The Small Business Jobs Act is DOA, and that might be a good development since a disturbing racial and ethnic assumption was hidden deep within the legislation.
The Small Business Jobs legislation (Sec. 3103.d.7) required lending institutions to “provide linguistically and culturally appropriate” advertising to entice small business owners to enter into loan agreements with government certified lending institutions.
Democrats in congress seemed to think that entrepreneurs and business owners only will accept access to capital if the offer is presented in congress’ view of what is “culturally appropriate.” How little congress understands about entrepreneurship, small business ownership and the capital requirements of organizational sustainability and job creation!
Nor did the legislation explain how the determination of “culturally appropriate” is to be achieved. The extent that financial institutions should attempt to reach “linguistically” appropriate advertising was also unspecified.
Clearly, Spanish might be required for the large Spanish-speaking population of entrepreneurs in the U.S. which comprise 40% of small businesses. Perhaps Ebonics for the African-Americans who comprise 28% of small business owners? What about Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese? Asian businesses have grown to 28%. But, if Congress were to be fair and unbiased, then should financial institutions also consider advertising in Hindi, and Arabic? What about Swedish or Polish or Russian or German?
The problem with a requirement for “linguistically” appropriate bank loan advertising is that it ignores two important facts. First, America is and should remain the “melting pot” of the world, where English remains our primary language and this shared language remains the primary way that most immigrants assimilate American life. Second, small businesses truly invested in growing and succeeding are “post-racial” entities.
Business owners are concerned with innovation, competitiveness, hiring talented employees, producing salable goods and services, achieving financial stability and ultimately making a profit. These goals transcend race or ethnicity. Capital is the universal language that all businesses understand.
Who will be the arbiter of what is, or is not, “linguistically or culturally appropriate”? And, how will congress prevent accusations of “racism” each time a small business owner isn’t approved for a loan?