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A measure of how businessfolk now loathe the Washington political class

This article by one of the Home Depot founders has been out for a few days, but I thought it would be good to put it up as it communicates, with a sort of barely suppressed rage, how businessfolk in the US feel patronised and insulted by the sort of policymakers in Washington, obviously starting with Obama.

And I would happily wager that there are a lot of business people who feel pretty much the same way about the UK, as well. I just wish we would have more entrepreneurs making these kind of comments.

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12 comments to A measure of how businessfolk now loathe the Washington political class

  • The days when governments could get away with telling business people and individuals that government officials were much better qualified to run their businesses and than the people themselves or that “advisers”, people who spend their entire lives in the bubble world of university faculties are some how able to use their intellect to trump life experience are over I think. If not, at least we seem to be moving in the right direction.

  • Laird

    We are reaping the results of electing as our national Chief Executive Officer an individual who, however intelligent or well-meaning*, brings precisely zero practical or relevant experience to the job. One who, moreover, doesn’t have a clue as to the depths of his own inexperience, and who has surrounded himself with a cadre of like-minded ignoramuses (“ignorami”?). Condescension and arrogance are irksome from anyone, but they can be tolerated when coming from someone with demonstrable accomplishment. In Obama’s case they are wholly unjustified, which makes his hectoring doubly infuriating.

    Arrogance, ignorance and incompetence wrapped up into one compact package. Efficient, I suppose, but in Obama’s case that’s hardly a compliment.

    * I question both, but will stipulate to them for the purposes of this discussion.

  • Anybody who’s tried doing anything businesslike, independently, knows that the government of the US, and of many of its states, detests independence even more than business. I’m surprised Obama even said something that could be considered encouraging.

  • John B

    Yes indeed. It’s a pity that government, if it has to be there, cannot confine itself to the protection of property rights from external and internal threat.
    But of course, that is like asking a crocodile to confine itself to eating tree stumps, and not you.
    In the late 1970s the Great British Public woke up to the fact it was in trouble.
    This time around the crocodile was better prepared?
    The US is waking up but is it too late?

  • Chuck6134

    Fat chance the talking heads even care. Until (or really if) the bat hits them square upside their heads 3 November, they will go on touting their methods as the only way to save us.

  • PeterT

    If business piped up in the UK they would find it a hard time finding anybody to publish them. Its pretty unbelievable that of the mainstream papers I have to rely on City A.M. (for non-London readers – this is a free business daily for commuters) for relatively sensible commentary.

  • veryretired

    The reason more don’t say such things out loud is the very legitimate fear of retaliation by the statist cadres who have the power to severely damage them economically.

    If you will recall, when some major corporations announced earnings advisories based on their estimation of the additional costs of obamacare, one of the more powerful collectivists in congress threatened them with public hearings to show how wrong they were.

    It will be interesting to see if any negative consequences develop in the future, such as tax audits or epa complaints or some such. Of course, if the retaliation is delayed for awhile, it will be hard to show clearly that it is what it is, and not some perfectly natural regulatory development.

    Such is the fearsome beauty of the all encompassing state—there is always something that can be investigated and penalized in the affairs of anyone impudent enough to question its actions.

    When the state’s interests and powers are unlimited, everyone is a suspect.

  • Rob

    “I just wish we would have more entrepreneurs making these kind of comments.”

    As veryretired implied the BBC has so much power it coveres every sphere of communications publicity from magazines to radio to tv to internet.

    Any marketing plan by a large business has to factor in BBC coverage and especially potential negative coverage. Think of Branson and his virgin brand. Every BBC appearance helps his business branding. Why would you upset them? Also think of O’leary switching sides in the Lisbon referendum due to the power of the EU over his flight plans.

    Also I think that regardless of whatever ridiculous idea the govt. comes up with next, business people have to deal with it rather than worry about the politics. Infact this just leads them to try to influence politicians rather than upset them.

    Finally, when their special dividend is only taxed 25% up to £150,000 a year would you complain too much. Even the new higher rate for over £150,000 is only 36% from 2010/11 and they can avoid most of that anyway. So despite earning vastly more that most people they pay a lower tax rate on their earnings – but its business so you play the system as best you can.

  • cjf

    If only “business people” were a cohesive, agreeable,
    cooperative lot. However, like politicians and almost
    everyone else, they compete against each other. The 30-40 million $ per month into
    the Obama campaign wasn’t small change from little people.

    Accounting departments list workers as expenses.
    Politicians are (listed,or not) assets.

  • I have similar thoughts whenever I see the advert for Pataks curry saucer featuring the small boy delivering curry sauces.
    Unregulated street vending? Child labour? No health certificate?
    If they are the reason Britain loves curry, I’d guess in today’s regulatory environment we’d all be still eating ham and eggs.

  • Derek Buxton

    Unfortunately in the UK too many large companies pimp for the government, whichever party is in power. It is all about protecting them and hurting the small competitive companies. I am sick of the stupid notices spread around all supermarket chains warning us of this, that and the other. “Eat five a day”, “if you look under 25 you cannot have…”. all of it absolute nonsense and none of their business which is to sell for profit.

  • Paul Marks

    Given the power of leftist “activists” (what their “direct action” can do to the lives of people they do not like) a businessman who speaks out is very brave.

    Also remember the power of the government itself (although now the”activists” have basically merged with the government) the endless regulations that the FCC and the Justice Department (and so on) can “investigate” you for, and the utter destruction the IRS can heap on an indiviudal or a business – even if they have paid all their taxes 100% (of course if you are politically connected paying taxes is a very different matter).

    For American business people to run such risks to speak out indicates that they are desperate.