They all say that the greatest drivers of jobs and economic growth are the small businesses. Coming from a family who was supported by a Father and Son contractor business I agree. Why then is there a concerted effort to destroy them? I remember after working for my Dad and wanting to go out on my own I thought Gee how great will this be. My father just listened and said nothing and wished me well.
Now remember this is in the early 80′s when things were good and Congress was just starting to really clamp down on the little guy. I had a brief profitable run. Work was there and I was getting my price. I thought if things kept up like this I would be a millionaire by 40. Suddenly I needed to have these insurance certificate for 6 figure amounts of money with premiums that were just as shocking. Then was the warm and wonderful notice from the IRS. Boy talk about a shakedown. Then I get a call from one of my guys” Hey Andy you better get down here some guy from OSHA is here and handing out citations to everyone”. OSHA…who the Hell are they? Sounds like a marine biology group I wonder what interest he has in this bar I’m building? Maybe they are going to add a fish tank of a really exotic nature as a great conversation piece. Well before I k new it the little money I had built up in the company bank account now had about 15 dollars in it and payday was in 2 days. YIKES!
Somehow by the grace of God and some real wheelin dealin I managed to stave off disaster temporarily. Unfortunately though this was the march to crush people with dreams of owning their own business and claiming their chunk of the American Dream. I thought after having several different types of contracting companies that maybe I should change fields and perhaps things aren’t as locked down as they are in construction. So my next endeavor was the Bar business. A cash business! How can I lose? A little shot and a beer joint with enough charm to go around…yeah this would be perfect. Boy was I an idiot. The insurance , safety regs and even the taxes were so burdensome I could barely turn a profit…and that was after taking a run down joint fixing it up and bringing a huge following to the location- getting it to the point where I needed another register and 2nd bartender on the weekend nights.
The funny thing is people around me thought I was making a small fortune. Well I sorta was until the city state and federal parasites came for their cut. I hate to admit it but if not for my gambling game the ” Joker Poker” I would be better off working for someone else. Those video games saved many a business back when there was the neighborhood gin mill.
Today I see how far taxes, regulation and insurance has advanced and it has decimated the Mom and Pop shops totally into extinction. So much for economic growth. Look around the cities in your area and I’ll bet you find the same thing-Gigantic Big Box stores and franchises and next to them empty stores bearing signs : Store for Rent. We are witnessing the butchering of the Goose that laid the Golden eggs. The powers that be want to keep us all in our own class with no advancement. We must all either work for the state or some massive corporation whose store is so big you cant even see the other end due to the curvature of the Earth. Yup everything from a Hip replacement to a Hot Fudge Sundae all in the same store. Is this the American Dream. Is this what my father came over from Ireland for?
Keep the Dream Alive!