How To Cripple An Economy
It’s simple, really. Just make it impossible for anyone to do anything that creates wealth or employment.
John Stossel describes his navigation of the morass of red tape required to open a simple lemonade stand:
— Register as sole proprietor with the County Clerk’s Office (must be done in person)
— Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number.
— Complete 15-hr Food Protection Course!
— After the course, register for an exam that takes 1 hour. You must score 70 percent to pass. (Sample question: “What toxins are associated with the puffer fish?”) If you pass, allow three to five weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate.
— Register for sales tax Certificate of Authority
— Apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit. Must bring copies of the previous documents and completed forms to the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center.
Then, at least 21 days before opening your establishment, you must arrange for an inspection with the Health Department’s Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation. It takes about three weeks to get your appointment. If you pass, you can set up a business once you:
— Buy a portable fire extinguisher from a company certified by the New York Fire Department and set up a contract for waste disposal.
— We couldn’t finish the process. Had we been able to schedule our health inspection and open my stand legally, it would have taken us 65 days.
Trying to set up a business in Australia is little different.
It baffles me that some liberals think the reason people go into business is because they are greedy. I make less money than my wife, a part-time teacher. We have mortgaged our house and put most of our savings into our business. All of that would be lost if it failed.
We work hard to make it work; to give good service, to ensure our prices are competitive with larger city stores. We have been fortunate. Three out of four new businesses fail in the first twelve months. If money was what we were after, I would be far better off working for the government. Public servants take no risks and are paid more.
If the government wants people to do the work and take the risks that are the basis of all wealth-producing activity, it needs to offer some encouragement. I don’t mean grants or advisors. Just stay out of the way.
If they can’t or won’t do that, eventually there will be no-one left to pay the public servants.