You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 04, 2016, 06:46:53 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Encouraging Small Business  (Read 2183 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Encouraging Small Business
« on: June 08, 2012, 02:29:11 AM »
It seems like the best way to America is to encourage small business.

~no matter what, federal revenues aren't going to be more than ~25% of GDP, and getting them to 25% is basically going to require that the nation for the most part believes in a cause. Only way to pay the debt down, in the long run, is to grow the economy, so policies need to be in place to actually grow it~

Snipped by AndyZ

Let's discuss ways to do that.

Please try to leave partisan politics out of things.  You can mention a plan from a political party, but try not to mention specific parties or talk about how much you hate the other party.  It only kills and derails conversations.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 02:56:12 AM »
Here's some of the stuff I'm thinking:

Don't punish small business with the same regulations that are used on big businesses.

Do we really need to have a kids' lemonade stand shut down because they don't have a permit?  I mean, I get the concept of making sure that you want to make sure that rats' heads don't show up in McDonalds burgers (although I think that if that ever actually happened, they'd hire whoever the lawyer was who represented the lady who spilled coffee in her lap, and the news press would make sure nobody ever ate there again), but does the government need to be involved if one person wants to set up shop?

A lot of these types of things end up hurting small business but don't affect big business.  Big businesses are able to get around anything they don't want to have to deal with.  Which leads to the next point:

Stop big business from colluding with the government.

Yes, we know this needs to be done.  Yes, both parties do it.  No, I have no idea how to pull this one off.

Lower the national income tax.

Why?  Because we don't ever get more than 25% of GDP.  It doesn't make any sense to have it higher than 25%.  It only encourages businesses to move out and keeps small businesses from being able to get going and earn enough profit to put back into their business.

Not every business is successful, so the ones which do make money have to be able to make up for the ones that flop in order to make jobs.

More people will be willing to risk their money, and more banks will be willing to loan out, if more of the reward can be kept.  Actually, scratch that: can you write off bank loans before calculating income?

Now, this one comes with a caveat: lower the rates, but get rid of a lot of these writeoffs and loopholes which exist already for big businesses.

Quote from: http://robertreich.org/post/3317811319
During the 1950s, when it was 91 percent, they exploited loopholes and deductions that as a practical matter reduced the effective top rate 50 to 60 percent.

This part comes in with getting big business out of bed with the government.

Tairiffs

If it's not made in the USA, make them pay the USA.  This not only forces a price hike to be competitive, but gets big businesses who thought they could get away from taxes by going overseas to give the government money anyway.

Now, this will hurt people in the short term, because the price of goods will go up.  However, when people start making factories and producing here again, the long term effects will be much better for America than having most everything made overseas.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 03:05:14 AM »
1) Provide universal healthcare. ~ it would lead to an increase in entrepreneurship, as people would, in fact, save up a bit of cash, leave their jobs and strike out on their own. My first business failed for many compound reasons - but if it wasn't for my health, there would be no donation bar on Elliquiy.

I can see why having the employer pay for health care puts a collar on the workers.  They have to stick to that job if they want their health care.  However, I don't believe universal health care is the answer, because I've seen what the government has done with things like public schools, public pools, public toilets and the like.

You end up with two classes, private and public, where the privately owned one is so much better, but the taxes leave people's pockets and go to the public one which stinks, and only the elite can afford the private version.

Let's consider alternatives.  Suppose, instead of paying for the health care of the employees, the employer just gave that employee an equivalent amount of extra money, which could be put into health care.  That would allow the person to save up and start their own business without being beholden to their employer for insurance.

Now, why does the employer purchase it instead?  I think I remember someone telling me about how it ends up being cheaper as a group.  Why, then, would a job be necessary if only a group is necessary for a group discount?  You could theoretically go to a place like Groupon and get a better deal.

Quote
2) Remove sales taxes. This is especially crippling on people who start businesses, especially in service industries. It directly impedes cash flow at the lowest brackets of society, where money moves fastest, and people like me get stuck paying sales tax twice, because we have to charge it on the value of our services, and again when we pay for the goods we need to live.

I have absolutely no objection to this except that we should also cut spending as well.

I would consider the idea of trying to only have sales tax on things which are necessities, but I don't trust the government to decide which things those are.  Yes, toilet paper is a necessity; I'm not using banana leaves.  Why is toilet paper taxed?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 12:20:22 PM »
Not going to get into the politics of this right now since I have a lot to do today.

Why?  Because we don't ever get more than 25% of GDP.  It doesn't make any sense to have it higher than 25%.  It only encourages businesses to move out and keeps small businesses from being able to get going and earn enough profit to put back into their business.

This is a bit of a math trap - its not a good idea to equate this with an ideal tax rate.

A government collecting 25% of its GDP as revenue is basically representing half of the national economy. Keep in mind that this revenue is also getting spent, preferably almost entirely on the local national economy. This tends to mean that governments tend to be relatively stable up to the point of representing half the country's economy, though I think some socialist states go as far as 60%. I'm not familiar with countries that have gone much higher without introducing glaring inefficiencies.

It's also somewhat US specific. It only got reached when the whole freaking country threw its weight into the effort with something like a 96% approval. It's certainly possible we'll see that again, but it'd need a very inspiring message behind if we did not actually get attacked.

Quote
Not every business is successful, so the ones which do make money have to be able to make up for the ones that flop in order to make jobs.

More people will be willing to risk their money, and more banks will be willing to loan out, if more of the reward can be kept.  Actually, scratch that: can you write off bank loans before calculating income?

Interest on a loan is considered a business expense and is thus written off, if that's what you are asking. So are investment losses. I think this has been the primary thing I've been trying to get through conservative's skulls, here. >_>

Taxation for a business is specifically on income, not on revenue. The distinction is important and it's why the 90%+ tax brackets are able to work. It's a 'loophole' but, if it's restricted to say, US investments, one that genuinely creates a positive economic result when businesses use it.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 03:35:29 PM »
A government collecting 25% of its GDP as revenue is basically representing half of the national economy. Keep in mind that this revenue is also getting spent, preferably almost entirely on the local national economy. This tends to mean that governments tend to be relatively stable up to the point of representing half the country's economy, though I think some socialist states go as far as 60%. I'm not familiar with countries that have gone much higher without introducing glaring inefficiencies.

I'm a little confused on this point.  Does this end up being where the government itself is running for-profit businesses, or just by dint of how much money they're taking in?

Quote
Interest on a loan is considered a business expense and is thus written off, if that's what you are asking. So are investment losses. ~

Taxation for a business is specifically on income, not on revenue. The distinction is important and it's why the 90%+ tax brackets are able to work. It's a 'loophole' but, if it's restricted to say, US investments, one that genuinely creates a positive economic result when businesses use it.

Yeah, this would be where my confusion came from.  I'm used to the terms of either profit or net revenue.

That would alleviate some of the burden, but as a personal hypothetical entrepreneur, I can't really imagine trying to start a business if 90% of all the profits were taxed.

Let's say that my first venture costs $50,000 as a random number in order to get all the equipment, have money for staff, etc.  Now, there's no guarantee that my business will be profitable, but let's say that I'm one of the lucky few where 20% of the money I'm getting goes to profit, with the other 80% just being revenue balanced by expenses.  With this math, I'd have to end up earning a total of $2,500,000 in order to actually earn enough money for myself to even be able to start another business.  (Multiply by 10 due to taxes and by 5 due to profit, if I understand this right.)

If it fails, I have to go into bankruptcy where my life is crap in a hat for seven years.

I'm not sure it's necessary, but I think I see the reason for Germany setting up a plan to pay people for starting up a small business.  It seems to make sense to me that if the government is giving you money to do this, then they can also tax it.

It makes me curious about a program where the government funds your starting business but keeps 100% of the profits, and you just live off the salary.  Although I can see a number of inherent problems with this, I'd be curious if it could be pounded into something workable.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 04:49:25 PM »
I'm a little confused on this point.  Does this end up being where the government itself is running for-profit businesses, or just by dint of how much money they're taking in?

Not exactly.

That 25% needs to get paid out to people. Your consumption is someone else's income. This is true for everyone, governments included.  So it's taking 25% of GDP in revenue, that means it's paying out that as well. So the government is siphoning off a quarter of the GDP directly - it can't be spent by anyone else, then paying it out again.

Another way to look at it is - unless you're sticking the government where only die-hard communists will claim it belongs, every productive unit, no matter how you try to measure it, is going to be supported by a network of goods and services that is generally best provided by the free market. The 25% limit isn't exactly about tax avoidance. It's a function of - the country has a goal. The 25% is the resources of the nation that the government can reasonably have a direct hand in allocating. But it can't determine every single meal, vehicle purchase, and other household resource allocation without taking a huge hit to efficiency. The people and businesses it gives money to are best left making a number of their own decisions. Government buys a plane from Boeing, Boeing needs to have some leeway on how it gets built.

It can -work-, mind. But it's neither politically feasible nor wise (nice when those two things come together on rare occasions...)


Quote
Yeah, this would be where my confusion came from.  I'm used to the terms of either profit or net revenue.

That would alleviate some of the burden, but as a personal hypothetical entrepreneur, I can't really imagine trying to start a business if 90% of all the profits were taxed.

The 90% tax bracket began at what is now some 50 million dollars a year. Do you intend to make that much out of the gate?

Ideally, no income taxes would be involved (except perhaps social security) below $50k or so, no matter how you made it.

Quote
Let's say that my first venture costs $50,000 as a random number in order to get all the equipment, have money for staff, etc.  Now, there's no guarantee that my business will be profitable, but let's say that I'm one of the lucky few where 20% of the money I'm getting goes to profit, with the other 80% just being revenue balanced by expenses.  With this math, I'd have to end up earning a total of $2,500,000 in order to actually earn enough money for myself to even be able to start another business.  (Multiply by 10 due to taxes and by 5 due to profit, if I understand this right.)

If your business costs you $40k per year and you're making $10k, you're paying very little in the way of taxes, if any at all. That's the point of a progressive tax system. If you're earning $500k per year off of 2.5m in revenue, your effective tax rate might be, say, about 40%, so you're making $300k/year in after-tax revenue at that point.

You could potentially hit 'can start a new business' around $300k in revenue under such a system, depending on how the progressive tax rate was structured.

Quote
If it fails, I have to go into bankruptcy where my life is crap in a hat for seven years.

I'm not sure it's necessary, but I think I see the reason for Germany setting up a plan to pay people for starting up a small business.  It seems to make sense to me that if the government is giving you money to do this, then they can also tax it.

It makes me curious about a program where the government funds your starting business but keeps 100% of the profits, and you just live off the salary.  Although I can see a number of inherent problems with this, I'd be curious if it could be pounded into something workable.

China has businesses that effectively amount to that. I don't really envy the environment of corruption that creates.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 06:16:53 PM »
Here's what they'll say:

Here's some of the stuff I'm thinking:

Don't punish small business with the same regulations that are used on big businesses.

Do we really need to have a kids' lemonade stand shut down because they don't have a permit?  I mean, I get the concept of making sure that you want to make sure that rats' heads don't show up in McDonalds burgers (although I think that if that ever actually happened, they'd hire whoever the lawyer was who represented the lady who spilled coffee in her lap, and the news press would make sure nobody ever ate there again), but does the government need to be involved if one person wants to set up shop?

"You hate success!  You want to punish job creators!  SOCIALIST!"

Quote
Stop big business from colluding with the government.

Yes, we know this needs to be done.  Yes, both parties do it.  No, I have no idea how to pull this one off.

"You'll just end up raising prices!  If we don't give out those billion$ to the job creators (read: oil companies and other huge conglomerates), they'll pass it on to consumers!"

Quote
Lower the national income tax.

Why?  Because we don't ever get more than 25% of GDP.  It doesn't make any sense to have it higher than 25%.  It only encourages businesses to move out and keeps small businesses from being able to get going and earn enough profit to put back into their business.

"You mean lower taxes for the rich, right?  Because we have a big scary deficit and we can't afford tax cuts [except for the rich]!"

Quote
Tairiffs

If it's not made in the USA, make them pay the USA.  This not only forces a price hike to be competitive, but gets big businesses who thought they could get away from taxes by going overseas to give the government money anyway.

Now, this will hurt people in the short term, because the price of goods will go up.  However, when people start making factories and producing here again, the long term effects will be much better for America than having most everything made overseas.

"You're interfering with CAPITALISM and FREE TRADE!11!1"

Don't get me wrong, I think your ideas are good.  But America has its head way too far up the corporate rectum to listen to them.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 07:03:17 PM »
Here's what they'll say:

"You hate success!  You want to punish job creators!  SOCIALIST!"

"You'll just end up raising prices!  If we don't give out those billion$ to the job creators (read: oil companies and other huge conglomerates), they'll pass it on to consumers!"

"You mean lower taxes for the rich, right?  Because we have a big scary deficit and we can't afford tax cuts [except for the rich]!"

"You're interfering with CAPITALISM and FREE TRADE!11!1"

Don't get me wrong, I think your ideas are good.  But America has its head way too far up the corporate rectum to listen to them.

First, I'm more interesting in figuring out a plan than discussing what people will say or how people will spin it.  Let's talk about that.

Second, if you like, I can pull up the various sites on the right where they talk about similar things to what I've said.  It's amusing that you figure that they'll attack it for no reason.

Third, being called a socialist is not a pejorative, any more than calling someone a homosexual if they truly like their own gender.  This is why I asked people to try to leave out the partisan politics stuff.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point.  If you're more interested in acting like a troll than having an intelligent discussion, please post elsewhere.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 07:34:39 PM »
Sorry, Veks, forgot you posted also.

Not exactly.

That 25% needs to get paid out to people. Your consumption is someone else's income. This is true for everyone, governments included.  So it's taking 25% of GDP in revenue, that means it's paying out that as well. So the government is siphoning off a quarter of the GDP directly - it can't be spent by anyone else, then paying it out again.

Another way to look at it is - unless you're sticking the government where only die-hard communists will claim it belongs, every productive unit, no matter how you try to measure it, is going to be supported by a network of goods and services that is generally best provided by the free market. The 25% limit isn't exactly about tax avoidance. It's a function of - the country has a goal. The 25% is the resources of the nation that the government can reasonably have a direct hand in allocating. But it can't determine every single meal, vehicle purchase, and other household resource allocation without taking a huge hit to efficiency. The people and businesses it gives money to are best left making a number of their own decisions. Government buys a plane from Boeing, Boeing needs to have some leeway on how it gets built.

It can -work-, mind. But it's neither politically feasible nor wise (nice when those two things come together on rare occasions...)

I think I get what you're saying here, but I'm not really sure.  Given that I can't say it back to you in a manner that feels as though I can enunciate it properly, probably not.  Sorry.


Quote
The 90% tax bracket began at what is now some 50 million dollars a year. Do you intend to make that much out of the gate?

Ideally, no income taxes would be involved (except perhaps social security) below $50k or so, no matter how you made it.

I can see how this would work in theory, but if we change things this much, we should look at what it affects.  For one, the government will be pulling in less money in taxes, and the money brought in by the rich wouldn't make up for the money that wasn't being brought in by the lower and middle class.

That doesn't mean it's a bad thing, but we would have to cut spending in various areas.

Arguably, it's unfair to point out that we need cuts in a system where we have massive debt, and maybe it involves another argument, but it seems a fair point to bring in from my perspective.  I want to look at all the honest* problems and how they be solved.

*Honest meaning that if someone's just going to throw out half-truths and attempt to slander you, I'm not really interested in discussing how to throw the right political spin on things.

Quote
If your business costs you $40k per year and you're making $10k, you're paying very little in the way of taxes, if any at all. That's the point of a progressive tax system. If you're earning $500k per year off of 2.5m in revenue, your effective tax rate might be, say, about 40%, so you're making $300k/year in after-tax revenue at that point.

You could potentially hit 'can start a new business' around $300k in revenue under such a system, depending on how the progressive tax rate was structured.

I'm going to agree that $250,000 is way too low to be the highest tier of how much money we can make.  I would attempt to ramp that puppy up if we're going to keep using the progressive income tax system.

Now, in our current two-party system, I'll agree that we'd have some issues in doing so.  We could get into why, but let's not.  I remember the attempts to throw in a 50% on those exceeding $1,000,000, which didn't work.  Here's what I'm thinking, and I'd love some input from people as to whether this is reasonable or fair, not whether Party X would actually be willing.

Would it be possible to actually throw in a new tax bracket in exchange for lowering other rates?  I don't know numbers, but I think the highest tier went from 39% to 35%, and others went on down accordingly.  Could you just make a new bracket at about a million of 39% and leave the rest permanent?

Speaking of, I wanted to ask: if my tax bracket goes from 20% to 30% if I exceed making $200,000 (for random numbers), is the entire $200,000 taxed at 30% or do I only have to pay 30% of the amount which exceeds the bracket?  I've heard both ways on this, but I can seriously see it stunting business at the former.

Quote
China has businesses that effectively amount to that. I don't really envy the environment of corruption that creates.

Absolutely no argument from me.  I can actually see how this would end up with a large amount of business-government collusion.  I guess I'm just trying to figure out ways to fairly add in some degree of bonus to mix in the risk if a good 90% is going to be taken from even the highest tiers.

I guess from my perspective, I feel like that there should be some reason for having to give over so much of your money, some reward that's given out in return that's more than just "you've got so much and you can afford it."

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 07:35:21 PM »
First, I'm more interesting in figuring out a plan than discussing what people will say or how people will spin it.  Let's talk about that.

Second, if you like, I can pull up the various sites on the right where they talk about similar things to what I've said.  It's amusing that you figure that they'll attack it for no reason.

Third, being called a socialist is not a pejorative, any more than calling someone a homosexual if they truly like their own gender.  This is why I asked people to try to leave out the partisan politics stuff.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point.  If you're more interested in acting like a troll than having an intelligent discussion, please post elsewhere.

Again I reiterate: I think your ideas are sound enough.  I might quibble a bit here and there, but definitely on the right track.

The problem is that Americans are firmly convinced that anything that doesn't make the top 1% richer is pinkocommiefascistislamosocialism.

Understand, I agree with you.

It's that we have a population of idiots and corporate servants who will try and burn you at the stake while giving you a lecture about how four years of governance by a pinkocommiefascistislamosocialist and community organizer and radical and Enemy Of All That is Good, Right and American has ruined the country and how you sound like HUSSEIN Obummer.

My plan, you ask?  My plan is to let Darwin take effect, and survive the collapse.  After the right-wing lumpenproles starve out whilst waiting for their benevolent Wall Street overlords to trickle down that wealth, maybe the rest of us can pick up the pieces and begin anew.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 08:13:55 PM »
If we end up in a collapse, though, we'll end up with people starving in the streets, the destruction of the middle class, and the rich largely unaffected because they can just put their wealth into things like precious metals, property and the like.  This is similar to the argument of hyperinflation: hyperinflation is traumatic for the middle class, because everything they saved up is gone, and the people who actually did the right thing and were prepared suddenly learn never to do it again.  This develops a dependent type of mindset, which is exactly what we don't want in our small business entrepreneurs.

If we're going to talk about the extreme right and the extreme left (and so far this has been derogatory but at least mostly civil) then let's look at what people on various sides are doing.

http://www.glennbeck.com/2012/06/07/create-glenn-reveals-ambitious-plan-to-work-with-musicians-artists-filmmakers-and-more/

Now, this seems brilliant to me.  Does that mean that I have to agree with everything that Glenn Beck says?  Does that mean that even he believes it?  Or do we just want to talk about ideas and methods?

After various disasters, you can see how some people end up either just sitting back and waiting for the government, or piling together and trying to fix it themselves.  We can argue all day about which side is left and which side is right, but really, who cares?

If you want, you're free to open up a thread talking about how we can accomplish these things.  I know jack about political spin, and don't really care to learn.  I'd much rather understand the points of contention and be able to understand where the issues lie.

Similarly, I don't think that people should vote if they're only going to look at the R or D after the name and have no real understanding of the person in question or how politics work.  I had a conversation with someone earlier this week about how I'm closer to Libertarian than anything else and he instantly assumed that I wanted to go back to the gold standard.  We're kind of at the point where we're letting extremists define us, and just like you can be Muslim and not want to stone homosexuals or blow yourself up, you can be left or right and not be socialist or fascist.

We need to get away from the concept that one party is always right and the other party is always wrong, and actually look at each individual issue that they throw out.  You can like the idea that Walker is standing up to public sector unions instead of letting them run roughshod like in other areas, but absolutely hate the many things which came up in the Walker thread.  You can like the idea of Obamacare but despise how Nancy Pelosi's district has gotten nearly 20% of the waivers for places like five-star hotels and other rich and elite areas.

Now, in a representative republic, we're forced to choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.  In an intellectual discussion, it's entirely possible to understand that some things are great and some things need to be fixed.

Let's talk about what areas we can agree on and hammer out details.  Once we have a clear understanding of the problem areas and suggestions on how to fix it, we can get to work on how to discuss those.

Talking about how the problem cannot be solved before even beginning to discuss the problem areas is equivalent to saying that we should all give up and be happy with what we have.  Some people are happy with that, but the philosopher in me is far too interested in spending eternity hammering on problems until a solution might be found.  However, we have to have a solution we can present before we work on a solution of how to show people the first solution.

It's a bit like, if we're talking about like universal health care, and someone says, "That's socialistic," then we shouldn't just accuse them of name calling.  Let's look into what socialistic tendencies that it has; the person who presents the claim should be able to offer them.  If the title fits, we can then look into socialism and what parts of it do and don't work, and where those difficulties lie.

In the end, though, it only ends up throwing the thread REALLY far off track, as shown here.

If you fully and 100% agree with everything I've posted, then we can start up a thread of how to convince other people and explain the matters in simple terms, if you like.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 08:10:40 AM »
Quote from: AndyZ
Please try to leave partisan politics out of things.

Except your statements are already painfully biased.

Quote from: AndyZ
Don't punish small business with the same regulations that are used on big businesses.

Do you honestly think anyone wants to 'punish' small businesses?

And while we are on the subject of businesses, do you know when businesses will start hiring people?  Exactly when it is profitable for them to do so.  A tax break is not going to adjust the profitability of hiring more workers.

Quote from: AndyZ
...although I think that if that ever actually happened, they'd hire whoever the lawyer was who represented the lady who spilled coffee in her lap, and the news press would make sure nobody ever ate there again...

Corporations do despicable things all the time and continue to operate.  I think you greatly overestimate the market's ability to 'self correct'.  I think you turn a blind eye to corporate malfeasance.  And I think you are susceptible to media bias.

How is it that you seem to think that government is a huge, nefarious conspiracy but that corporations are completely incapable of the same sort of conspiracies?

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2012, 09:54:29 AM »
The bottom line is that America is a giant cargo cult, with legions of lumpenproles who honestly think the biggest problem the country has is the government taking away rich peoples' toys through "unfair" taxation and "socialism."  And they will not allow themselves to be confused by facts (like inequality of wealth being at its highest level in nearly a century, real wages declining while the portfolios of the wealthy elite keep growing, soaring poverty, etc.).  The American cargo cult polity doesn't care about small business.  If small business is having problems, well then by golly they're not working hard enough and they're not sufficiently kissing the asses of Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Ted Turner and the Walton clan.  And if someone's unemployed, it's their own fault and they should just suck it up and have the sense to be born as a trust-fund baby the next time around.  Oh, and we have too many people with dark skin too.

As far as trying to convince others we should do something about this...have you ever actually tried to reason with a cult member?  Anything you try and tell them that's contrary to what their "Glorious Leader" or "Sacred Prophet" or whatever has inculcated into them might as well be a fart in a high wind.  Their response tends to be anything from sullen indifference to disbelief to scorn to outright assault and battery.  Ditto for the American cargo cult.

And make no mistake: things are going to get ugly here.  When things don't pan out as the cult leaders promise, the sheeple turn into wolves and turn on those leaders.  Or you wind up with something like Jonestown.  So my focus these days is on relocation to an area where people are reasonably few and there's plenty of elbow room.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2012, 11:02:36 AM »
The best way to support small business and the small and independent business man is to patronize them.  During the holidays there was a movement to encourage shoppers to make at least one purchase at a small business.  I can't find the statistics but I recall reading that it was a success.

Take a look around at the small business in your neighborhood.  Most of them provide goods and services that aren't easily available at the big box stores or are needed on a daily basis when going to a mall is inconvenient.

Patronizing the local merchants keeps them in the neighborhood, keeps the business district more viable and promotes a better culture for you community.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2012, 12:23:20 PM »
I've tried to boycott Walmart before.  It did not work out so well.

The bottom line is that America is a giant cargo cult...

While you and I may agree on this topic, I am not sure your post here is helpful.  I disagree strongly with AndyZ, but I do think he is attempting to reach across divisions and make an honest attempt to understand where I am coming from and presenting his own position.  Therefore, I choose to attempt to engage him.  How successful either of us will be...well, I will leave that up to time.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 12:28:30 PM by MasterMischief »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 01:15:24 PM »
Ultimately very small business needs:

1. Access to practical amounts of credit with fair terms and even if your credit history is not ideal, for some poor people self-employment is likely the only option at some point yet can they get a small loan of $500 to get set up in some simple street vending business in my city. No.

2. Regulations must be streamlined and minimal as does paperwork for example put all of the years taxes with minimal deductions and this includes social security and medicare taxes on one form, that someone can easily understand and fill out.

3. Good networking and infrastructure to operate.

Lets say you want to open a stand selling bottled water and soda, packaged snacks and that is it the paperwork to get there and the complicated taxes can be very high if you can do this at all, some cities like New York good luck.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2012, 03:08:47 AM »
Except your statements are already painfully biased.

Maybe the phrase "partisan politics" is incorrect.  I was hoping to get people to go into detail, talking about the particular methods of fixing things, rather than blaming it all upon one political party or talking about how America is one big cult.  It tends to derail the thread into pointless drivel unless people ignore it.

I've been trying to respond to people, but I'm probably better off with a "one reply per griefer" method and just ignoring them after that.

Quote
Do you honestly think anyone wants to 'punish' small businesses?

Oh yes, I believe that big business wants to stop small businesses from operating properly by any means possible.  I'd be surprised if you don't believe that.

We can also easily go into the unintended consequences of laws, but I'm sure you're already familiar.  You can accidentally punish someone without wanting to.

Quote
And while we are on the subject of businesses, do you know when businesses will start hiring people?  Exactly when it is profitable for them to do so.  A tax break is not going to adjust the profitability of hiring more workers.

I'll agree that businesses will only hire when it's profitable, but that's the whole point of businesses.  They do whatever's profitable, and they need employees to help them do it.

If it's not profitable to start a business in the first place, then they won't.  Therefore, they won't hire those people who would otherwise have gotten jobs, because they didn't want to invest the money into something which isn't profitable.

This starts to get a little bit off-topic, though, since we're discussing the growth of small business into medium and big business.  I don't think anyone would discourage that if it can be done ethically, but it'd be much better to let the little guy start something else up than to have the only way of succession be to let the big guy start up yet another business.

Quote
Corporations do despicable things all the time and continue to operate.  I think you greatly overestimate the market's ability to 'self correct'.  I think you turn a blind eye to corporate malfeasance.  And I think you are susceptible to media bias.

This is why we need small businesses.  If people have the choice to work for a slimy corporation or to work for a better one, they'll choose the better one.  It's only when there are no other choices that people end up at the slimy jobs where they're treated like dirt.

Quote
How is it that you seem to think that government is a huge, nefarious conspiracy but that corporations are completely incapable of the same sort of conspiracies?

Because our government is responsible for handling these matters.  Big business is only taking advantage of what our government has made possible.

I see the government/business collusion as giving a monkey a loaded gun.  Why blame the monkey?  Of course big business is going to try to make as much money as possible.

Let's talk about the specific issues: why some practices are unfair, and what can be done to fix them.  What problems does small business have, and are they necessary?

The best way to support small business and the small and independent business man is to patronize them.  During the holidays there was a movement to encourage shoppers to make at least one purchase at a small business.  I can't find the statistics but I recall reading that it was a success.

Take a look around at the small business in your neighborhood.  Most of them provide goods and services that aren't easily available at the big box stores or are needed on a daily basis when going to a mall is inconvenient.

Patronizing the local merchants keeps them in the neighborhood, keeps the business district more viable and promotes a better culture for you community.

I do like this idea, but I'm not sure it's the best way.  It feels more like treating a symptom to me.  Are people really at the point where they no longer shop at small stores even when they're available?

Now, this may be the best way that you can think of; I don't mean to discourage you.  I'm just hoping that there's more that can be done than giving preferential treatment to small businesses which already exist.

1. Access to practical amounts of credit with fair terms and even if your credit history is not ideal, for some poor people self-employment is likely the only option at some point yet can they get a small loan of $500 to get set up in some simple street vending business in my city. No.

No argument from me.  If I understand correctly, this is how venture capital stuff is supposed to work, right?

I've been watching an ABC show Shark Tank, where the filthy rich hear about an idea and can invest their own money into it.  I wonder if there's some way to implement this on a larger scale if it actually works.

We've already discussed why trying to get the government to do it wouldn't work very well.  Anyone out there more knowledgeable that can chime in?

Quote
2. Regulations must be streamlined and minimal as does paperwork for example put all of the years taxes with minimal deductions and this includes social security and medicare taxes on one form, that someone can easily understand and fill out.

I still don't understand why we have so much paperwork in the digital age.  My dad has to go through all kinds of crap like this for his business and he only has a few employees.  Either we need to get rid of it, or we should have school programs which can teach how to do it so that people fresh out of class who want to start something up can get it going.

Quote
3. Good networking and infrastructure to operate.

Lets say you want to open a stand selling bottled water and soda, packaged snacks and that is it the paperwork to get there and the complicated taxes can be very high if you can do this at all, some cities like New York good luck.

Some really thoughtful and helpful stuff, Ruby.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:30:54 AM by AndyZ »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2012, 03:47:37 AM »
The best way to support small business and the small and independent business man is to patronize them.  During the holidays there was a movement to encourage shoppers to make at least one purchase at a small business.  I can't find the statistics but I recall reading that it was a success.

Take a look around at the small business in your neighborhood.  Most of them provide goods and services that aren't easily available at the big box stores or are needed on a daily basis when going to a mall is inconvenient.

Patronizing the local merchants keeps them in the neighborhood, keeps the business district more viable and promotes a better culture for you community.
I do like this idea, but I'm not sure it's the best way.  It feels more like treating a symptom to me.  Are people really at the point where they no longer shop at small stores even when they're available?

Now, this may be the best way that you can think of; I don't mean to discourage you.  I'm just hoping that there's more that can be done than giving preferential treatment to small businesses which already exist.


I think you are over-analyzing and over-correcting here. 

People have stopped patronizing small businesses in their neighborhoods for the most part because a lot of what they want is offered in one place with bigger selections and more convenience in terms of time and effort.

My community business district is far from run down but there are bars, restaurants, a CVS, an independent pharmacy, two ethnic grocers, an ice cream shop, two bakeries, a shoe repair shop, four pizza shops, 2 convenience stores one of which has a gas station, and about a dozen professional offices.  There is a dry cleaner and a store that sells custom-made mirrors.  There is also a bank, a barber and two beauty shops. 

We used to have two clothing stores, a florist, a shoe store, a drapery outlet, a craft store, a music store, an optometrist, two hardware stores and a plumbing fixture store.

The vendors still in business are those that people don't want to travel to a mall for and that they shop at several times a week.  They are also stores that offer goods and services Walmar doesn't.  The stores that closed sold things Walmart sells.

Let's face it.  If you don't shop at your local stores they close.  And if they close none of your fixes will be needed because there won't be small business to keep alive.

There is little incentive to open a small business in community shopping districts because no matter what tax breaks, loan offers or assistance you can dream up you can't guarantee customers.  Only the people with the wallets can do that and they won't.

Walmart and the like may be the enablers but the shopper is the one with the decision power.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2012, 04:52:31 AM »
I may well be over-analyzing and over-correcting.  I tend to do that.

I do like the idea of working to complement big business instead of directly competing, though.  I remember back when of a teacher who explained how small businesses have a much easier time doing rapid changes and handling niche markets.  It makes me wonder if just that's what we have to do, especially with the Internet where we don't have to worry about overhead and such.

That brings up the question of advertising, which may end up being off topic but seems pertinent enough.  Maybe we need to make sure that the smaller businesses can still be heard over the larger markets.

...Maybe not, though.  It might really be as simple as that people need to focus where their money is going.  We may just need to add a little to the books on how capitalism works to explain this.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2012, 07:08:59 AM »
I watched a program on the Grameen Bank they know how to get poor people credit, support and business advice that matters. Oddly I'm more concerned with microbusiness since when your poor and long term unemployed the only real options are self-employment ones right now working off the books or doing some small venture not all legal.

No one seems to want to take risks with small sums and help those who need work most which I will add will help keep them in the system just $200 in cash for a cooler, bottled water and a permit would get someone working. Maybe not making alot but to a homeless person around here you make $30 a day you can eat, stay clean and have money left over. Manage double that you can stay in a decent if basic motel room also and save something if you share the room with someone. And when they repay that loan they could qualify for more credit in time work out of real poverty to working poor.

Small business help for me must include those where it will make the most difference in lives also.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2012, 07:55:27 PM »
Quote from: AndyZ
They do whatever's profitable, and they need employees to help them do it.

Employees are not necessary for profit.  And the fewer employees, the bigger the profit.

Quote from: AndyZ
If it's not profitable to start a business in the first place, then they won't.

What?!  People try things that don't work all the time.

Quote from: AndyZ
This is why we need small businesses.  If people have the choice to work for a slimy corporation or to work for a better one, they'll choose the better one.  It's only when there are no other choices that people end up at the slimy jobs where they're treated like dirt.

You seem to make a lot of base assumptions.  I think you need to confirm those assumptions, or at the very least, make note of them before you continue basing arguments on them.

In the US, at least in my experience, money has a nearly religious status.  This country venerates money above nearly everything else (thanks Capitalism).  People often work for whoever pays the best. 

Quote from: AndyZ
Because our government is responsible for handling these matters.  Big business is only taking advantage of what our government has made possible.

So we should roll government back and let big business take advantage of no oversight at all?  I know that is not what you are advocating.  Sorry, I will try not to talk in extremes.  But if you acknowledge that big business already takes advantage of the situation how is fewer regulations going to make it any better?  Now if you are arguing we need better regulations then maybe we are closer to agreeing that I thought.

Quote from: AndyZ
I see the government/business collusion as giving a monkey a loaded gun.  Why blame the monkey?  Of course big business is going to try to make as much money as possible.

Let me adjust that analogy for you.  Government is the security we pay so that the monkey does not get the gun.  Are you honestly suggesting if we get rid of the security guy, the monkey is not going to go over and pick up the gun anyway?

We need better security.  Which means what?  Yep, that's right...big bad government.

Quote from: AndyZ
Are people really at the point where they no longer shop at small stores even when they're available?

Pretty much.  Walmart is so ubiquitous that to not have your products sold in their stores can severely cripple your sales.   Walmart wants to sell at the lowest possible price so they can undercut everyone else, even the mom and pop shops.  So they use that leverage to force supplies to sell to Walmart at deeply discounted rates.  As I said, money is such an important motivator in the US at least, that nearly everyone wants the cheapest price, so they all go to Walmart.

To help understand why consumers would shot themselves in the foot by continuing this tragic cycle, please review The Tragedy of the Commons.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2012, 05:33:06 AM »
I think I see where our roadblock is.  You're saying that big businesses need more regulation.  I'm saying that small businesses need less regulation.  It's entirely possible for both of these things to be true, but I've been more focused on the less regulation for small business aspect, since it would encourage small business.

Let's use a simple but exaggerated example:

In the small crystal mining town of Crystalogica, two crystal polishing businesses work and thrive.  One is Crystaland, run by a filthy rich billionaire who has Crystaland shops set up all over the country.  Employees are treated horribly, there's over 50 of them and turnover is huge.  The other is Sylvia's Crystal Emporium, which only has three employees, but every crystal is polished with love.

A well-meaning but foolish politician has the idea to pass a law that every crystal-polishing business should have a break room for its employees or face fines of $5,000 per year.  Now, this really helps out the employees of Crystaland, who can relax and catch a break.  For Sylvia's Crystal Emporium, however, it's a nightmare.  Their shop doesn't even have a bathroom; they have to go down the street to the gas station.  Either she's going to have to have an addition made to the tiny shop, which would cost far more money than she has, pay $5,000 per year as a "business expense," or else close up shop.

As it turns out, Sylvia's Crystal Emporium has to close down.  However, the filthy rich owner of Crystaland looks at the cost of a break room and decides that it'd be cheaper to simply pay the $5,000 per year.  Nobody wins.

Now, the politician looks at this report (which, as it turns out, was all just a report and never put into effect) and decides that the better solution would be to force a break room on the people who have 20 or more employees.  This means that it'll hit Crystaland and not Sylvia's Crystal Emporium.  For the time being, everyone is pleased.

However, as time goes on, Sylvia's Crystal Emporium branches out.  Business starts really building, and she opens up more shops, getting everything to the point of having 19 employees.  She would love to be able to build things out and start up another shop, but she would then have to have a break room set up in every building.

There's a similarity here to Welfare (off-topic but creating a comparison I'm not sure how else to explain).  I've heard a lot about how Clinton set things up so that people didn't just hover on Welfare their entire lives.  If programs are set up so that $X is the maximum amount that you can make and still receive benefits, a lot of people will hover at or just under that amount, effectively trapping them in poverty.  It is therefore better to set up a gradual system, allowing people to overcome the hard $X barrier.  I would recommend some form of regulation that would allow small businesses to grow and thrive.

If regulations do affect small business, I would like to see them written more concisely.  I've heard, and correct me with the actual numbers if this is inaccurate, that we added 80,000 new regulations in 2011 alone.  A larger business is able to hire someone to go through all the paperwork and ensure that all the regulations are met, but a smaller business doesn't have a prayer of being able to do so.

In short, I agree that we need better regulations than what we currently have.  We can probably also agree that there's a huge difference between more, and better.  I heard the story about how people who grew their own vegetables in a garden were not allowed to serve them due to not meeting regulations.  These are the kinds of regulations that may have some effect upon big business for which I'm not aware, but shouldn't have the kinds of effects upon farmers as listed in the link.

One thing I've been thinking about is the idea that if your business is small enough, you would only be susceptible to a brochure's worth of simple regulations which can be easily understood and are explained as a part of public education.  I have no idea if or how this would work, though.  I'd love for someone a little more knowledgeable than I to chime in with some specifics.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2012, 08:05:14 AM »
Instead of something frivolous, like a break room, what if the crystal-polishing is done with a harmful chemical that weakens the immune system when inhaled.  A well-meaning but foolish politician has the idea to pass a law that every crystal-polishing business should require all crystal-polishers to wear protective masks to prevent employees from inhaling the noxious fumes.  Do we still let Sylvia's Crystal Emporium poison their employees because those 3 jobs are so much more important for the economy than the welfare of those 3 employees?

Quote from: AndyZ
...a lot of people will hover at or just under that amount...

Can you site any studies to back this up or is this just another Republican myth to appeal to hard working, middle class Americans?  Blaming the victim is a common theme.  I have collected unemployment and I can tell you I was intent on finding a full time, well paying job.  I had no intentions of 'hovering' on what was barely enough to keep groceries on the table.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2012, 12:27:37 PM »
Instead of something frivolous, like a break room, what if the crystal-polishing is done with a harmful chemical that weakens the immune system when inhaled.  A well-meaning but foolish politician has the idea to pass a law that every crystal-polishing business should require all crystal-polishers to wear protective masks to prevent employees from inhaling the noxious fumes.  Do we still let Sylvia's Crystal Emporium poison their employees because those 3 jobs are so much more important for the economy than the welfare of those 3 employees?

Certainly makes sense to me to quit harming the employees, or at the very least, offer hazard pay.

If this is going on, it would be a fantastic example of offering better regulations instead of simply more regulations.  It would also be a fantastic lawsuit, where the employees should be able to sue the company for lots of cash for knowingly poisoning them.

Do you have any examples of this?

Quote
Can you site any studies to back this up or is this just another Republican myth to appeal to hard working, middle class Americans?  Blaming the victim is a common theme.  I have collected unemployment and I can tell you I was intent on finding a full time, well paying job.  I had no intentions of 'hovering' on what was barely enough to keep groceries on the table.

I sympathize; I was on unemployment long enough for it to run out.

Quote from: http://www.obamacarewatch.org/primer/employer-mandate
For firms which do not offer insurance any insurance, have more than 50 employees, and have at least one employee receiving insurance subsidies, they must pay a tax of $2000 per subsidized employee. The individual mandate requires everyone to purchase health insurance. The tax is applied to all of a firmís employees (after excluding the first 30), not just those that are subsidized. For example a firm with 51 employees would pay $42,000 in new annual taxes, and an additional $2,000 tax for every new hire.

Now, $42,000 for going from 50 to 51 employees is an astonishing leap.  However, we have to compare that to the cost of insurance vs. the cost of the fine.  According to one source in New York, it's $200 for a single person, $350 for a couple, and $1,000 for a family.  Assuming an even spread throughout the 51, we have $1,550 * 17 = $26,350.  That's also an astonishing leap to make to have to go from 50 to 51 employees.

That probably doesn't qualify as a study, though.  Here's one from Gallup where they specifically ask about why small businesses are not looking for new employees.

Not needing new employees isn't something that can be fixed.  "Some other reason" would certainly be helpful to know.  Potential cost of healthcare and new regulations point exactly towards the argument on the right. 

I'd be curious about how taxes fit in, but it wasn't asked.  Only 7% of those looking to hire mentioned the low tax rate, but in 2012, the tax cuts are set to expire very soon anyway.  The growth from those was in 2003.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Encouraging Small Business
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2012, 12:50:21 PM »
Do you have any examples of this?

The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster is not a direct example.  But it is enough to make me skeptical that employers always have employees' best interest in mind.  Sure, they were punished after the accident happened.  A lot of good that does for the dead miners.  Also, note that the government dropped the ball on this one too.  My distrust of big business does not mean I am any more trusting of the government.

obamacarewatch.org?

I do not know the particulars well enough to argue here, but paint me skeptical.  If I recall correctly, Boehner and Cantor have vested interest in healthcare companies.  We know the healthcare companies have it out for 'Obamacare'.  They have been screaming the sky is falling from the start.  Without reading the bill itself in its entirety, it is difficult to know how much fear is warranted and how much is just the industry trying to protect its profits.