Friday, September 30, 2011

The 'Small Businesses Are Gonna Save Us' Myth

UPDATE: In response, Mom and Pop Tammy notes:

"Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in America have never been to high school, don't use electricity, and would sooner love their competitors than sue them.

For generations, the Amish have tended farms tucked away in rural communities like Lancaster, Pa., motivated by a faith that urged them to be in the world, but not of it. But as housing subdivisions and strip malls suck up farmland, many Amish have traded their plows for profits--with remarkable success.

Read The Huffington Post, Amish Offer Business Tips For CEOs."

Regarding small businesses:

"The one thing every American politician can agree on is that small businesses are a crucial driver of the U.S. economy. So it’s somewhat surprising to discover that, as John Schmitt of the Center on Economic and Policy Research points out, the United States actually has the smallest small-business sector among wealthy countries." From the Washington Post, Chart of the day: America’s surprisingly tiny small-business sector, and

"Just about the only thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on nowadays is that small businesses are the key to economic growth and hauling the economy out of recession. Trouble is, as Charles Kenny argues in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of evidence to prop up this view." From the Washington Post, The case against small-business fetishism, which references:

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Rethinking the Boosterism About Small Business, which argues that "the notion that small business is the force behind prosperity is not true. The longer the U.S. and other countries cling to this myth, the harder it will be to carry out the kinds of economic policies that might actually stimulate job growth."

For statistics regarding the number of people employed by companies of various sizes, see U.S. Census Bureau, Table 2b. Employment Size of Employer and Nonemployer Firms, 2007.

And the Republi-CON Race Continues

UPDATE VII: "A first-term governor whose paucity of government experience may be just what the doctor ordered, Mr. Christie is a jumble of political contradictions. He’s a conservative with some liberal views, a bullying New Jersey politician who frequently talks about compromise, and an obviously reluctant candidate who clearly hears the siren song of the national stage. " Read The New York Times, Christie, Unscripted, Unpredictable G.O.P. Hope.

UPDATE VI: "A new FOX News poll has Mitt Romney back on top, but with just 23% (essentially unchanged from August). Perry is second with 19% (a 10-point drop from the last poll), followed by a rising Herman Cain 17% (up 11 points) and Newt Gingrich 11% (up 8 points). Michele Bachmann has dropped all the way down to just 3% (down 5 points from August and 12 points from July). President Obama beats Romney (45%-42%) and Perry (47%-39%)." Read MSNBC, Perry’s loss isn’t necessarily Romney’s gain.

UPDATE VI: "Herman Cain stunned the Republican political establishment Saturday, easily winning Florida's Presidency 5 straw poll by trumpeting a platform of tax reforms he calls the '9-9-9 Plan.'" Read the St. Petersburg Times, The facts on Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax reform plan.

UPDATE V: And meet the Not-Mitt, But Not Running non-candidate de jour. Read the Washington Post, Why Chris Christie should — and shouldn’t — run for president.

"That insiders are looking for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to enter the race reveals G.O.P. dissatisfaction." Read The New York Times, Is Christie the Anti-Perry or the Anti-Romney, which includes this 2009 Christie campaign which he'll have to explain to the teabaggers. "It featured extended and positively framed clips of Mr. Obama . . . and interspersed images of supporters of Mr. Christie and Mr. Obama, implying that Mr. Christie would be in the legacy of Mr. Obama’s mandate for 'change'.":

You might remember I suggest Christie for President more than a year ago.

UPDATE IV: Meet the newest Not-Mitt. Read The New York Times, Herman Cain Wins Florida Straw Poll.

UPDATE III: With the Presidency Five straw poll in Florida on Saturday, here are "six takeaways from Thursday’s slugfest in Orlando:

Rick Perry is not ready . . .

Mitt Romney found an answer to the flip-flopper questions . . .

Rick Santorum has eclipsed Michele Bachmann . . .

Jon Huntsman’s lost opportunity . . .

Everyone loves a good joke . . .

Ron Paul is trying to be more serious . . ."

Read Politico, The GOP debate: 6 takeaways.

UPDATE II: "One crude way to forecast the results you might expect to see out of a House race is through its Partisan Voting Index, or P.V.I., a measure of how the district voted relative to others in the past two presidential elections."

By that measure, it ain't lookin good for Obama in 2012.

Read The New York Times, For Democrats, It’s 2010 All Over Again.

UPDATE: In the meantime, there will be a special election today in New York, where a Republican victory "would be seen as proof that Obama’s agenda has been rejected and his re-election chances are weaker than ever.

What to watch for as the results come in:

How much will Obama drag down the Democrat? . . .

Can the Democratic machine be enough? . . .

How die-hard are the Democratic die-hards? . . .

How much will Israel matter? . . .

How strong a victory will Republicans be able to claim? . . .

Read the analysis at Politico, 5 things to watch for in NY-9.

“Here are seven takeaways from Monday’s debate.

Mitt Romney came prepared . . .

Rick Perry did not come prepared . . .

Michele Bachmann’s still got game . . .

Rick Santorum is stepping it up . . .

Ron Paul 2.0 isn’t all that different than the original version . . .

Jon Huntsman can’t quite read a room . . .

Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain are non-factors . . ."

Read the analysis at Politico, The GOP debate: 7 takeaways.

Of course the debate "was feisty and provocative, with many of the candidates relying once again on bogus 'facts' that [had been] previously identified as faulty or misleading." Read the Washington Post, Fact checking the CNN and Tea Party Express debate in Tampa.

Better, Not Just Less, Government

UPDATE V: "Want to learn about the plight of unemployed workers during the Great Depression? Head to and order John Steinbeck’s Depression-era epic, “The Grapes of Wrath.” Want to learn about the plight of workers during our own Lesser Depression? Head over to Amazon’s warehouse in Lehigh, Pa., and watch them prepare your book for shipping." Read the Washington Post, and the Grapes of Wrath.

UPDATE IV: The future of labor without OSHA -- "working in a convection oven while blow-drying your hair." Read The New York Times, Inside Amazon’s Very Hot Warehouse.

UPDATE III: Still pining for laissez-faire land, move to China, where, "[o]ver the past two and a half years, thousands of workers, villagers and children have been found to be suffering from toxic levels of lead exposure". Read The New York Times, Lead Poisoning in China: The Hidden Scourge.

UPDATE II: Still seeking "a country with low taxes, little regulation and traditional family values, I have the perfect place for them. Body armor suggested." Read The New York Times, Our Fantasy Nation?

UPDATE: For those who doubt the benefit of good government regulation, compare the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean (2004) and Japan, "Perhaps no country in the world [was] better prepared to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis than Japan." Read The New York Times, Japan’s Strict Building Codes Saved Lives.

Now that the Republi-con ideology has proven false, what next? How about better government? Read The New York Times, Better, Not Just More, Regulation, which argues that the country needs a new regulatory structure that will make the markets function better, not worse.

The Republi-CON '230,000 New Employees' Myth

"The fact that EPA does not plan to hire 230,000 employees at a cost of $21 billion per year should be obvious considering that the entire agency employs around 17,000 people and its fiscal year 2011 budget is only $8.7 billion." Read Media Matters, No, EPA Is Not Hiring 230,000 Workers To Implement Climate Rules.

So many lies, so little time to refudiate.