As a Jew I have always said that Jews are the only political interest group that constantly vote against their own self-interest. They aren’t the only ones. Many liberals talk about how invasive government harms them or their business interests, but then when they enter the voter’s booth they pull the lever for those who promulgate more invasive laws.
Last summer, I went to visit someone who had started a new business. As I do wherever I go, I take reading with me because you never know what will happen and it eases any anxiety from waiting/wasting time. At the time I was reading the book Shattered, written by Jonathan Allen and Arnie Parnes about the 2016 Clinton campaign.
My friend/client noticed the book when I sat down. He noted I was reading it, but he said he understood because I am a Republican. This did not make much sense to me because the authors are two liberal journalists and the book was principally aimed at Democrats to understand what went wrong with the Clinton campaign. He then launched into a commentary on the fact that no one he had spoken to believed Trump would last the year (2017) as president. His thinking: Trump was not actually interested in being president and he will hit a wall from all the controversy and walk away. Needless to say I let all of this silliness pass by and moved on to discussing his new business.
We had a detailed discussion about the development of the business. Many customers were walking through the doors while I was there. The facility itself was very nice and fit the area well. That had not stopped the local municipality from driving him crazy with multiple meddling mandates that delayed his project, costing him thousands upon thousands of dollars.
He then went on to describe the steps he wanted to initiate to alter his facility and operations that were critical to the future success of his business. Accompanying that description, he told me of all the stumbling blocks being put in his path by local bureaucrats.
It took my best poker face to not look at him, roll my eyes and make clear to him he must be out of his mind for his political leanings. Since I typically invoke sarcasm in these situations, it took the highest level of self-control to not launch a scathing attack on his sanity in a less than complimentary manner. What I ended up doing was sitting there staring at a person who was totally disconnected from his own self-interest and how his politics conflict with his own needs and the potential survival of his business.
Flash forward to just recently. He had filed his taxes. It was a challenging year for him, which is not unusual for a new business that needs to find a stable customer base to produce profitable sales. After over a year of work he was both a little poorer and worn by the process.
That did not stop the state of California from charging him significant fees for the honor of doing business in the state. Unlike other states, there is a minimum tax ($800) for operating an LLC. In addition, as the LLC revenue goes up, a fee is imposed on the entity’s revenues whether the company has profits or not. In this case, the fees for 2017 were $2,500 on top of the $800 already paid. That means he would have to pay that $2,500 for 2017 and another $3,300 for 2018 in estimates, or a total of $5,800 for the honor of just remaining in business in California. This was not explained to him or his wife when they formed their entity without my knowledge or consent.
It fell to me to explain to the him and his wife the money they were obligated to pay. Needless to say, it was a very unhappy moment for the couple. What followed was even more astonishing.
The wife (who shares the husband’s politics) wrote me the following:
“Thanks for the education, Bruce. It’s no wonder that there are so few small businesses in California. California makes it nearly impossible for small businesses like ours to succeed. We work like dogs and everyone makes money except for us.”
A truer and more insightful statement may have never been made. Most people who do not support the existing government has come to that position largely through either personal insight or through experience beating their heads against the wall.
Or maybe the former Mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo, was correct when he stated, “A conservative is a liberal who got mugged the night before.”
Hopefully, my friends and others will have an epiphany that government is not their friend and end their voting for these people whose main political goal is to control our lives.