Small Business Ideas; The Impact of Politics on the Business Climate in the U.S.
Small Business Ideas
The United States of America is a unique nation in the world in allowing individuals the freedom and opportunity to start a business using small business ideas they have collected for years. If done right they can increase their standard of living and overall standing in life. Individual ambition, motivation, and determination, combined with hard work, will lead you to your own rewards in life, but the U.S. provides the place to do it. No other nation on earth guarantees individual rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press for its citizens.
So what’s wrong with our country today? More and more, I am disturbed by what I see on the news. It has been said that there are two types of politicians. Those who are altruistic; who truly fight for what’s in the best interest of the American people and the constituents they represent. Then there are the others.
Our wonderful economic climate and land of opportunity is systematically being ruined by politicians who, once they are elected, do whatever they need to do to please their campaign contributors (businesses) instead of the people whom they are elected to serve. Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example. She granted a special favor by excluding American Samoa from the recent minimum wage hike, because that is the home of StarKist Tuna, one of her biggest campaign contributors. Obviously this exemption benefits StarKist Tuna Corporation, rather than its employees who are individual citizens.
I believe that our elected officials have either forgotten or don’t care that they are elected to serve the public. But politicians rarely do what’s best for the public and the interests of the American people anymore, do they? You may have to go all the way back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt to find a President who truly did what was best for the United States as a country and its citizens.
The United States provides opportunity not only for us, but also for future generations of Americans. Call me naive, but why on earth can’t all politicians do what’s best for “we the people” (as in all the people), rather than just what’s best for their corporate contributors?
What has happened? Many politicians today are just that – politicians – not leaders. They are beholden to their campaign contributors rather than their constituents, and it is destroying this country. I see it in the small businessman who can’t get a SBA loan because the tax money that previously supplied grants or loans isn’t available anymore (because companies have moved their corporate headquarters overseas to avoid paying those taxes). I see many non-profit and governmental entities competing for the same shrinking pool of grant money. It doesn’t matter what your small business ideas are, the political climate makes it difficult to achieve success.
I see the governors in Texas and Illinois trying to sell off their respective state lotteries, assets which were originally funded and built with taxpayer dollars. I see it in New Jersey, where the state is considering selling off the New Jersey Turnpike. Yes, the one made famous in the Simon and Garfunkle song. Other states are also trying to sell off their roads, or have foreign companies collect tolls on new roads so they can keep the profits for themselves. Today (2/21/07) I heard that the cities of Austin, Texas and Chicago, Illinois are trying to sell their city-owned airports (ABIA and Midway, respectively). What will become of us when foreign companies and countries own our assets, infrastructure, and ultimately our land itself?
I see it in NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and other so called “free trade” agreements that have set up the United States for record trade deficits with other nations and disastrous national trade policies. NAFTA alone has caused nearly 1 million jobs to leave this country. Did you know, that through our own tax code, corporations are able to defer and sometimes never pay taxes that are earned on overseas profits? Moreover, some companies are actually subsidized with federal tax dollars as an incentive to move their operations overseas to cheaper markets!
You may be asking exactly what does this have to do with career (what my column is supposed to be about)? In my last two columns, I tackled the issues of starting your own business and also offshoring (the devastating practice of shipping American jobs overseas to markets that have cheaper labor costs). All of these things are related. You can’t create a climate that provides opportunities (economic, career, or otherwise) in a country where the elected “leaders” are not looking out for the people.
Economists were surprised when the American economy did really well in the fourth quarter of 2006. It grew by 3.5%, mainly due to consumer spending and business activity, even in spite of a slight housing slump. But it’s too easy to believe that the good times will go on like they always have.
We have inherited a great legacy in this country. Businesses and nations want to sell their goods and products in the American market, regardless of where they were manufactured. Why? The American middle class and the United States economy have created a unique marketplace. Nothing like it exists anywhere else on the planet for small business ideas. Let’s take care of it, shall we? Understand the basics every business needs with coaching.