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The Small Business Myth

October 20, 2011


It’s time to address the myth that has become a major component of the Conventional Wisdom.  That is, that the key to economic recovery is to “grow small business.”  The fact is, there is no possible way that individual entrepreneurship and cottage industry can dig us out of the abysmal loss of industrial manufacturing jobs. They were given away to foreign countries over the past thirty years, beginning with the Reagan administration, so beloved by the local IGM (I Got Mine) crowd.

The solution is much simpler than the fast buck artists of Unfair Trade would have you believe. How? Impose severe tariffs on imported goods, starting with nations like China who impose 25 % tariffs on our goods while we let them get away with 5% on theirs.  Most trade agreements allow uncontested 15% tariffs.  Notable conservatives like Pat Buchanan have advocated these, stating correctly that the Federal Government was financed in this way for the first half of our history.

The Tariff argument would be a great starting point for a platform for the Occupy Wall Street movement.  The next step would be to impose punitive taxes on corporations and individuals who move jobs and capital off shore.  Continue with putting an end to the American Military Empire and all foreign aid, a’ la Ron Paul.  Take another page from the book of Paul; end the Federal Reserve and transition to a hard currency system.

The IGM crowd would also like to end all regulation, with the possible exception of posting “Caveat Emptor” signs at all businesses.  They would of course rely on what they believe to be the ignorance of us in the unwashed masses and our supposed Latin deficiency.  Regulation of banking and securities should begin with a renewal of the Glass-Steagal Act that separated the functions of commercial and investment banking, ending the corruption that brought on the original Great Depression.

Thirty years of deregulation have resulted in concentration of industry, capital, wealth and power.  It is one of the factors in the withering of the American middle class.  This gives lie to the spurious idea of recovery and growth through small biz.  The big fish gobble up the small ones once their market share becomes significantly attractive or threatening.

There are plenty of solid and open issues for the Occupy Wall Street Movement to adopt and give birth to a truly populist movement independent of the financially corrupted major parties.

Cap’m John U



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  1. Chris G. Baker permalink

    John, this is a well written article. Tolstoy once wrote “Nothing is softer or more yielding than water, yet nothing can beat it for it’s strength. The weak defeats the strong, tenderness defeats cruelty, humility defeats pride. Everyone knows this law, but nobody follows it.”
    He was wrong on the last sentence. Gandhi followed this law, Martin Luther King followed it, Jesus followed it. Perhaps with your gentle and kind leadership, you are following it too?

    • Thank you for your comment, Chris. It was very concise and insightful. I am not a pacifist and knowing my own imperfection, am not certain if I can ever be. I believe our first step has to be as a nation and individuals to cease our reactive and pre-emptive violent response to perceved threats. Let us hear from you again, real soon, friend!

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