The public economy needs to be rationalized and restructured, but the most important job is to revitalize and energize the private sector. —Walter Russell Mead
The three-year old spectacle of a state and national political establishment utterly failing to tackle the obstacles to economic expansion has dramatically loosened the average citizen’s allegiance to traditional institutions, including political parties and unions. Combined with unprecedented personal connectivity available via the Internet and its rich menu of linkage, new ways of organizing and applying political power are emerging all over the place.
This is what happens when formerly vibrant and reliable systems break down, in both the economy and the political structure. If the old ways don’t work, we invent new ones. So it’s no mystery why, from the Tea Party to the Occupiers, citizens are taking direct action to do what they believe needs to be done.
Small Business Revolution is a new and vital vehicle for the state’s 3.5 million small business owners and employers to take civic responsibility for our sorry state of affairs. We assert that the primary and necessary focus of our political leadership is California’s economic health, without which our great state faces inevitable decay.
Small business owners, endlessly proclaimed “the backbone of our economy” by our political leaders, had to move immediately after the crash in September of 2008 to find ways to stay afloat. Unfortunately too many of them had to lay off employees or even close their doors. Nonetheless, the innovative spirit and determination to realize the American dream of independence and success have created a quiet wave of business transformation that will be the platform for a new economy that will yield yet newer levels of surplus and wealth.
Further, hundreds of thousands of long-termed unemployed are exploring the option of self-employment out of necessity.
What small business owners get that our political establishment still doesn’t is that things will never go back to the way they were even three years ago. The only way out is forward. Small business owners had no choice after the crash; they either adapted to the new circumstances or lost their investments and livelihoods.
And no thanks to state government, which to this day can’t even bring itself to seriously and systematically address the be-barnacled regulatory morass that weighs down our economy and keeps us ranked at the bottom of the fifty states in business friendliness. Oh, we found time to argue over fitted sheets in hotels, keeping kids out of tanning salons, unionizing babysitters, and criminalizing parents’ failure to make their snowboarding kids wear helmets.
But actually scaling back the government’s endless and ever-expanding meddling in the economy is just not important enough to tackle.
Small business owners reject complaining about this shameful state of affairs as a solution; we are organizing the potential political muscle of the 3.5 million of us—one in every ten Californians—to support candidates of either party in next year’s election ready and eager to make economic growth their number one focus upon taking office.
Small Business Revolution is hosting the first-ever Small Business Summit on November 15 in Los Angeles to draw up the commitments we expect from candidates that want our support next June. We welcome the participation of key small business associations like NFIB California, the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, NAWBO California, the Latino Coalition, the Asian Chamber of Commerce, the DVBE Alliance, the Los Angeles Business Federation, Small Business California, CAMEO, and the California Black Chamber of Commerce.
Small business owners are Democrats, Republicans, independents, and adherents to minor parties. What we have in common is the commitment to the freedom—the securing and perpetuation of which is the actual purpose of our state government—to risk our capital to make and sell goods and services in an open market and to enjoy the profits or suffer the losses that result without an increasingly impertinent nanny government telling us how to do it.
In other words, small business owners embody the American dream; Small Business Revolution will create the political power to restore everyone’s access to live that dream back to being the primary job of government.
Summit and registration information are available at www.smallbusinessrev.com.