Honesty in politics?

I was sitting at home Saturday night and Stossel was on Fox Business Channel.  I watched.  What a shock!  A libertarian watched Stossel!

However, I witnessed something I never would have thought I would see, and that was honesty from a pro-regulation lobbyist.

The segment in question was about a proposal which would require taxis in Washington D.C. to have a medallion system like New York.  For the record, per Stossel’s segment, a NYC medallion costs around $1 million per pop. A lobbyist in favor of medallions in D.C. said on Stossel’s show that it was in fact about squeezing out the little guy.

Many of us who are anti-regulation cite how more regulations make it more difficult for the small operator to function.  As a small business owner myself, I can tell you that more and more government regulations only make life more difficult.  I am currently seeking two full time employees, but only because of a profound need.  I would seek out four or five employees if it weren’t for the spectre of ObamaCare - to say nothing of other regulations out there - that could make my life even more difficult and thereby override the benefit of more employees.

The lobbyist’s candor, that the measure he proposed and that a D.C. councilman actually introduced was really about squeezing out the small businessman was unique.  However, it’s not really a shock for many of the pro-liberty movement.  It was a shock for me though.

While I will often cite the problems of regulations and how they impact the small businessman, I never really thought there was as much of a concerted effort to break the small businessman as there apparently is.  Oh sure, I figured Walmart supported an employer mandate because it would hurt Target, but I didn’t really think they gave a damn about the mom and pop store.

Now, I have to step back and rethink that.

Sure, as a newspaper owner, I want to crush my competition, but I seek to do that by being better and cheaper.  That would make it ridiculous for anyone to advertise, much less read, any paper but my own.  The idea of using the government is repugnant.  I’d like to think I wouldn’t need the government to beat them.  Granted, in a town of 77,000 people, there’s room for more than one newspaper.  I doubt I would need to crush anyone to be a success.

However, it now seems clear that my view may well be a minority among business owners.  How many would use Uncle Sam to hurt their competition if they could?  It’s kind of sad that I now have to question if it’s a minority or majority of businesses.

Regardless, at least one lobbyist was honest about the purpose of a proposed regulation.  Maybe we can use that to remind people what regulations actually do: they crush the small businessman.  Plain and simple.


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