We focus a lot of our energy on those businesses which are gaming the system. Companies like Boeing, GE, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, you get it. But there are businesses which do business the non-crony way. (Though at times it can be hard to do given the crony structure of our economy.) There are still businesses out there committed to being the best in the marketplace, providing value to consumers, and which abhor getting into bed with politicians. (All we can say is use protection if you’re going to do it.) And these businesses and business people need to fight for economic liberty, free prices, and voluntary exchange, and against cronyism, crony capitalist regulation, and central planning from Washington. Their voice needs to be heard.
We are certainly committed to this fight. Our friend Fred Smith at CEI is committed to it. We know there are many others.
Business leaders today face an array of regulatory burdens that don’t just affect a single company or even a single industry. These government rules restrict their ability to build their companies and serve their customers every day. But, business leaders too often resign themselves to increasingly burdensome regulation—We tried resistance once and we lost! Businessmen treat regulations like the weather, just another exogenous cost of doing business, much like a shopkeeper forks over protection money to a local mob boss. Even many entrepreneurs who aim to disrupt entire industries with new ideas seem reluctant to fight City Hall—or Congress, for that matter.
But as the costs of regulation increase and the freedom of business to make creative operating and investment decisions continues to shrink, business must rethink the costs of appeasement. Business leaders must learn to better tell their stories while also reaching out to free market intellectuals and policy groups as credible spokespeople. Better stories of why the productive sector of the economy deserves to flourish without the burdens of government are needed. These might inspire more executives, investors, and entrepreneurs in the U.S. to stand up against the threat of bureaucratic micro-management.