Sunday, November 25, 2012
Carly Fiorina -- a 40 year low
Carly Fiorina was on Meet the Press today, where she was introduced as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. It would not have been polite to introduce her as former advisor to losing presidential candidate John McCain, who had her ass handed to her when she ran against Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate.
That anyone would try at this late date to defend these policies and be able to maintain a straight face is not a testament to the validity of these ideas, but rather to the shamelessness of the kleptocratic class.
I found one thing she said to be of particular interest. “Small business formation is at a forty year low,” said Ms. Fiorina. Now, I have no idea if this is true of false, except for the fact that it was uttered by a woman who has been thoroughly discredited so many times before. Let’s assume it is true. The question is why is small business formation stalled?
Ms. Fiorina suggested that the reason is that the tax-code is too complex. That’s nonsense, of course. If you want to start a niche boutique, or dress factory employing 5 or 6 cutters and sewers, and a salesperson or two, there’s not too much to know about the tax code that can’t be learned by purchasing Quickbooks. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t have an accountant. But if you think that the reason you are having trouble competing with Walmart is that they have a better grasp of the tax code, then you shouldn’t be in business anyway.
The reason that small business formation is at a 40 year low (if it is) is that big corporations have consolidated power under the laissez-faire economic policies of the previous administration, and the recession which these policies caused has paralyzed our abilities to deal with this problem. One of the longest lasting legacies of the Bush years will be the reactionary Supreme Court which gave us the Citizens United decision.
I am assuming that everyone who reads this knows about how Walmart moves into neighborhoods, and undercuts the competition, putting them out of business. It then purchases in quantities from suppliers that are so significant that the suppliers can’t survive without Walmart’s business. Next step: demand price breaks from suppliers to the point that the only way they can avoid going out of business is to turn to Chinese manufacturers. Goodbye, more American jobs.
The workers, who labor for the Walton family but can’t provide for their own, must turn to local governments and charities to keep the wolf from the door. Who pays for that? Of course, it is not the people who get paid $20 million dollars to leave their jobs, or the Walton family who own more than the bottom 40% of Americans combined. No, it’s the folks who would like to start a mom-and-pop grocery or a small business, but can’t because local taxes are too high. It’s the former factory workers who are now out of work because their jobs are being done in
And there’s another reason that our would-be small business owners can’t open their doors. There are no customers in their communities. Why? It’s because a Walmart worker or an unemployed factory worker can’t afford a new dress. That’s not justice.
By the way, I was just kidding when I said I didn’t know if Carly Fiorini was lying when she told us that business formation was at a 40 year low. Of course, I know, and so do you. Remember, that last March, John Boehner said, that business formation was at a 30 year low? Well, that wasn’t true either. The very highly regarded Kauffman Index shows that, despite a drop from 2010,
U.S. startup activity remains above
pre-Great Recession levels. The Index shows that 0.32 percent of American adults created a business per month in 2011, the last year for which figures are available. This is a 5.9 percent drop from 2010, but still among the highest levels of entrepreneurship over the past 16 years. As Casey Stengel was fond of saying, “You could look it up.”
“ ... and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”