According to Aesop’s fable The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs:
“A cottager and his wife had a Hen that laid a golden egg every day. They supposed that the Hen must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and in order to get the gold they killed it. Having done so, they found to their surprise that the Hen differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were assured day by day.”
Like that bullion birthing bird (!), America’s small businesses lifted up the middle class and made it the envy of the world in the twentieth century, paying off day by day, year by year in the form of a stable economy, reliable jobs, high consumer confidence, and even a reliable tax base. However, supposing that increasing regulation, taxes, and fees can continue to be put upon the backs of small businesses without consequences is foolishness. Not only will more existing businesses fail, but the spark of invention, accomplishment and risk-taking necessary for the incubation of a new business might never happen — the unseen casualty of discouragement brought on by the perception (often correct) that the hurdles are just too high.
Few things are more discouraging to would-be entrepreneurs than the morass of regulations by bureaucrats, vested interests, and rule making do-gooders. This video from the Institute for Justice is a great illustration.
The webs that entangle small business will only get swept away when regulators, legislators, and the public stop passing laws that are perceived as “a good idea” and reserve the intractable hand of the state for those issues in which its involvement is an absolute necessity. Only then can we loosen the choke hold on the goose laying the golden eggs.