I originally wrote this almost 4 years ago. It’s amazing how it still fits.
Oct 23rd 2008 7:16PM
I would hate to be the winning Presidential candidate. Both candidates are delusional in thinking their economic policies will drag us out of a recession or even improve the economy. The reality is that the solutions offered by both are the equivalent of shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. They are meaningless.
You can cut taxes for 95 per cent of Americans and raise taxes for the rest. You can cut taxes for businesses and retain the Bush Tax Cuts. You can increase or decrease the capital gains tax five or 10 per cent either way. Under both programs the deficit for the country will increase, we will borrow and print more money. Five or 10 per cent variance either way, given the big hole our economy is in, won’t matter.
The cure for what ails us is the Entrepreneurial Spirit of this country. We are a nation of people who encourage, support, and invest in those of any and all age, race and gender who will use their ingenuity and come up with a new idea.
It’s always the new idea that re-energizes this country. Industry, manufacturing, transportation, technology, digital communications, etc.—each changed how we lived and ignited our economy and standard of living. Tax policy has never done that. The American People have.
Entrepreneurs who create something out of nothing don’t care what tax rates are. Bill Gates didn’t monitor the marginal tax rate when he dropped out of Harvard and started Microsoft (btw, it was a ton higher than it is today). Michael Dell didn’t wonder what the capital gains tax was when he started PCs Limited, and then grew it into Dell Computer. I doubt that any great business or invention started with a discussion or even a consideration of what the current or projected income or capital gains tax was or would be.
The impact of tax rates on productivity and development is something economists masturbate about, but entrepreneurs don’t waste their time thinking about it. We have business to do.
Entrepreneurs live to be entrepreneurs. I have never had a discussion with anyone about starting a business that included tax rates. Ever. If anyone that wanted an investment from me made a point of discussing tax rates as an impact on their business, I wouldn’t invest in them. Ever.
Entrepreneurs live for the juice of making their dreams come true. Of having a vision and fighting to see it come true. The joy of mission accomplished and the scoreboard of the financial rewards.
We are in an economic mess right now. It doesn’t matter who caused it. It’s here. It doesn’t matter what our presidential candidates and their economic advisors come up with. Its meaningless.
The cure to our economic problems is the Entrepreneurial Spirit of All Americans. Instead of bitching at each other, could one presidential candidate please show even the least bit of leadership and character and stand up for and encourage the entrepreneurs in this country?
I don’t care who is friends with whom, who preached when you went to church, whether you know the actual role of the Vice President, whether you voted with President Bush. I don’t care about any of the mudslinging going back and forth. All it does is waste the time of every potential voter. All of that is meaningless.
What we need is our candidates to stop yelling at each other and starting looking at the American people and encouraging the best of who we are. That is who I want to get behind. That is what I would like to see for our country. That is what will energize and motivate people to create companies and invent products that will turn the economy.
The best time for little guys to start a business is when the big guys are worrying about surviving in theirs. You don’t need to raise money. You need to be smart and be focused. I had no idea until this current financial crisis that when I started MicroSolutions, my first company, it was in the middle of a very bad recession. I had no idea whatsoever. I didn’t know what the tax rates were, and I didn’t care. I had an idea, a floor to sleep on and a lot of motivation.
Now is the time for Entrepreneurs to step up and do our part for our country. It’s up to us to start businesses and create jobs. That is the cure to this country’s economic problems.
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