No secret. Their lobbyists virtually write many of these regulations. Or at least edit them. To limit the impact on big business. To tip the scales to help their particular industry or company.
Meanwhile, small businesses get squeezed. Or directly damaged. Or ignored.
Washington, D.C. and the states have unleashed this tsunami of regulations. Big businesses are coping with them. They have the money to hire the people to help them cope. Either in advance, or after the tsunami hits.
Small businesses do not. For them the regulations reduce freedom. They suck the oxygen from the entrepreneurial environment.
Where the hell is our recovery? It is mired in the tsunami of new regulations and taxes. It is stillborn in entrepreneurs’ dreams snuffed out by them.
How come so few jobs? Small business creates our net new jobs. We have sucked essential freedom from the air that small business breaths.
Why is our middle class shrinking? We have damaged the new jobs machine that used to build and sustain much of our middle class.
And we have forced a huge financial burden on our middle class. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) estimates how much our economy shells out to comply with our regulations. The bill is nearly $2 trillion annually.
You are certainly a part of our economy. You share in this cost in a thousand ways. In higher prices. In higher taxes. The CEI reckons the costs are about $15,000 per family per year. It calls this a hidden tax.
Government has grown like wild fire the last several years. With Obamacare. With a zillion new regulations and restrictions on the financial industry. With blizzards of new regulations from many government agencies.
I repeat: big business is in bed with big government. It protects itself in all of this. Small business is getting screwed. With a pillow held down upon its face to drown out its voice.
From Tom...as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at www.tomasinmorgan.com