Thursday, September 13, 2007


There's nothing like owning your own business to show you politics in action. It's where the rubber hits the road. I'm not active politically and when I am, I tend to lean Democrat. However, lately there have been realities of business ownership that have smacked me so hard that I've been knocked a bit to the right.

It turns out owning a business is really, really hard. The last thing we need is government telling us what to do or how to run things. Sure, that's a self-interested statement, but what you start noticing when you own your own business is that regulating behavior doesn't work. It would be cool if it did, but no luck. You can't make a city pretty, competition work in your favor, pay higher or the economy stable by passing a law or creating a committee. Reactions to such attempts are immediate and generally undesirable.

It's become such a clear and persistent problem that I'm even against things that seem to help me in the short run. I know there are unknown ripple effects that will only make things more complicated for me later. After you've seen this in action, any such talk just smacks of idiocy and short-sightedness.

A few examples that have irritated me of late:
  • The Supreme Court ruling on "price fixing," basically allowing companies to attempt to create price floors on new releases for periods of time. It may help me in the short run, but the end result is it raises prices for everyone. Maybe I sell more Magic cards but my customers have less money because of something else they had to buy at a higher price. Let the market decide.
  • Barack Obama's desire to fine lender's who gave out loan's to defaulting borrowers. This guy is finished. I've got a tricky loan myself that switches over in a couple of years and I've got nobody to blame. I don't recall a gun being put to my head.
  • My own experience with the City of Concord and their idiotic planning group. I was in there last week and a guy was being forced to replace his sign after the city had approved his permit. I'm still waiting to see if my permit is approved or if I'm a victim of an elaborate property management conspiracy.
I don't believe in Adam Smith's Invisible Hand. Things can get out of control at times. I do believe there are some common goods and commons in general that need protection against self-interest. However, you can't regulate intelligence, pretty or the law of supply and demand unless you want to be mired in red tape and inefficiency.


  1. It's Like my Micro Economics class all over again. We just covered the market behavior your talking about.

  2. I just *love* the idea that my tax dollars will be used to help homeowners pay their mortgages - and keep them from being foreclosed on - when such foreclosures are my best bet for getting house prices to drop to a point where I might be able to afford to buy one.

    Once again, the government is bailing out people who made stupid decisions - and making those of us who refrained from making the same stupid decisions pick up the tab.