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Meet the New Left: Small-Business Owners

Business  (tags: propaganda, politics, usa, business, corporate, corruption, dishonesty, economy, GoodNews, lies, marketing, money, politics, society, goodnews, ethics, cover-up, americans )

- 1882 days ago -
But if you listen to them more closely, you will hear jarring expressions of distinctly liberal opinions. And they express salty disgust for the US Chamber of Commerce & the National Federation of Independent Business, which claim to speak for the littl

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JL A (281)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 4:40 pm
Beginning of article:
Meet the New Left: Small-Business Owners
William Greider
March 20, 2013 | This article appeared in the April 8, 2013 edition of The Nation.

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An employee counts money from a sale at Chagrin Hardware in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

A promising new force is finding its voice in progressive politics, though it is still widely ignored or misunderstood. These overlooked progressives are small-business owners and entrepreneurs who are not usually confused with left-wing activists. It does seem improbable: roughly half of small-business people are Republicans, only a third or so identify themselves as Democrats, and some certainly fit the old stereotype. The GOP idolizes business folks as free-market, small-government conservatives. On the left, they are frequently dismissed as small-minded right-wingers.
About the Author
William Greider
William Greider
William Greider, a prominent political journalist and author, has been a reporter for more than 35 years for newspapers...
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But if you listen to them more closely, you will hear jarring expressions of distinctly liberal opinions. And they express salty disgust for the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, which claim to speak for the little guys on Main Street. Actually, these little guys accuse the US Chamber and the NFIB of identity theft.

The American Sustainable Business Council, along with several other like-minded groups, is determined to counter this corporate-financed propaganda by enabling small-business owners to speak for themselves. Simple as that may sound, it has great potential to alter political alignments and clear the way for a future economy based on very different principles and values. The old stereotype has lost its relevance.

The ASBC was created four years ago by progressive activists and thinkers on both coasts, supported by a couple of progressive foundations that saw missed opportunities for political development. The idea was to hook up scores, even hundreds, of local groups already forming and build a broad network of kindred spirits. The council would cooperate with two allied groups, the Main Street Alliance and the Small Business Majority, to create a provocative new presence in national politics: citizens campaigning for a new economy who are poorly represented by both parties.

Indeed, the ASBC quickly discovered that the Small Business Administration, a federal agency created to speak for the little guys, had been captured by the corporate big boys and used to spin convenient myths about what small-business people think of government.

The forward-looking agitators surrounding the ASBC are quite diverse, but they are the natural allies of those fighting to address climate change and for other progressive issues. You can glimpse the possibilities in a sampler of the opinions that the council has collected to educate the media and politicians.

Camille Moran, president and CEO of Caramor Industries and Four Seasons Christmas Tree Farm in Natchitoches, Louisiana: “Wall Street wheelers and dealers would get no sympathy saying that ending the high-income Bush tax cuts would hurt them, so instead they pretend it would hurt Main Street small business and employment. Don’t fall for it…. That’s a trillion dollars less we would have for education, roads, security, small business assistance and all of the other things that actually help our communities.”

Joseph Rotella, president of Spencer Organ Company in Waltham, Massachusetts: “As a small business owner and as an American, I support proposals to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $9.80 by 2014…. Not only is increasing the minimum wage the right and fair thing to do, but it will also help stimulate our struggling economy by putting more money into the hands of workers who need to spend it.”

ReShonda Young, operations manager of Alpha Express, a family-owned delivery service in Waterloo, Iowa: “We’re not afraid to compete with the biggest delivery companies out here, but it needs to be a fair fight, not one in which big corporations use loopholes to avoid their taxes, stick our business with the tab.”

Susan Inglis, executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: “Our way of protecting consumers from toxic chemicals is broken. The chemical industry shouldn’t be able to market chemicals to manufacturers and retailers unless we know beyond a reasonable doubt that they are safe. They made the chemicals, they should be held responsible.”

* * *
[lengthy article continues for a couple more pages at the site]

Kit B (276)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 6:48 pm

This is just like sweet smell of spring air. How often we hear the drum beat of what small business wants, that is according to K Street who would know Small Business if it jumped up to bite their nose. Small business, any company or corporate entity below 500 employees is and has been vastly under represented. This is a wonderful thing to read. Consumers have been all but forgotten in this ugly race for who can gouge the most the fastest. This combining of real business interests with the desire to do something positive for themselves, their potential customers, the country and our planet is just exciting news.

Thomas P (280)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 6:49 pm
Noted...thanks JL. As a small business owner, these are many of the reasons why I won't support either the Chamber of Commerce or the National Federation of (allegedly) Independent Business. They have their own agendas and it has little to do with helping small businesses and a lot to do with being shills for large corporations and ultra right wing causes. While their names may connote otherwise and though their original missions may have been different, they do the bidding of big business at the expense of small businesses, much in the same way that the NRA represents gun manufacturers and the gun lobby rather than true sportsmen and the gross majority of gun owners. These groups shamelessly prey on and exploit the fears of the gross majority of their members in order to advance the causes of the very few. This is typical right wing warfare...and precisely why I could never support either the Chamber of Commerce or the NFIB (or the NRA, for that matter, but that point is really moot because I am neither a gun owner or a hunter.).

JL A (281)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 6:52 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Glenn Byrnes (197)
Monday April 29, 2013, 12:19 am
Noted. Thanks.

Lynn D (0)
Monday April 29, 2013, 1:17 am
Thank you!

Past Member (0)
Monday April 29, 2013, 4:07 am

JL A (281)
Monday April 29, 2013, 8:50 am
You are welcome Glenn, Lynn and Amy!

. (0)
Monday April 29, 2013, 10:30 am
Very promising and while I'm at it; since when did Wall St. ever speak for the little guy? It's the small and medium size businesses that are the backbone of the economy; the one's who pay the most tax. Right now it is the underground and grass roots businesses and ventures that are keeping the US afloat.

JL A (281)
Monday April 29, 2013, 1:57 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last day.

Judith Hand (55)
Monday April 29, 2013, 2:18 pm
Noted. It makes sense, doesn't it?

Birgit W (160)
Monday April 29, 2013, 2:27 pm

JL A (281)
Monday April 29, 2013, 2:28 pm
You are welcome Birgit

Past Member (0)
Monday April 29, 2013, 2:37 pm
thanks noted

JL A (281)
Monday April 29, 2013, 2:46 pm
You are welcome Carol

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday April 29, 2013, 5:11 pm
If anyone should have gotten bailouts and tax cuts and incentives it should been the little and medium small businesses. I always prefer to do business with them or one that is family owned.

JL A (281)
Monday April 29, 2013, 5:43 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Theodore because you have done so within the last day.

Jeremy S (3)
Monday April 29, 2013, 6:53 pm
My family ran a non-profit theatre company for about 17 years. (Unfortunately, it was so non-=profit that we ended up closing it down to put it out of its misery, but that's another topic. Of course, we already were faor;y left-leaning (most theatre practitioners are), but at Small Business meetings, I met ta woman who is a staunch Republican, but who has many left-leaning views. Our co founder, too, will never vote Democratic, but she was an excellent ally and good artist, as well as an effective house manager. The point is, despite the way she votes, she was fare more liberal than she realized. That being the only small business I've really known well, I can't comment on others.

Alan Lambert (91)
Monday April 29, 2013, 8:47 pm
I wonder if we can create a lefty version of the Chamber of Congress???

JL A (281)
Monday April 29, 2013, 9:13 pm
There is a Small Business Association that often has weighed in on opposite sides from the Chamber on legislative proposals--just doesn't seem to have anywhere near the funding, clout and voice of the Chamber...however some State Chambers still seem to represent small businesses--that might be a viable stepping stone Alan.
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