To listen to the cries from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other Big Business groups, you’d think that the nation’s system of public safeguards is ripping through the very fabric of our society. GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry recently said it was government regulators who were the cause of the Great Recession of 2008 (gotta love his completely backwards take on what caused America’s financial crisis in its complete absurdity).
The Big Business noise machine has attempted to establish the notion that regulations are killing job growth and claiming that small businesses can’t hire anyone because of an unduly burden that public safeguards supposedly are placed upon them. That’s what they’re saying.
Funny thing is, when you talk to small business owners, you almost never hear them complain about regulations. A few days ago, I got to spend some time with a diverse group of small business owners and had a chance to talk with them about their businesses, their communities and what they think about Big Business using them as an excuse to give major corporations a free pass on following the rules. It was an interesting afternoon.
Makini Howell, who owns a few restaurants in Seattle, told me regulations keep her customers safe and confident the food they are eating will not make them sick. She said having a strong set of rules in place helps her business prosper.
“We don’t need a wild, wild west style of business,” she said. “What we need are comprehensive safeguards for businesses to thrive.” (see Makini’s comments here)
Jordan Motzkin, owner and CEO of Big Box Farms in New York said one of the most important things regulations do is help keep the marketplace free and accessible for everyone to participate in. And, the established safeguards for his business actually save him money.
“If I had to check my supplies by myself, as a sole company, we would have to spend enormous amounts of money and resources going in to make sure just simple things were in order: certain labor standards, environment standards, and things that really control the quality of their products,” Jordan said. “That quite frankly, would put me out of business if I had to spend all that money to devote on things that aren’t the core purpose of my business…” (see Jordan’s comments here)
These small business owners, just like their peers from all across the country, are saying the same thing: it’s not regulations they worry about, it’s lack of customers.
You can see all the comments from these small business owners and others at the YouTube channel for the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards.