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Guest Post: This Is Small Business in America: Burdened, Crushed, Doomed

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Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

This Is Small Business in America: Burdened, Crushed, Doomed 

If you make it increasingly costly and risky to open a small enterprise, then no wonder unemployment remains high.

You hear a lot about Kafkaesque stifling bureaucracy in Greece and other struggling European nations, but America's Status Quo is trying its best to destroy small enterprise with taxes and crushing bureaucracy. I am self-employed, and have been for most of my life. When I did take a paid position, it was in other small enterprises or local non-profit organizations.

I mention this because there is an unbridgeable divide in any discussion of small business between those who have no experience in entrepreneural enterprise (i.e. they've worked for the government, NGOs/non-profits or Corporate America their entire careers) and those who have.

There are all sorts of similar chasms that cannot be crossed and which quickly reveal a surreal disconnect from actual lived reality: for example, the difference between actually playing football--yes, with pads, a muddy field and guys trying to slam you to the ground--and being an armchair quarterback who's never been hit even once, never caught a pass or ever struggled to bring down a faster, bigger player. (And yes, I did play football in high school as a poor dumb skinny kid who mostly warmed the bench for good reason, but I lettered.)

At the extreme of this disconnect, we have armchair generals screaming for war who have no experience of combat or war as it is actually experienced.

You get the point: it's very easy for well-paid pundits who have never started a single real enterprise or met a single payroll to pontificate about "opportunity" and small business as the engine of growth, blah blah blah. It's also easy for those with no actual experience to reach all sorts of absurd conclusions about how easy it is to turn a small business into great wealth. (No, Bain Capital or other Wall Street outposts of financialization are not "small business.")

In real life, it's only easy to run a small business into the ground, especially when there's a thousand tons of junk fees, taxes and useless bureaucratic requirements on your back. Lest you think this an exaggeration, consider that it took two years and $200,000 to open an ice cream parlor in a vacant retail space:

"Ms. Pries said it took two years to open the ice cream parlor, due largely to the city’s morass of permits, procedures and approvals required to start a small business. While waiting for permission to operate, she still had to pay rent and other costs, going deeper into debt each passing month without knowing for sure if she would ever be allowed to open.

 

“It’s just a huge risk,” she said, noting that the financing came from family and friends, not a bank. “At several points you wonder if you should just walk away and take the loss.”

 

Ms. Pries said she had to endure months of runaround and pay a lawyer to determine whether her location (a former grocery, vacant for years) was eligible to become a restaurant. There were permit fees of $20,000; a demand that she create a detailed map of all existing area businesses (the city didn’t have one); and an $11,000 charge just to turn on the water."

There is nothing mysterious about the cause of this Kafkaesque Status Quo: each city, county, state and Federal fiefdom must justify its existence and payroll, and everyone in each fiefdom will fight with every fiber of their being to protect their turf. Politically, it's a fight to the death to trim even the thinnest slice of bureaucracy, and so little if any ever gets trimmed.

Nobody will care until the city, county and state's revenues collapse as people opt out of supporting the bloated dead-weight of the Status Quo with their own sweat and blood.

The only way to survive is to not have a "real" business, i.e. you write code in your living room or parents' basement, or you do enough business in the informal sector (cash) to support your high-cost formal business.

Taxes and bureaucracy are not just urban phenomena, as this insightful report from Eric in Texas shows. Eric draws a critically important causal line between the stifling of small enterprise and high structural unemployment: if you make it so costly, risky and burdensome to start a business and hire people, then no wonder unemployment is high and will stay high.

One of your recent posts made me think of how difficult reinventing communities and coming up with creative solutions for the problems of unemployment and displaced people in our society is. I think it has to do mainly with the way in which lower middle class / middle class people are overburdened with taxation. As you stated in your post, the amount of taxation is staggering. Especially for the self employed, like myself.

 

My wife and I pay much the same percentage taxes as you listed in your post. I live in a rural area of Texas and from time to time small acreage properties go up for sale around our home. If we wanted to buy some adjacent acreage for the purpose of inviting a few of our friends, who are teetering on the edge of unemployment and facing the prospect of real poverty, to live next to us and help each other grow food, take care of livestock and find creative self employment opportunities in our area together, the resultant burden of taxation would prevent it.

 

For example, as I see it, my wife and I would now be paying property taxes on two properties, one would not have the homestead exemption. Any "improvement" on the new property, e.g. a small house built for our friends, would only increase the property taxes. We would also have to consider, if we planned to live together in this way long term with the major contribution of our "unemployed" friends being their labor and time invested in our communal living experiment, what kinds of taxes we might be subject to in the future based on the way we are using each others time and energy to achieve solutions for food production, child rearing, shelter, etc. I don't know if we would be subjected to any taxation in doing these things only assuming we might be.

 

To attempt to sum up my reaction to your post, I will make a list of what I think would impede a lower middle class person who has some discretionary income and could provide a small house and small acreage for the benefit of a few friends on the brink of poverty, with the view to the arrangement being ultimately beneficial to all involved.

 

1. Increased property taxes
2. The possibility of providing mandatory health insurance through "Obama care"
3. Taxes and or restrictions on what produce we can sell through farmer's markets or through the Internet, e.g. the recent crackdown on raw milk sells, and "cottage foods" like goat cheese, homemade pies, homemade canned goods, etc. In other words, if our whole way of life is to produce locally grown food for ourselves and our extended "family" and this is threatened through excessive regulation and or taxation, I wonder if it's really realistic to pursue.
4. In Texas taxes are rising, even in this recession school taxes, property taxes, fees, etc. are all going up.
5. Federal taxes look like they are poised to increase.

 

If I didn't have to worry about taking on the burden of all these forms of taxation, property taxes being the most onerous to me, I might could use what capital I have to invest in a communal living arrangement that I would hope to be of benefit to my family and some of our friends.

 

It's the idea, ultimately, that I want to reinvent my community (for me that means bringing friends in close relationship in mutual work for mutual benefit) and provide opportunities to contribute. But if that means having to tangle with bureaucrats over how much more I now owe because of my desire to do these things, I think I will be doing better to try to take care of myself, my wife, and our children, and leave the rest of my loved ones to prayer and occasional modest charity.

 

In short, if we were not taxed every time we tried to do something, we just might damn well do something!

 

Let's focus on getting rid of property taxes, and other forms of ridiculous taxation so that we can free up our energy and time to do the very things you advocated so well in your post.

 

I realize the benefit to myself and so many of some forms of government assistance, for example food stamps, child tax credit, energy efficiency rebates.... I think good government programs could be sustained if we did things like close our military bases around the world, brought the troops back to the states, and made education and real estate much less expensive, and allowed people to grow and market local foods without encumberance.

 

You wrote:

 

Here is the ugly truth about the Savior State, welfare state, social welfare state, or whatever you choose to call the Central State: The Savior State displaces and destroys community and social capital. By making individuals dependent on the Central State for free money, free food, free housing, etc., then the State has taken over the natural function of community.

 

In my opinion, it is also that the Savior State displaces and destroys even the potential for ( my main point) community and social capital. By placing oppressive, punitive, discouraging, and unreasonable forms of taxation on individuals who may otherwise extend resources of capital towards helping their neighbors, friends, and even family. In this way, then, the State has decided to oppress and retard the development of communities.

Well said, Eric, thank you. Before you jump in to "correct" this view of small enterprise in America, first list how many enterprises you have started, owned or run, and how many people were/are on your payroll.

If you think it's so easy to get rich in small business, then here's the keys, and payday's on Friday.

 

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Sat, 02/25/2012 - 16:55 | 2196151 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 It's GREAT visit on my way through wine country. Check this one out! Minimum wage/ health care should excite.

  http://www.sftreasurer.org/index.aspx?page=22

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:28 | 2196221 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope & Change with the Democrat's Muslim.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:09 | 2196357 DoChenRollingBearing
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I set up, or set up with others, a total of three small businesses from 1987 - 1991.  All three businesses failed, but mostly because I was not a good businessman.  The paperwork and all was bothersome enough back then, but has become MUCH WORSE.

For the record, and in my case only: I would NEVER NEVER NEVER start a small business here in the USA anymore.  Only someone with incredible tenacity could survive and thrive in these conditions of government being so parasitical, so much so that it either kills the host, or the business aborts itself before coming into being...

The fourth business I got involved with was our bearing import business in Peru.  That is the only business in which I was a major participant that has succeeded.

Bitchez.  Do I sound bitter?  Only if I were to try here.  Our business is doing great in Peru...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:21 | 2196522 UGrev
UGrev's picture

I did a little contracting last year.. and by a little, I mean about 2 months worth. After realizing that the gov't took FORTY FUCKING SEVEN PERCENT of my take, I found a job elsewhere. It wasn't worth it to work my mother fucking ass off and have nearly HALF of it go the pocket of the government. FUCK THAT SHIT!!! and FUCK THE TAX SYSTEM!!!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:23 | 2196523 respect the cock
respect the cock's picture

Start a CrossFit gym.  They're thriving.  

Hot fucking chicks too...asses that could crack walnuts.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:03 | 2196842 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Chin-nuts

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 11:44 | 2197668 StormShadow
StormShadow's picture

Like all fitness things what's hot today won't be tomorrow. If you wanna make it in any business you have to come up with what people want or need tomorrow that they don't have today

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:20 | 2197761 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

It takes 65 days just to get a permit in NYC to open a lemonade stand.

It costs a million dollars in some cities to get a permit to run taxis.

The government currently is creating 80,000 pages of rules and regulations each year.

 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 02:43 | 2197971 GoinFawr
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And they are removing ~80,000 pages of rules and regulations for the Too Big Too Frail Banks every year; so at least we have that going for us.

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 03:42 | 2648224 mediaprizm
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Nice effort, very informative, this will help me to complete my task. Ecommerce Fulfilment

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:34 | 2196556 sgt_doom
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But of course, it is crucial to examine just what those forces are which are destroying small business or, as S.F. author Robert A. Heinlein once so aptly observed, big business has killed free enterprise in America!

A bill passed the House awhile back, with a RepubliCON majority and the usual turncoat dems, or rather faux crats, which gave SBA loan preference to those small businesses which had been invested in by private equity firms and hedge funds!!!!!!

Now, are those really "small businesses"??

In case this blog poster hasn't noticed, there has been a massive, ongoing consolidation of media, business, and most of all, the fantasy finance sector, as in few top banksters, leading to few Primary Dealers.

Surprise.....surprise....as Gomer used to exclaim!

Too often, the major corporations fund "foundations" and "stink tanks" which lobby for ever more benefits for the lower-end small businesses with the lowest revenue percentages (not that those workers don't deserve it --- but obviously it is to burden the small businesses, while the state and municipalities grant ever and ever more tax breaks and corporate welfare to the top corporations).

One Global Bank/ one global corporation....

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:55 | 2196600 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Yes. The government is owned by the large corporations. It shouldn't surprise anyone that they pass so many regulations that inflict a death of one thousand cuts on the primary competitors to big business. Small businesses are often lean and mean but lack the resources to deal with regulatory and legal issues. These new regs aren't such a problem for a corporation that already has large staffs to deal with such things.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:10 | 2196733 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Exactly.
Big business uses big government to attack or at least fend off small business.
If the business environment had been as corrupt 30+ years ago, Honeywell would still be a top computer company and Steve Jobs would've just been that vegan asshole who used to hang around with Wozniak while Wozniak was tinkering in the garage (before he gave in and started working for Honeywell, or was it Xerox?).

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 01:22 | 2197075 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Indeed, and it just not the regulatory squeeze but they stretch their payment terms to local vendors who haven't the cash reserves to await 90 day payments of invoices. Local vendors have to pay their suppliers whom often have as little as net 15-30 payment terms because their getting squeezed as well. Trickle down squeeze until their unable to be competitive with the larger suppliers and then their finished.

What's sad is that in my community local manufacturers who work their ass off to please their customers get crushed when large corporations come in and buy businesses that got their start in the community. These corporationg come in with little regard for the "little guys" who helped build them up over the years.

 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:31 | 2197465 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

indeed all governments in the world behave like a forest guard that tries to kill for years the underbrush so that the huge pine trees can grow straighter, better, higher. as if the pine needles that rain from above would not be doing it already. the US simply happens to be the forest with the biggest amount of giants and the smallest, future-holding underbrush.

added-> This is only in part deleterious as chosen small/medium firms can be catapulted from zero value to IPO's of gargantuan size, instead of having an organic growth

big business and small & medium businesses are so different that they would require completely different standards and laws, IMO.

the current setup is 100% skewed versus big biz, capital raised in the stock and bond markets, the supranational corporation not paying taxes anywhere and, the glaze on the cake, the MegaBank with it's imaginary accounting.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 14:46 | 2198243 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

I favour a sliding regulation scale: the bigger the business, the more onerous the rules; the smaller, the simpler (Assuming collusion and fraud are not permitted to circumvent the letter/spirit of such a regulatory environment, natch).

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 00:34 | 2197016 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

everything is consolidating and the process is accelerating.

the scariest are food and "free" speech.

super pacs and our super supreme court decision were the final blow.

if we love our children, something has to happen  

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 03:21 | 2197247 RichardP
RichardP's picture

If you truely loved your children, they would not ever be born.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:31 | 2197800 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

I bet your parents say something similar to that.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:50 | 2196934 Emiliano_Zapata
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Freddie, you're a fucking moron!

 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:37 | 2198566 CIABS
CIABS's picture

EZ, don't feed the trolls.  He's not a moron, he's an agent.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:50 | 2196939 duo
duo's picture

At least Texas taxes land, not labor.  If you tried to start a commune like that in CA, you'd pay a lot more in taxes.

Yes, property taxes in TX are high, but it beats the heck out of income taxes and keeps real estate reasonably priced. If you don't like paying a lot of property taxes, don't buy an $800,000 house (which would cost you about $20K a year in property taxes if you lived in Dallas county).

I'll take property taxes over income taxes any day.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 14:38 | 2198215 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Labor is taxed as a "taxable service" under sales and use taxes.  Texas taxes 'business personal property' (e.g. capital equipment) as well.  And don't forget the franchise tax, and a skein of industry-specific fees.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 16:57 | 2196154 vintageyz
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Amen.  I just opened up my business water bill.  The amount for the actual use of water is less than the "fee" for storm water runoff; and there are no storm water drains on the property.

Who is John Galt

 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:04 | 2196170 aleph0
aleph0's picture

15,000,000,000,000 Recs !

 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:33 | 2196890 LetThemEatRand
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Who is John Galt?  He's that asshole in the Ferrari who just cut you off on his way to his beach house.  He's not paying attention to the road because he's on his cell phone talking to his investment advistor and bitching about taxes.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:56 | 2196952 CrockettAlmanac.com
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That's the kind of comment I would expect from someone who only sees the world in black and white: government = good, individuals = bad.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 00:28 | 2197004 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

How ironic and completely self-loathing.  No, you won't get it.  Don't even try.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 01:16 | 2197045 CrockettAlmanac.com
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As the anti-Rand you should approve of self loathing.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:38 | 2197644 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

When Ayn Rand went on the dole I wonder if she experienced any self-loathing?

Or is ironic self awareness simply beyond the comprehension of "I'm all right so fuck all the resters"? Wouldn't surprise me, seeing as denial is such a crucial element of the whole ethos.

That said, despite a promising start this article quickly went from attacking onerous red tape for small business to becoming nothing more than a run-of-the-mill whine about taxation.

Some of the comments contain more substance... disregarding all the usual false dichotomies, strawmen,  and blatant misrepresentations provided by the likes of you, natch.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 13:45 | 2198009 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Rand was forced to participate in Social Security. She had no choice. Accepting restitution from those who had robbed her did not make her a hypocrite.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 14:02 | 2198088 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

'Forced'? No, 'chose'.  If anybody held a gun to her head it was the private health care system of the US and its patently overpriced treatments/drugs.

Hahaha you lot are so pricelss: I just love the rationalization that it's entitled 'resititution' when Ayn Rand or you goes on the dole, but 'parasite' when anybody else finds themselves in a desperate situation. It all depends on the cut of the jib, I guess.

You should have bought more copies of her shitty books.

 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 14:12 | 2198127 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Since when is participation in Social Security voluntary? You must be trying to lie to yourself because the rest of us know the facts.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 14:35 | 2198165 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

'Do as I say, not as I do.'

Apparently the irony of your position is lost on you. Admittedly, if it wasn't it would be impossible for you to continue hold it forth with a straight face.

Me, I find that infinitely entertaining.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 14:43 | 2198230 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Yes, it is hilarious to hear you state that those who don't believe that the government should operate a mandatory retire program should be forced to pay into that program but should never be allowed to recover their loses. There could be no better confirmation of your desire to see wealth forcibly transferred from those who produce it to those who do not.

If you're not a hypocrite and wish to prove to me that you really believe that those who earn money don't deserve to spend it then send me a check. I'm sure I'll find your refusal to redistribute your earnings to me highly entertaining.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:13 | 2198323 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

By way of your very own line of 'reasoning':

"Fred stole from me, so that means I have the right to steal from you."

So rich. Where did that money come from that she 'recovered'? By the time it became convenient for her to rationalize sucking at the gov't teat her contribution was already spent (assuming she actually had paid enough taxes to cover her care costs, and all the other social benefits she reaped from being USean), which means she was supporting the gov't 'stealing' mine.

 So how do I 'recover' my money from hyprocites like her and you?

"If the gov't steals from me, that gives me the right to necessitate them stealing from you."  I don't recall reading anything like that in Atlas Shrugged... apparently 'speed freakin gimme gimmes and the me firsters' can rationalize anything when it comes to their own well being, regardless of what they're on record saying in the past.

No, she had a choice, the same as you. She talked the talk, but when push came to shove she didn't walk the walk.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:24 | 2198523 CrockettAlmanac.com
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I'm still waiting for you to redistribute your earnings to me. While you're writing out the check please consider how you can justify a government safety net of any kind now that you have admitted that government produces nothing itself and can only obtain funding through theft.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:43 | 2198569 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

'By way of your very own line of reasoning' was too confusing for you?  Sorry, there's not much I can do about that.

Theft is when somebody takes from you something that isn't theirs to begin with, not payment due for services rendered or benefits rec'd.

 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:56 | 2198611 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Money extracted by force for services which were not requested is called a protection racket. It's nothing more than organized crime.

I'm still waiting for you to send me a check. Seems like you are only in favor of redistribution of wealth when you can occupy the moocher side of the transaction. But as I have not  rendered you the "service" of holding a gun to your head perhaps you don't feel compelled to pay me.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 23:34 | 2198784 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

nobody is forcing you. You can leave whenever you like, I hear Equatorial Guinea has as incredibly low tax rate: ie you have a choice. Or you can stay and refuse to pay taxes: fight. Another choice.  Neither choicxe is for faint hearted recreants though; which I suppose explains why you're still here and whinging.

"Seems like you are only in favor of redistribution of wealth when you can occupy the moocher side of the transaction"  You wish. Unfortunately for you I'm a private contractor and  I pay taxes. Your worst nightmare.

"Money extracted by force for services which were not requested is called a protection racket. It's nothing more than organized crime."

You've taken the  tired old line of deliberately conflating two very different things.  Organised crime bosses aren't elected by the businesses/people they exploit, nor or they in any way accountable to the same, unlike elected representatives in gov't who are charged with implementing policies the majority of their constituents want (ie the very opposite of 'exploit').

 Big fucking difference there fanboy.

As for the 'not requested' part, I'm absolutely positive that you take for granted and receive an array of goods and services provided by your fellow USeans and their predecessors, which you would soon be kicking and screaming about were you to suddenly have to pay a user fee to enjoy.

<Hands CA a good length of rope> In your ideal world, is there anything at all that would be considered 'public' property?

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:42 | 2198575 CIABS
CIABS's picture

Harold Bloom correctly said that Ayn Rand couldn't write her way out of a paper bag.  The writing is no better than the "thought".  Her vision of redemption will never happen, and her fanboys would regret it if it did.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:51 | 2198594 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

"...and her fanboys would regret it if it did."

All I've ever tried to say, nice.  Though I confess this lot sometimes pisses me off to the point of hoping that they actually get what they're asking for, because they so obviously have no idea what that really means.

"He's the one who  likes all (her) pretty songs. And he likes to sing along, and he likes to shoot his gun. But he don't know what it means; don't know what it means..."

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:57 | 2198614 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

How gay do you have to be to employ the word "fanboy?"

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 17:25 | 2198673 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

fanboy, how desperate do you have  to be to attempt to  focus attention on something as trivial as that? (rhetorical question)

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 17:33 | 2198689 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Yeah, I'm "desperate" because an anonymous poster on the Internet thinks he's winning an argument against me. Oh, woe is me. How can I go on?

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 18:33 | 2198810 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

there there fanboy. It'll be ok. Just slap on that ol' Ronald Reagan lp and you'll soon slip back into your favourite delusions; and if  that doesn't work there are always some Maggie Thatcherisms to be reviewed.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 23:22 | 2199485 CrockettAlmanac.com
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I never voted for Reagan. I voted for Jesse Jackson in th '84 primary and Mondale in the general. Didn't vote in '88. But you're used to being wrong.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 23:47 | 2199553 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Goodness gracious CA, I take deep unbrage to what y.... oooer, wow. I really was way off on that one wasn't I?  That'll teach me to go putting dead presidents and prime ministers into people's mouths.

Jesse Jackson, though, seriously? Tell me you voted for Ralph Nader just once this century and I'll even take back everything I said about Ayn Rand;  but I flat out refuse to read Atlas Shrugged again.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 00:45 | 2199698 CrockettAlmanac.com
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I voted for Nader in 2000. Kerry in 2004. Ron Paul in the 2008 primary. Read Atlas in 2009.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 01:46 | 2199813 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Ayn <choke> Rand is <gasp, retch> GOD! There, I wrote it; I won't be able to sleep tonight, but a promise is a etc etc  and all that.

Man's a Man for All that
 
(Robert Burns)

Is there for honest poverty
That hangs his head, an' a' that
The coward slave, we pass him by
We dare be poor for a' that
For a' that, an' a' that
Our toil's obscure and a' that
The rank is but the guinea's stamp
The man's the gowd for a' that

What though on hamely fare we dine
Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine
A man's a man, for a' that
For a' that, an' a' that
Their tinsel show an' a' that
The honest man, though e'er sae poor
Is king o' men for a' that

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord
Wha struts an' stares an' a' that
Tho' hundreds worship at his word
He's but a coof for a' that
For a' that, an' a' that
His ribband, star and a' that
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that

A prince can mak' a belted knight
A marquise, duke, an' a' that
But an honest man's aboon his might
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that
For a' that an' a' that
Their dignities an' a' that
The pith o' sense an' pride o' worth
Are higher rank that a' that

Then let us pray that come it may
(as come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree an' a' that
For a' that an' a' that
It's coming yet for a' that
That man to man, the world o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 02:05 | 2199830 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Ayn Rand was a frightened girl who worked up the courage to escape Soviet Russia, learn a new language and create provocative works of art to relate her experience to others. She was as fallible as anyone else. That's part of her beauty.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 11:34 | 2197642 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

no, you won't, Rand... But you will continue to demonstrate that to the rest of us.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:38 | 2197827 prole
prole's picture

Anti-Rand are you a Troll-bot program or a real (stupid) person?

Even your fellow trolls on the site can't stand your posts.

Look at the imbecile Freddie: Even he gets support for his addle-brained nonsense, why are you here anti-rand not even one single person can stand your stupidity???

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 02:44 | 2197214 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

If you run real fast you can blow Barry before Michelle gets home.

Dipshit

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:00 | 2197329 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

Fuck you asshole - go get a government job on the moon and leave us (the producers) alone.

You suck on the tit until the host dies and then you move on to another, you fucking parasite.

Same goes for you, Pork Wanker.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 11:35 | 2197646 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

Keep coming back, Nav.   I like your style.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 20:43 | 2199098 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

shoulda been "I like the cut of your jib."

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:22 | 2197768 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

"You suck on the tit until the host dies and then you move on to another, you fucking parasite."

That's a succinct way to describe the US, thanks for the metaphor.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:25 | 2196214 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

The days of "small business owners" are thankfully numbered. 

In a fully humanist society (i.e. a socialist one), everybody works for the State. We are going there, and nobody, nobody will stop that march.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:05 | 2196275 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

@Hamy: Sorry, that won't happen here. You won't work for the state. You'll work for state-backed privately owned monopolies. 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 21:26 | 2196416 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Hamy Wanker lives in Canadia (or at least he is Canadian). He has been "irremediably decredibilized" in his previous posts, as have his socialist philosophies. Hamy, you're the kind of guy in the tribe who won't go out to hunt, yet still expect a meal and a back rub.

In modern times, you're the kind of guy who expects everyone else to work whilst you oversee their efforts, convinced in your grandness that you are creating jobs through your clever management. Sounds like the system engineers in power now. Sounds like you work for them.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:01 | 2197677 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Now where have I heard all this before? Oh, I remember:

 

Hunh, Saskatchewan had a 'socialist' gov't for almost two decades. Despite inheriting the largest debt that province had ever seen the ran 17 SURPLUS budgets.

After 13 years or so of balanced budgets, T.Douglas had this to say,

"The newspapers said we were going to socialize everything, that the gov't would own the farms, the conrerstore, the barber-shop, the beauty parlour, and that everyone would be working for the state. When that didn't happen, they had to give some explanation. So the explanation was that we had betrayed our principles, we were no longer Socialists, we were reactionaries and had departed from our original ideas. In effect, we were now traitors, because we didn't do all the horrible things they promised we would. They had built up a strawman and now they were knocking him down." 

Funny how no matter how much things change they stay the same...

Heh, imagine Donald Trump 'going on the hunt' , I wonder if he still expects a backrub?

Daddy's money boys.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:32 | 2197802 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

Uh, maybe - I'm not going to bother to check - but I do know this:

For most of the last thirty years, SK has had a net population loss every year, as SK residents leaving the province outnumber the children born and new immigrants. And that's been under mostly NDP governments.

Until they elected the free enterprise Saskatechewan Party a few years ago. And now, their population is growing, and even with new people, GDP per capita is rising - that's hard to do.

Make of this what you will.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 13:47 | 2197952 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Heh, of course you're not going to bother to check out any heretical facts or examples that don't support your ideological dogma; instead you just do your worst to cast unfounded aspersions. I am Jack's utter lack of surprise. 

You attribute the recent Sask GDP increase to a political party, when in reality it's simply that demand for their stuff is going through the roof while fiat currencies get slammed through the floor.

Call me when your party runs a balanced budget for a year or two, demonstrating that they can be at least as fiscally responsible as the 'socialists'.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 14:18 | 2198144 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

<--- MDB

<--- HamyWanger

 

Vote Now (it's a horrendously difficult choice I know).

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 02:36 | 2198189 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

awww, are my verifiable facts and the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn from them getting in the way of the manure spreading?

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 19:56 | 2198989 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

what a stupid tool you are. I didn't cast any "aspersions". I didn't dispute any of your "facts". All I wrote was the truth: SK has had net migration for decades. New political party, new attitude, and gee golly, all of a sudden, people are moving to SK instead of leaving it.

And if you think petroleum/potash prices have only been rising for the last four years, since the SK Party came to power, you're a bigger tool than I think. But under the NDP, despite these rising prices, people continued to leave the province. Now they're coming home.

Why don't you deal with the facts I set forth, instead of thowing out red herrings? Because you can't.

Don't bother replying - I'm not going to read/respond to any more of your idiocy.

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 03:08 | 2199158 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

I didn't cast any "aspersions". I didn't dispute any of your "facts".

"Maybe, but I'm not going to check it out." Maybe by this line you weren't trying to put into question the entirely verifiable stuff I presented, but I'm not going to check it out. Oh fuuuuuuu, not the Donald Trump question....Shit man, apply polly logies. Wires crossed! Absolutely with you on that one.

"All I wrote was the truth: SK has had net migration for decades. New political party, new attitude, and gee golly, all of a sudden, people are moving to SK instead of leaving it"

That's fantastic. Good for Sask., nice. I sincerely hope you make the most of the opportunity. 

 Sask. has stuff the world needs, and over the last decade it's been getting increasingly difficult to secure reliable sources within reasonably stable political climates.  But of course this has nothing to do with the net migration; that's all about the New Party, and the New attitude that's on the tip of every canadians' tongue; you just gave it a name. See that big fat red herring right there? Don't give it away.

 Conservatives have existed for a long long time and are hardly a New Fresh breed to Canadian politics. Too bad you didn't nab some at least some fiscal conservatives, I notice your Sask Cons haven't thrown you a balanced budget yet. Still playing the same game as the national party and setting you up for umm.. 'prosperity'? psuedo sovereignty? I guess it's better than nada sovereignty, eh?

"Why don't you deal with the facts I set forth, instead of thowing out red herrings? Because you can't."

I couldn't have said it to you better myself.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:33 | 2198546 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Sounds to me like the detractors had a reasonable argument. Knowing little of Saskatchewan as I do, I do know what a socialist state is and I can tell you that, in the socialist state of America, the socialists haven't run a budget surplus for near on 20 years. 

You must have tripped over a socialist state run by somebody with household budget experience. Other than that; look around the world at their success rate. Not rosy, is it.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 17:10 | 2198643 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

" I do know what a socialist state is and I can tell you that, in the socialist state of America, the socialists haven't run a budget surplus for near on 20 years."

No, apparently you don't know what a 'socialist' state is: America is a simple plutocracy.

"Other than that; look around the world at their success rate. Not rosy, is it"

Rosier than everyone else, apparently

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/may/27/debt-deficit-oecd-countries-data

Norway, Sweden, Finland, all socialist (by CCF Sask standards at least) yet their national coffers are all in the black. 

You must be so amazed!

 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 18:17 | 2198720 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

That dog don't hunt GF. Socialisism is what it is and I don't believe any kind of whitewashing will change that. It looks as though there is little that can be argued with you as you have your beliefs firmly entrenched, as do I. The mere fact that there are members in sociiety, who believe that a person's property is divisible amoung the citizens, without commensurate compensation, in my mind is theft (by extortion, in the full sense of the word).

Socialism might work in a tribal community where members have an emotional tie but I fail to see how Good King George could strip wealth from people he didn't know so as to spread the love over in England. Tell me that was a different situation?

Edit: The fact that the socialist party adopted a spending model that mirrored a conservative model, can't be denied. That they aprroached government using a model that did not dispence money willy nilly, as per socialists under normal conditions (once again, look around) then there are no strawdogs in theiir observations. They abandoned their supporters and governing model and adopted a conservative one. Why, is anyone's guess, but the fact is they did. 

America may well be described as a plutocracy but that only describes the symbiosis that exists between government and big business. It certainly avoids the governing philosophy of those in the seat of government. Libertarian governments demand the tribal arrangement; that is everyone pitch in or find another tribe.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 20:17 | 2199001 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

"The mere fact that there are members in sociiety, who believe that a person's property is divisible amoung the citizens, without commensurate compensation, in my mind is theft (by extortion, in the full sense of the word)."

The mere fact that there are members in society, who believe that any and all of everything  is  a priori privately owned by the first strongarm to lay claim to it without commensurate compensation, is theft, in the full sense of the word.

See what I did there? Just to make sure i got it right: there's nothing that can be considered 'public' property, right?

"Socialism might work in a tribal community where members have an emotional tie but I fail to see how Good King George could strip wealth from people he didn't know so as to spread the love over in England. Tell me that was a different situation?"

Oooer, Of course it is; as if you didn't know. Do I really need to bother?

"The fact that the socialist party adopted a spending model that mirrored a conservative model, can't be denied. That they aprroached government using a model that did not dispence money willy nilly, as per socialists under normal conditions (once again, look around) then there are no strawdogs in theiir observations."

No, you look around, here it is again, seeing as you seem to have missed it the first time:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/may/27/debt-deficit-oecd-countries-data

So much for 'willy nilly spending tendencies' being a trademark of socialists, past or present. 'Socialists' are currently leading the way in fiscal responsibility, have been this century, and did in Canada post WW2; I can only imagine your amazement. 

OTOH Plutocrats deliberately encourage their puppets to overspend in order to debt enslave those that they rule. 

Being fiscally responsible doesn't by definition make you politically conservative; you seem to be confusing ideology with budgetary policy.

"They abandoned their supporters and governing model and adopted a conservative one. Why, is anyone's guess, but the fact is they did."

No, they didn't. That's what the papers said the CCF did as part of a much broader campaign designed to discredit the populist party. The good people of Sask. knew better and re elected them again and again and again because the CCF did exactly what they promised to do, responsibly.

"America may well be described as a plutocracy but that only describes the symbiosis that exists between government and big business."   I appreciate you changing your tune on that, well done.  Socialist democracies tend not to allow such undue influence to take root. They keep their gov'ts transparent.

"Libertarian governments demand the tribal arrangement; that is everyone pitch in or find another tribe." interesting, that's exactly what socialist gov'ts demand too. They just don't think people perform their best when kept in a constant state of fear.

FromVincent Lam's Tommy Douglas,

"One could observe that there was an area of overlap of the goals of the CCF and those espousing libertariansim, which was the status quo in Canada at the time (sound familiar ZH? Ed.). Both advocated for the social and economic conditions in which they believed that individuals could develop most fully and richly. The profound difference was that the libertarian believed that the best condition for human development was one of unrestricted capitalistic competition, while the CCF believed that individuals could be most free in an environment of societal co-operation. For the libertarian, economic profit was the measuring stick of a healthy society. The CCF contended that though a vibrant economy was a highly desirable and crucial part of a healthy society, it should not be considered an end in itself."

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 21:15 | 2199165 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture


The mere fact that there are members in society, who believe that any and all of everything  is  a priori privately owned by the first strongarm to lay claim to it without commensurate compensation, is theft, in the full sense of the word.

I assume by priori you mean "from the former", as if it was a given that wealth was there for the picking, in nature. I'm not too sure what you mean by that. However, ....nah.... what the fuck did you mean?

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 22:32 | 2199310 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Yawn, I'd wager you know exactly what I meant, and just want to avoid answering the question that followed.

But for the sake of the argument, I'll play

Do you think any property should be public?

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 23:27 | 2199477 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

You are all over the shop with disingenuous asides. As per your above question and as per your juvenile retort that my libertarian ideals, as espoused above, were in fact really socialist; just like the quote that you gave about some weird socialist government (as they all are) running a surplus but it was because it was a socialist agenda rather than a conservative one, that gave them that surplus. Heads you win, tails I lose, right. Typical socialist; they want to own everything that isn't theirs. As if that solves the question of property rights and liberty from social engineers.

Look, GF. When you get to running the show, do you mind that I sit on my ass whilst everyone else works. Just pay me for doing nothing as I most certainly deserve a lifestyle of the rich banker and over-lord bureaucrat. It's only fair, right?

Your ideals are those of the wealth reditributor, personal property thief and pick-pocket. So, get your filthy hand out of my pocket, you damed dirty ape. In other words, fuck off and get your snout back into your own, empty, feed trough. 

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 03:21 | 2199738 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

"Typical socialist; they want to own everything that isn't theirs"

Not at all, your 'typical socialist' wants the people to have access to everything that is theirs.

Eg. Is the oil off the coast of Norway yours, or the Norwegian people's?

"...running a surplus but it was because it was a socialist agenda rather than a conservative one, that gave them that surplus."

Not at all, the CCF ran 17 surplus budgets on a socialist agenda. End of. This is also supported by the variety of other socialist states I've pointed out who are currently keeping their books in the black. No 'rather' at all, you're seeing that all on your oddy knocky. It may have something to do with what I've already pointed out a couple of times: you've mistakenly attributed fiscal responsibility to one ideology, and one ideology alone, despite all evidence to the contrary. Almost as if your belief depended on it....

"Look, GF. When you get to running the show, do you mind that I sit on my ass whilst everyone else works. Just pay me for doing nothing as I most certainly deserve a lifestyle of the rich banker and over-lord bureaucrat. It's only fair, right?"

Not at all. Not even close. Look, could you do me the small courtesy of at least reading my comments next time before you respond to them? 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 11:56 | 2197678 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Now where have I heard all this before? Oh, I remember:

 

Hunh, Saskatchewan had a 'socialist' gov't for almost two decades. Despite inheriting the largest debt that province had ever seen the CCF ran 17 SURPLUS budgets.

After 13 years or so of balanced budgets, T.Douglas had this to say,

"The newspapers said we were going to socialize everything, that the gov't would own the farms, the conrerstore, the barber-shop, the beauty parlour, and that everyone would be working for the state. When that didn't happen, they had to give some explanation. So the explanation was that we had betrayed our principles, we were no longer Socialists, we were reactionaries and had departed from our original ideas. In effect, we were now traitors, because we didn't do all the horrible things they promised we would. They had built up a strawman and now they were knocking him down." 

Funny how no matter how much things change they stay the same...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:10 | 2196435 Colonel
Colonel's picture

Yeah because that worked out so well in the former USSR, N.Korea and the now the EU. /sarc

And why is your picture an American flag? Because you are the typical deceitful socialist.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:38 | 2196565 Larry Dallas
Larry Dallas's picture

Ha! I love that last line the ends in "deceitful socialist"!! +100

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:40 | 2196783 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

"When tyranny comes to America it will wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."     Upton Sinclair

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 11:21 | 2197628 killedbyshortvol
killedbyshortvol's picture

...and a Fortune 500 company logo

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 13:25 | 2197965 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Update: Tyranny has come to America. The Frankfurt School ain't carrying a cross, brother.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 09:22 | 2197473 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Colonel, as much as I agree with "it does not work" though I would add "well",

small and medium biz in europe accounts for 60% of GDP. In the US, for 40%.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:39 | 2196778 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Yes! And the Third Reich will last for a thousand years!!!!!!!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:23 | 2196873 illyia
illyia's picture

You just got to wonder...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:47 | 2196930 sideway
sideway's picture

Fuck You FuckTARD

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 08:02 | 2197395 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

Good...count me as the first one that will mooch meals from you, fuck your wife, take your possessions, use them, and kick you in the balls to "share the sacrifice" - you elitist douchebag.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 13:49 | 2197718 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

If you're USean, that's what you've been doing to the rest of the world all your life anyway, you plutocratic knob gobbler.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 18:19 | 2198723 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Why the angst? Isn't that a socialist model on an international scale? The history of your wealth distribution model can't be selective;........ can it?

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 20:25 | 2199059 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

nope, it certainly isn't. Your pig ignorance is shoving its snout in again.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 21:29 | 2199174 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

You have degenerated you arguments to name calling. If that's the level of discussion you wish to participate in, then I'll simply dump a junk on you, with out comment. You will be pretty easy to ignore if that's all you have to offer. Cya.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 22:58 | 2199391 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Suits me. It's not like you've been adding to the conversation anyway. I call 'em like I see 'em. And that's not all I have to offer, but when you chirp in with your deliberately obtuse mispprehensions, that's all I'm going to offer you.

Just answer the question, Claire:

In your opinion, what property should be public?

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 23:09 | 2199443 Al Gorerhythm
Sun, 02/26/2012 - 23:28 | 2199503 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

So the answer to what you think should be public property is 'the UK has run out of money'?

I don't get it.... Can you fill in the gaps for me?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 00:47 | 2199701 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture


Yawn, I'd wager you know exactly what I meant, and just want to avoid answering the question that followed.

But for the sake of the argument, I'll play

Do you think any property should be private?

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 01:17 | 2199754 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Of course! I'm no commie!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:10 | 2196361 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ another 1

Galt's Gulch for me is in Peru, see above.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:08 | 2197330 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

If/When I have to bug out, I'll probably have to leave behind a couple hundred pounds of extra rice becuase the boat isn't big enough to hold it all.

The parasites that find it will curse me because I didn't leave water, a pot, and gas to cook it in.

That's the mentality of the parasites.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:34 | 2196754 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

I happen to deal with the regulation that created the ridiculous fee to which you refer as an unfortunate part of my job.

As part of the never ending expansion of the Clean Water Act signed into existence by Nixon, the U.S. EPA promulgated the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). In its usual modus operandus, that could best be summed up as "Commerce Clause? What Commerce Clause? We'll do whatever we want!", the EPA forced regulations upon construction sites, first of five acres or larger then just 1 acre size, irrespective of whether anything that site affected had anything at all to do with interstate commerce.

Simultaneously, the EPA first told every municipality in the nation with a population of 100,000 or more then hordes of even tiny towns in the general county area as larger ones, that they had to do all sorts of things to map, maintain, monitor and improve their drainage systems whether they want to or not.

As one example, a Town Engineer in one central Massachusetts town told me that they wanted him to have all his town's streets swept 12 times a year. He'd have to triple the number of machines and personnel that he has available for that. An while it might sound good in D.C. but we have enough snow in most years that we WANT sand on the streets at least 3 months a year. And you can't street sweep an icy snow bank. Anyway, in order to pay for the U.S. EPA's often insane and always unconstitutional requirements under the NPDES, cities and towns end up charging people like you on water or sewer bills for stormwater or drainage system measures.

Back in the 30's and 40's, in the movies you'd occasionally hear a character say something like, "Jeez, don't make a federal case out of it! It's nothing." Or something like that. There used to be a general understanding even from unsophisticated people that the federal government was not supposed to bother you about things that weren't interstate or national issues. Federal regulatory agencies have no concept of constitutional limits on the reach of their powers any more. That portion of your bill is just one manifestation of it.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 02:25 | 2197197 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

Thanks for that info, Fred. The federal government is truly insidious.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 11:42 | 2197659 Bob The Builder
Bob The Builder's picture

The NPDES system was created to reduce the toxins and silt being discharged into America's rivers.  Take a look at a drainage map of the US... how many river systems only flow within the boarders of one state?  I am not for big government or extensive regulations... but the purpose of the NPDES is a really good example of the Federal Government doing what it is suppose to do. 

 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 10:33 | 2197557 Learn more and ...
Learn more and know less's picture

It's not just Amerika where small business is under attack from taxation and bureaucracy. My brother opened an Inn, (old style hotel / resaurant / bar), in England with some of my help in time and money, just over a year ago. He bought the old buidling that had been an Inn since the late 1600s at a very low price and worked on renovating it putting in on suite bathrooms etc. 

Business rates, tax, charges for smoking space on the side-walk etc. etc. are killing the business, but and here's the kicker... to let out the rooms we must fit a fire escape, but because it's a listed building we are not allowed to fit a fire escape.

Government 1 Private Business 0

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 13:41 | 2198022 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Well, now you know why he got to buy it at such a low price.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:02 | 2196161 snblitz
snblitz's picture

Governments exist to facilitate the efficient commerce of the citizens.  Tyrannies exist to take everything the people have.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:34 | 2196892 CH1
CH1's picture

The difference is merely that of scale.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 13:45 | 2198041 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Yes, and when you consider that governments are incapable of shrinking on their own accord, and in fact, grow as fast as cancer... It calls into question the original premise of their very existence.

In theory, government works great, but in practice, it never seems to work at all. Kind of like Keynesianism.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:01 | 2196162 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Running a "taxes are killing us" article here is like preaching to the choir.

Guess what, the government doesn't give a shit. They have all the power, we have jack cheese.

There. Is. No. Hope.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:14 | 2196189 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Amen, bro-  gets old beating my head against the wall just to have the state park their asses in my office to study ways to extract further fees from my ass....

The Government doesn't even have the faintest clue why they don't give a shit.....

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:03 | 2196272 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

No hope?

What, you think this thing can continue indefinitely?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:26 | 2196537 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

Seize Mars (nice handle, BTW) I beg to differ. I have run small businesses from 1982-1991 and from 1998-present. The first was a newspaper business with which I did very well until I banko-ed it - mostly my fault (with help from an unscrupulous lawyer, go figure), and in between I free-lanced and worked at country clubs (nice gigs if you can get them). Since then, I've been self employed running websites, writing, selling in my niche on my site and on eBay and doing pretty well, though not enough to save much.

I agree with Do Chen that taxes, regulation, etc. have become more onerous and oppressive, and my response has been avoidance and disregard for the most part.

There's a price to pay, but with proper planning and a little thread of deceit, taxes can be largely avoided, but at considerable risk overall.

I would never, ever hire a person for even a regular part-time job. The paperwork is simply too burdensome; besides, most employees are not worth the minimum wage, especially in the current economic climate.

Opening a retail establishment should be off the list for most people - just too risky and loaded with bureaucratic red tape. The internet is still largely unregulated, and that is the only solid growth area today.

An article on the terrors of small business in America may be more preaching to the preachers, rather than the choir, but taxation and regulation can be avoided if you have conviction, enough of an independent spirit and good pair of balls and plenty of righteous indignation. A bit of a mean streak doesn't hurt either.

Some people will make fortunes during these times and I'm not talking about 1-percenters. Those who do business on a sound footing with customers and suppliers while sticking to the .gov entities will be those who thrive.

Collapse of the system will not come without a concerted effort by small business to thwart government at every chance and, believe me, it's being done on something of a grand - albeit quiet - scale, right now.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:22 | 2196720 xela2200
xela2200's picture

Many non-franchised cash businesses under report revenues. That has been the small business dirty secret for years now.

I also worked as a self-employed software developer for 5 years and have to admit that a big chunk of the revenue went ...

Never felt guilty for not contributing to social security system that is broke or a government waging wars. On principle, I have never taken money from government programs neither. If everybody didn't file a 1040 this year, the government would come to a stand still. No need to stock up on lead. Do a china on the US government.

Right now, I am studying the possibility of an RV campground here in Florida. I found a nice plot of land in an area that got hit hard with the depression (near beaches and parks). I just finished reading what the process for changing the zoning is like. $6,000 just for the pleasure of applying. After reviewing the process, it would take about 1 or 2 years before breaking ground. So the proposition is sink money in land + whatever fees come my way + living off my savings then hope that they give me the ok, so I can let some one sleep on a tent in my property. OR I can go to Costa Rica or Bariloche and do the same thing in 3 months.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:00 | 2196836 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

I am not optimistic. The only cause for optimism in my mind is total, real actual collapse. That would be the opportunity of a lifetime.

But I think the PTB know this, and hence they won't let it happen. I think it is increasingly likely that we are facing a true Orwellian / THX1138 Dystopia rather than a reset. We are facing a real police state, with killer drones circling overhead. They've had a decade to practice how to do that right.

Zombie acpocalypse would be a best case scenario at this point.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 02:52 | 2197216 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Americans are learning to do what others before us learned to do.  Run the business off the radar.   It is impossible for the govt to regulate you if you won't allow it.  Yes you can even have employees.  I'm not going to spell out how to do it, but if you have half a brain, you can figure it out.   It's how small business is run in most of the world....by clever regulation proof people. 

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:22 | 2197338 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

+24k Raymond

It's how this country, with millions of "clever regulation-proof-people" made this country from the 1800's-1950's, and made it the greatest country the world has ever witnessed.

The socialists condemmed it with  regulations, taxes, and social programmes. And now we are in the death throes after the vampire has sucked us dry.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 13:23 | 2197956 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Gosh, this is so true. My horseshoer recently explained what it's like. Twenty years ago he charged me $25/horse. I paid him by check. Now he charges me $100/horse plus a gas fee (I'm 30 miles away from his normal area) and will only accept cash. Then what really shocked me, he said he made far more money when he charged me 25/ horse. The horseshoes and shoeing equipment are far more expensive, made only in china now,and the quality sucks so he has to spend more time fixing problems (ie shoes breaking in half on the horse after just a week etc). Just for kicks (been friends for a long time) I asked what he reported to the IRS. He smiled and said "what they deserve". So I got a great education how small business must be surviving today. God help them.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:03 | 2196167 aleph0
aleph0's picture

Well said brother ... parallels to John Galt's speech.

 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:06 | 2196260 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those
who would not." ~ Thomas Jefferson

"The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws"
-Ayn Rand

Key words "so many things". I have been in private manufacturing most of my life as a producer. I have never seen it so bad in terms of regulatory policy restraints, fee's, taxes etc...

“At several points you wonder if you should just walk away and take the loss.”...That thought alone has never rang so true as it does today. Most haven't a clue what it takes to create, innovate, manufacture a product and make a profit. Even an ice cream parlor in this day and age takes a special administrator to "legally" get legal! It's insane.

Plus many vendors are getting squeezed by extended payment terms beyond anything reasonable. I just received a letter from one of my manufactures that they will be paying net 75 days as of mid March. Good lord, how can local companies smaller outfits that serve the larger industries stay in business in this climate. Well we get creative, get smarter, work harder. I just can't see myself not being productive, if not here then somewhere else.

Those, indeed, whom haven't a clue of what it takes to produce are detached from reality only because they haven't lived it or are simply terrified of phsical reality fearing the work it takes to hack out a living. They just make it harder and harder on us. Entitlement mindsets that feed off of us, while in their ignorance and arrogance, hold us in contempt and work feverishly day and night to punish us. This is how sick our elected officials have become.

Everything is ass backwards today because they have wormed there way into political power creating policy that only works in their imaginary alternate reality. It's nothing more than a form of psychosis. They have become like a religious cult, whose mindless, incorrect thinking, brainwashed followers (entitled thinking Americans) have chosen to have themselves led to their own economic self destruction, if not stopped! As is the case in Kalifornia.

 

 

 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:04 | 2196169 Chimerican
Chimerican's picture

Government exists to enslave the masses. The more destitute the person, the easier to enslave her. Freedom and liberty are ideals best left to the well armed from whence they are derived.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:07 | 2196175 navy62802
navy62802's picture

In the corporate state, only the large businesses are of value. These small, local businesses are subjugated to the corporations and suffer as a consequence. Our economy is the modern evolution of Mussolini's Corporate State.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:12 | 2196284 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Our corporate state will evolve from the big-box model and the China Inc model. 

Early warning signs: 

Bringing America Back: Are Infrastructure Jobs Being Shipped to China?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/bringing_america_back/american-infrastructure-j...


National Science Board Report: US Losing Research and Development Jobs to Asia

http://www.truth-out.org/national-science-board-report-us-losing-researc...


Big U.S. Firms Shift Hiring Abroad

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870482170457627078361182397...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:42 | 2196313 Stack Trace
Stack Trace's picture

Early? This has been going on for decades. Sigh.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:09 | 2196342 navy62802
navy62802's picture

It began with FDR, one of Mussolini's contemporary admirants, and has continued into the present. While I like to hear what Ron Paul says, he is dead wrong when he says the US is headed for fascism. Even this man, who cuts through the BS and mostly realizes what's going on, fails to realize (at least publicly) that we transitioned to fascism long ago. It is the long con.

The People's Pottage (Garet Garrett):

http://www.mises.org/books/pottage.pdf

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:37 | 2196563 UGrev
UGrev's picture

we're more of a Plutocracy than a fascist state. I see elements of fascism, but the heavy coupling of big money and gov't make it a plutocracy. Ron Paul is not wrong. We ARE headed in that direction where the power block will tilt from a big money=>Gov't towards a Gov't => Corporations.

The Obama admin has been the largest part of this transition from a plutocracy to a fasicst state. I just hope I'm still young enough to hit the battle-field when that happens. 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:47 | 2196580 Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez's picture

Older people make better snipers.

A good shot, and patience, and an average deer rifle with a scope and homemade silencer and flash suppresser, is a force multiplier.

Educate yourself while u can on building simple silencers and flash suppressors. If ur old hands tremble try the russian way to control tremors, a shot or two of vodka. It works.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 21:25 | 2196654 navy62802
navy62802's picture

If you're hands tremble, then you should simply carry a higher capacity magazine. :-P

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:12 | 2197332 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Oh, shit...you have no idea how comforting that statement is.  I'm a bit too old, and too flabby, to make an attack.

However, I can sit on my ass for hours in deadly, calm, patience.

Plus I'm a pretty good shot.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:34 | 2197343 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

I'm with you OldPhart - I practise at the range once a month to retain the skill-set.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:30 | 2196762 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

One of the first shots heard round the world on Lexington Green was fired by an 85 year old patriot.  Spray and pray!:)

Let me say here, that I have studied enough of history to know that the globalists have bitten off much more than they can chew.  We are not unarmed peasants and meanness is in our DNA.  I pity the poor stooges that are dumb enough to work for the traitors.  The Rothchilds better have some very deep bunkers for not even they are above reproach.  There is a power in the universe far greater than they and those who make the fatal mistake of working for them.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 01:34 | 2197116 Heyoka Bianco
Heyoka Bianco's picture

Well, ITG, remember: in the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Tucop was the UGly. And it has to be said, the Stupid.

 

You're not just an unarmed peasant, you're one not bright enough to realize it, and that you have no chance against the armed might of any government. If France had preoccupied the British in the 1770's, this would still be a Crown colony.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:36 | 2197822 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

you need to get into the queue that forms to the left.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 20:44 | 2196576 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

No argument from me, Navy 62802, just wanting to add to the appropriate reading list.

http://www.amityshlaes.com/books.php

http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Man-History-Great-Depression/dp/0060936428

The beginning of "pregressivism" and its consequences. Amity is a bit of a tough chew at first but then it rolls right out. Excellent read.

 

 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 21:23 | 2196650 navy62802
navy62802's picture

Thanks for the recommendation!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:24 | 2196393 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

@Stack: the first story is about where the "shovel ready" current stimulus jobs are going. That's new since the crisis. The fact that big US multinationals are culling their US operations is also fairly recent: until a few years ago their Asia operations were suposed to be the tail, not the dog

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:09 | 2196178 chubbar
chubbar's picture

Weren't there some folks down in Waco that tried to do a community living thingy and disengage from the matrix? Anyone hear how that worked out for them?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:14 | 2196193 Chimerican
Chimerican's picture

it's a mistake to mix the 1st and 2nd Amendments. In fact, it's wacko.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:20 | 2196380 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Did you mean Waco?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:22 | 2196750 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Those were brave men of the ATF who burned alive women and children and celebrated afterwards.  If the opportunity ever arises they can be assured that they will be shown mercy by the courts if they are lucky enough to make it that far.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:46 | 2196803 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Don't forget the venerated SF troopies....

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 21:36 | 2199191 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

when you realise that "Waco" and "Oklahoma City" events both happened on April 19th, which is also "Feast of Moloch" and requires the "sacrifice / blood of children" - you'll be connecting some powerful dots. . .

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:10 | 2196181 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

I had 35 employees one time.  Often they recieved a pay check and I didn't.   In the eighties beaurocracy was not as bad as now, but still a major liability for all the fees, insurances and such they charge you for, where is the benefit?  All moeny which could have been used to keep the business going.

I didn't make it.  I sold the place for 20 cents on the dollar and declared peronal bankruptcy.  It was a humiliating experience in one sense because I discovered I lost any credibility, and all I did was try and do something positive.  At least in my mind.

Now, I can say I tried.  The experience was better than anything they can teach in college and what I learned in those days to survive as long as I did, helped clients of mine who were in similar situations in the early nineties.

The writer of this post is right.  Those "Business experts" with the degrees and steady and in most cases extravagant, paychecks, have no clue

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:16 | 2196196 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Amen.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 22:24 | 2196756 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

I myself opened a small business here in SoCal a few years ago.  The first year ended with an overall operating loss (which is normal for new ventures), but I was already turning a tidy profit by year two.  By the end of the third year, I was already doing double the business I had originally hoped for.  I was ecstatically planning for future growth...

...until I saw the tax bite.

The taxes were so unexpectedly high, I wondered if all the aggravation was worth it in the end.  When I cancelled my business permit, I sent a letter to the CA BOE (tax board) and told them I was quitting because they were too greedy.  If the taxes were, say, half, I probably would have continued my business and grown it bigger.  But now instead of getting something...they're getting nothing.

Scalliwags.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 02:00 | 2197169 molecool
molecool's picture

Nice :-)

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 02:55 | 2197219 dirtbagger
dirtbagger's picture

Right -  You just walked away from a profitable business you had busted your ass creating.  What a F bullshit story.   Anyone with a grain of intelligence or business acumen would sell a profitable business - not walk away.   

Cal Board of Equalization charges the same tax rate to a business as to an individual wage earner.   I ran a business for 12 years in the South Bay (LA) and didn't find the regulatory burden or the taxes excessive.   The big problem with So CA is the high cost of living.  The labor costs made it hard to remain competitive in a world marketplace.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 06:26 | 2197340 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I agree that a profitable business can be sold.

However, have you worked with the parasites at the BOE lately?

Try getting a refund on prepaid taxes for off-road use of diesel fuel.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 21:15 | 2226402 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

True story, dirtbag.  I did have an offer from someone to buy my profitable business, but when he saw how much work was required...it fell through.  I could have continued to make money, but my **point** is that why should I work so hard and then see such a large percentage of my HARD WORK go to D.C., Sacramento, and LA County?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:14 | 2196285 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

+10

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:38 | 2196339 Benjamin Glutton
Benjamin Glutton's picture

I feel your pain...I started my first companies in the eighties and felt the ever encroaching presence of government regulations as they multiplied like some virulent strain of money flu for small timers like me while bigger Global competitors were seemingly immune.. The businesses grew but profits were perpetually trapped near expenses and with 20-30 employees, a wife, 2 children, a mortgage, several rentals, corporate books, payroll and 4-24/7/365 businesses going, with not one line of credit(no cards even!), I found myself stretched too thin for too long for too little..

One day I surveyed the effort that was required and jettisoned all but the easiest, least regulated, lowest overhead company and magically the .gov virus was cured. I will add that it was not what I wanted to do. I had discerned that the tax code basically demanded my choice and when you have a family losing is not an option if you get my drift. To summarize we were forced to keep the least desirable company that created the lowest paying jobs and produced the least amount of taxes to the .gov because the rest of the playing field heavily favored big money pirates from o.o.t.

I watched over the next two decades as my beloved islands were overrun by an alphabet soup of federal authorities, overbuilt and finally overextended by real estate speculators as had been done in the twenties until I could watch no more. Globalization sucks for small businessmen primarily because it is meant to crush the little people into low wage labor or fringe commerce.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:20 | 2196381 valley chick
valley chick's picture

Well spoken cherry picker.  As we had just closed our business in 12-11, due to the economy.  :(

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 19:23 | 2196390 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Expert.....X, the unknown quantity....Spurt, a drip under pressure....

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