Friday, November 19, 2010

Percolative Economics

My wife owns a small business. She started it only a couple years ago when she lost her job and health insurance while she was pregnant. That kinda sucked. But she got back up and started her own biz, and her store is doing well. Especially for being a start up.

That business has managed to keep our family afloat for the past couple of years, in fact. It's our life raft. And though it hasn't been years of luxury, we count ourselves lucky to be making dough at all. And when I say Not Luxury, I mean around $8 an hour.

Anyway...she does this thing to me where she sits me down and shows me her books.

"See this money that came in? See what we're getting? See what [employee] is getting? See how much we're sending out in taxes?"

This mirco-business she started as a way to keep her family afloat is taxed enough to hire a third employee who makes more than her and the other person working there.

She's a micro-business.

Not a "small business."

"Small businesses" seem to get a lot of lip service among our political leaders. But when you look into what constitutes a "small business" you're looking at a business that makes less than $20 million a year, or a manufacturer who employs fewer than 500 people.

Most of the businesses that regular people start and struggle with aren't anywhere in the "small business" league. They're more better described as "micro businesses." And yet they hire people. They create jobs. They're the jobs people create for themselves when they have nowhere else to turn.

These micro-businesses are the businesses that deserve a break.

These micro-businesses are the ones that have been ignored because they're too small to get attention, but need help the most.

While tax cuts and credits and capital gains cuts for buying equipment are passed around to the "small businesses" ....what's going to the micro-businesses?

We've set up a system that rewards the HUGE businesses and the RICH people, but sucks the life from the poor and middle class and the micro-businesses.

In my view of the world, policy is directed to the benefit of the smaller people: the ones struggling from the bottom. Policy should be directed at encouraging social mobility. I don't believe in Trickle Down economics. I believe in Percolative Economics. That prosperity for all must begin at the bottom and percolate up.

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