Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The "Small Business" Canard

There's been a noticeable improvement in the quality and diversity of political writing on BDN Op-Ed page in recent months. This piece from Nate Libby, director of the Maine Small Business Coalition, exemplifies the trend:

Small-business owners know what's happening in our communities because we serve and employ the workers who make our local economies thrive.


Too often, we hear arguments for "business-friendly" policies that don’t match up with our experience--mostly coming from big-business lobbyists who claim to speak for our interests. The latest example is the “business” support for Sen. Susan Collins' "regulatory time out" and "regulatory accountability" proposals.


Take the "time out" proposal, which puts a freeze on new health and workplace safety rules or standards. When a football team calls a time-out, play stops on the field. But that's not what Sen. Collins is proposing at all. She is proposing to let big polluters, big banks and big insurers keep playing their games, but to take the officials out of the game so they can't throw flags on penalties.

Who wins in that situation? The big guys do. And who loses? The little guys.
It's striking to see a Maine small business owner--let alone the leader of a 2,500 business coalition--calling out Collins' bogus "small business" posturing. But Libby's basic point in the piece isn't controversial--at least not in the small business community.

The fact is, very few business owners spend their days obsessing about government regulations.

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