Yet in our free market economic system, we understand that competition is a good thing. If competition means that certain business entities or entire business categories decline because of the competition, then so be it. It is fairer and more just to allow businesses to rise and fall according to the market demands of consumers, rather than imposing artificial “limits” on the number of people who are to be permitted to participate in an industry.
But what are we to make of this idea that the delis’ failure is because consumers “don’t understand?” If a consumer chooses to “not understand” any particular business, and therefore chooses not to patronize it, then that consumer has made their choice – haven’t they? We’re all better-off if, win or lose, we honor and respect the choices of consumers, rather than presuming that they are ignorant if they make a choice that we don’t like.
And guess what the LA Times article about the delis completely ignored? The impact of government policy on small businesses. Nowhere did it reference the expansive and onerous mandates placed upon business via Obamacare, the impact on business owners of the President’s payroll tax hike, or his income tax increases on “rich people.”
No, the LA Times apparently wasn’t interested in how the President’s income tax hikes have taken money away from what the I.R.S. designates as “Subchapter S Corporations” (sometimes abbreviated as “S-corps”), and how this has effectively taken money directly out of small corporations, many of which operate small businesses. Likewise, the article made no reference to the fact California voters approved an increase in state income tax rates for “rich people” (thus leading to even less revenue in Subchapter-S Corporations) on their ballot last November, nor did it acknowledge that California has for years been on a trajectory of higher and higher unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation mandates for businesses.
It is perhaps more comfortable to pretend that our current government policies are not problematic, and blame the struggling economy on “too much competition” and consumers who “don’t understand.”
But how many more delis must fail, before we get honest and acknowledge that government is our problem?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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