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Obama Helping Business?

"I'm from the government..."

By Will Offensicht  |  September 18, 2007

Barack Obama's people joined my social network and asked, "How can government help small businesses?"

The answer is obvious - government should do nothing to help any business, large or small.  Businesses prosper by generating value for society.  If a business can't generate value without help, it should shut down.

Microsoft made Mr. Gates $50 billion and made so many other people rich that we speak of "Microsoft millionaires."  They did this by selling software people wanted to buy.  They didn't need government help.  They even survived a government attempt to shut them down.

There is one thing President Obama should do to help all businesses.  He should tell government to get out of the way.  Most businesses spend huge amounts of time supplying information to the government or following regulations even though our Constitution forbids involuntary servitude.

It will be nearly impossible for President Obama to get government out of the way, however, because of human nature.  All bureaucrats want a bigger budget.  The more rules they write, the more rules they can enforce.  The more rules they enforce, the more people they need.  They write rules so they need more people so that they can ask for more money.  It's always for our own good, of course.

Government rules don't have to make sense.  Take the people who check your ID before you get on a plane.  The 9-11 bad guys all got good IDs by bribing clerks at motor vehicle bureaus.

Bad guys had good IDs.  Checking IDs does nothing for security, but it makes jobs for bureaucrats.  They charge airlines to search us, and the airlines pass the fees on.  They get their budget without having to ask Congress every year.  That's bureaucratic heaven!

What if a bad guy gets through?  They'll say that they asked for more money -- which is true -- and they'll promise to fix it if we double their budget.  We know that's what they'll say because that's what schools say when we ask why kids can't read.  When a kid gets beaten to death in foster care, social bureaucrats say they could fix that, too, if we'd double their budget.

"I can do that if you'll double my budget": the bureaucratic mantra.  Writing rules trashes businesses but gives them more money.  How will President Obama fight that?