I see first hand of the increased struggles faced by small business owners in this country, especially in raising working capital in cyclical dry periods, such as quarterly payrolls and taxes. The increased spreads , the high turn-down rate of small business loan efforts, the increasing burden of the governments (ie, taxes), hefty service charges by banks (for credit/debit cards, for example) all paint a grim picture for the the small business owner.
This wouldn't be so bad unto itself, but the small businesses are what create the bulk of hobs in this country. I do not know the specific numbers, but I read how the top 500 companies in the U.S. shed - through productivity enhancements, layoffs, etc. - approximately the same number of jobs that the small companies created, hence the jobless economic recovery that we've experienced. The number I recall was approximately 21m jobs created by small business versus 20m jobs eliminated by the S&P500 companies since 2000. Again, a grim economic outlook.
I am not opposed to taxation. Actually, I am a big proponent of redistribution of wealth, which is increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer in this country (at historical levels - not just for US history, but for the world's history, time immemorial) while the basic needs of society continue to erode and go unmet. So by definition I am a socialist. But the economic system in this country that favours the large corporation (continuing to be comfortably profitable) while the pervasive anemia that virtually everyone feels on Main Street is only addressed through programs that benefit larger banks or are merely lip service to the politicians voting constituents.
One example is the paltry SBA loan program. Back in the nineties, I recall getting an SBA loan for a young kid upwards of $100,000 to open a bike shop, which he successfully launched and operated. Today, this same loan would require perfect credit, a painfully lengthy application process, your home, grandmother and first born as collateral, and you might get the loan. Actually, you probably still wouldn't get the loan. I haven't heard of a single person getting an SBA loan (and I've worked with probably a hundred small businesses) in the past decade. Our derelict government is failing us, and we continue to vote the single Dem/Rep ticket. So sad.
A very interesting blog that I have as my home page that paints a more realistic picture of the economic environment in this country and world: Naked Capitalism. Oh well, back to the salt mines on this cloudy, chilly day in Bellingham.
And on a much brighter note, a picture of my new dog that moved in a few weeks back - quite possibly the sweetest dog I've ever met. All the good things in the world are manifested in this little sentient being.