Why It’s Important to Pay Attention

In the past, it was right and good that most Americans didn’t pay much attention to politicians.  Americans didn’t have to pay attention to politics because government was small, a gentle hum of electricity in the background keeping things going while you went along with your daily business.

No more.  And while we do hear about the sprawl of federal and occasionally state government, the rot is at the local level as well.  The NYT published an article last week about the travails of an ice cream shop trying to open up in San Francisco.

Ms. Pries said it took two years to open the restaurant, 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.

Meanwhile, everyone wrings their hands about what can government do to help small businesses.  An innovation program?  Tax breaks?  A new government office to help small businesses with paperwork?

I think the answer is obvious.  Do you?

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About Mystic Cowgirl

I worked overseas in the aid game for longer than I'd like to admit and learned several important things: 1) Third World countries aren't poor because America is rich. They're impoverished due to socialist governments that provide neither rule of law nor basic infrastructures; 2) These socialist governments redistribute wealth from taxpayers to the government workers. There's no benefit to the poor or downtrodden, and certainly not to the general welfare in terms of infrastructure improvements. 3) America is moving toward the Third World model. Rule of law has been subverted because equality under the law is disappearing as special interests carve out exemptions to regulations and special favors under the law. The redistribution of wealth to government began decades ago -- total compensation for government employees now outpaces salaries in the private sector.
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