We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, August 1. 2020
I am a small business owner, a New Yorker, an entrepreneur, a daughter, a sister, and an advocate of others who wish to pursue their dreams. I am passionate about freedom, education and innovation; I am open minded and eager to hear about other people's experiences. My personal views on political issues are deeply rooted in my own personal experiences.
I have launched two businesses over the past seven years; however for the first five years I struggled. I am an educated and intelligent woman but found myself living hand to mouth -- even briefly taking food stamps to buy basic groceries. After year three, I was able to access capital at a reasonable cost and this allowed me to grow; after year six, I am finally seeing some success and I am able to support myself; after year seven I am thriving.
My companies have created jobs for more than 250 US workers and have generated more than $10 million of economic activity. I enjoy my work and find fulfillment in creating a positive impact. I work hard day in and day out to pursue my dreams and encourage others to do the same. I help other entrepreneurs without asking for anything in return because this is the right thing to do. I am not perfect, I have made mistakes, and I am among the ranks of millions of small business owners doing the same thing.
Here are some facts about small businesses. (Before we begin, note that the SBA generally defines small businesses as firms with less than 500 employees; however you can read more details about small business criteria here.)
Before COVID, it was challenging enough. Most small businesses fail; here are some stats. The primary reasons small businesses fail are cash flow and management / business planning challenges, the latter of which I believe is due to a lack of education. The SBA has amazing resources for small business owners, but small business owners often are not aware of these resources.
Back to politics. On a personal level, I find many individuals in politics distasteful -- on both sides. I also find many role models in our leadership on both sides. But, personalities are their business and not my business. If I could not find a way to work with people I did not like, I would be out of business.
All I ask is that everyone do a personal inventory of your motives for hate speech or rallying in an unsafe way - whichever side you are on. If you are doing this to fit in, for approval, to make yourself feel better or simply because you are bored, check yourself. Don't be afraid to speak about your experiences -- or to pursue your dreams.
Please, be safe, be grateful, and support a local business today.
A young entrepreneur
(1) Source: SBA https://advocacy.sba.gov/2019/01/30/small-businesses-generate-44-percent-of-u-s-economic-activity/
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Were those who opposed Hitler inside of Germany distasteful?
Were the things they said opposing the Nazis "hate speech"?
Do not assume because one side fights back they they are the equivalent of the evil party. If I happened upon a mugger attacking you in the night I would become downright distasteful and might even utter some "hate speech" in my efforts to prevent the mugger from harming you. I would hope that afterwards you would not think me the equivalent of the mugger because I fought back.
The assumption that everyone has motives for hate speech or rallying tells a great deal about the writer. Maybe once the "young" entrepreneur becomes an "old" entrepreneur her proclivity for assuming the worst of everyone else will wane.
First off, good for you on overcoming many hurdles in life, the tenacity and grit of your character that has made you a successful person. Congratulations!
I’m a bit taken aback at the very notion of accusing a reader of your otherwise interesting essay, of having spoken hate speech. Like the term social distancing, I have come to loath the term hate speech. It is a highly judgmental term, invented by the highly narcissistic millennial generation, borrowed from the marxist notion of thought crimes.
What do you consider hate speech? Is it hateful to simply disagree? Is it hateful to point out that history is a bit nuanced? Is it hateful to admire some historical person, despite their many flaws, including that they may have owned slaves?
Most people are taken aback by my oversized opinions. I’ve never been afraid to challenge anyone on their views. Once upon a time, I ruined a very important business relationship by expressing my views, to the bosses wife, on abortion. I ruined another business relationship over a disagreement on the second amendment. A couple of times over pointing out to the boss how lazy a co-workers were.
Speaking your mind comes with costs, especially if you are not very diplomatic. A diplomat I am not. I do place a very high value on freedom and liberty. America is a blessing, we shouldn’t allow the communists to destroy it. If talking back to a communist is hate speech, I’m proud to be guilty. I grew up with the notion: Better off dead then Red.
I love God and do my best to serve Him. Jesus said that if you don’t defend Him, he will not defend you to Him at judgment. I take that seriously. He wants you to be loving, truthful and honest. I stumble all the time. Thankfully, He is very forgiving. Without His help, guidance and mercy, I would not be where I am today - pretty much retired at the age of 55.
My two cents.
My point is that entrepreneurs and small business owners face many challenges everyday and we pull ourselves up and overcome. I get frustrated with the name calling when this energy could be used for something productive; I channel all my energy into my business I have no time for nonsense.
I only ask that people continue to think of small businesses as we are an important part of the economy and we often don’t have time to be active because we are busy keeping our businesses afloat.
#SBO-OM - Small Business Owner-Operators Matter
But the politicians see them as a politically weak group to extract from.
Small business lost the first battle and its been rout ever since.
When our leaders (ha ha) declared that some businesses were essential and would stay open, and others the "non-essential" would be closed until the politicians decide on criteria to be determined. The best we could do is express concern for grocery store workers who were seemingly exposed to disease, but without the pensions of city workers.
What is essential is that people choose what they will do for others for compensation determined by other individuals. Otherwise its Cuba, or North Korea. But the SBA; 1-800-hardly. I run my business better than any bureaucrat.
Just looking at some of the denizens of San Francisco makes me feel bad. Is that a "hate" look or is it just another personal expression.
My experience as a small business owner is that people who talk about "both sides" and "hate speech" are craven liberals trying to "pass".
With all due respect, if you presume that hate speech is the alternative to violent protests, you can go "fill in the blank" your self.
This entrepreneur is experiencing what nearly every other business person has experienced in running a business. It isn't easy and it requires working a very long day and at times a not very profitable day but it is a self directed life that not many ever experience. Corporate management is not even close to small business operations. Without risk taking most employees, managers, and even many CEO's don't experience the downside or upside of a personal business. But part of business is being your own HR department and how you deal with the public, customers, and your employees always has a risk involved so know your limits and understand your risks. It all has a price and know what you can afford.
Our family owns a small business in a small California foothill town. We know what it is like to struggle and compete, and we welcome the challenges. We do business with all sorts of people who do not share our political views, and some in our own family members fall on the opposite spectrum of political views but that is something that is not important to us. We work together as a family. The customers we serve know nothing of our political views because it is a well-known fact that some people won't patronize a business if they know that the owners hold an opposite view than they do. That being said, I enjoyed your post and did not take offense at your comments about 'hate speech'. I think that it is because I do not live in that world which takes offense at every little thing and think that is is aimed personally at ME. Disagreement is not hate speech, and a different worldview is not hate speech, but that is my opinion. As for politicians, I, myself, find politicians (most of them) in it for themselves and not doing much for the people they supposedly represent. And being in California, thanks to the politicians,we have a lot more regulations and taxes and bureaucratic red tape and hoops to jump through just to make a living. Politicians here seem to want to make things harder for small businesses, not easier. So, in conclusion, keep reading this site and others and be open to the fact that diversity of thought is a very good thing and can keep a closed mind open. I, myself, find my views can change with new information. Good luck in your business, but you have worked hard to make it a success, so you are obviously on the right track, in spite of the hit we small companies have taken during this crazy year.
Let's see, we are seeing a Marxist revolution, designed apparently to overthrow the capitalist order, an especially big corporations, doing the most damage to small business. They hate the rich but they do the most damage in poor neighborhoods., One suspects that it is being run by the gang that can't think straight. Obviously, hate exists. We have seen it oozing from every pore of those who believe that their purpose in life is to destroy Donald Trump, or Brett Kavanaugh. Their hate speech is the script for the current insurrection. Hate is about destroying people. Or it's about making an ostentatious display of tearing up he State of the Union Speech on national television. Both sides of the political spectrum have their own versions of hate speech, but today, as I see it, it's coming from the radical left. Clearly, this will provoke more hate on the right, but the source is clearly from the left.
Glad to see I wasn't the only one to step back in distaste after reading this letter. I stand for this country and the things upon which it was founded. I used to have my own business too for over twenty years but a very nasty president, and I' not talking about Trump, totally trashed the economy and basically destroyed the field where I did business. I too will not keep my mouth shut to please this person if she thinks what is going on is for the greater good. If she doesn't like what I say she is always free to turn away from me.
You are sitting on a fence that one side is burning down. Where will you land?
Unlike some of the commenters, I read the letter and did not come to the conclusion that the author is 1)accusing me of using hate speech, or 2) asserting that reacting to hate speech with hate speech in return is an improper response.
My business doesn't qualify as "small". It is tiny, but somehow it has survived 40 years. Perhaps its longevity is because it doesn't serve the general public and its customer base is largely conservative who are also business owners. We don't have an HR department or need one.
The rancor, chaos and division sown by SM and MSM, along with the radical Marxist indoctrination from K to Post Doc, and a Marxist political party that has not been restrained by anyone, is to blame for the narcissistic over sensitivity that encompasses almost everyone under the age of 50. Free speech is under siege and may not survive.
Fifty years ago, we knew much better what socialism and Communism were. We knew the value of free speech, and even the ACLU defended it (believe it or not!). Fifty years ago, Americans wouldn’t have been so cowed by a virus of the magnitude of this one. In 1957 we weren’t cowed by one that killed the equivalent of well over 200,000 people in the US and about 3 million worldwide (when corrected for today’s population).
"The real reason we have "over reacted" to this virus is politics. The Democrats/Technocracy saw this virus as an opportunity to destroy Trump’s greatest achievement; a strong economy. They have succeeded, but in the process they had to sow seeds of fear. Now people are afraid to not wear masks and demand everyone wear masks. They are afraid of the gym and restaurants. And of course they are afraid of schools. This was necessary to accomplish the Democrat goals and it's just too bad if your business goes bankrupt or your children are not educated. There are bigger fish to fry, namely getting Trump out of office."
I have the utmost respect for people that risk everything to build a successful business.
What I find deeply disappointing is this person's lack of understanding of our Constitution.
In a country where we have a Constitutional right to free speech, so called hate speech is constitutionally protected. We have a right to say what we want even if others consider it rude, insulting, offensive or hateful.
You can't have caveats attached to Constitutional rights. You can't say you are free to say anything you like as long as it is not (fill in the blank). If you do that there will soon be no free speech at all.
All I ask is that everyone do a personal inventory of your motives for hate speechThe fact that this person believes in 'hate speech' and wishes people would not express themselves in such a way, means by extension, they don't believe in free speech.
If this thinking is typical of young people then the first amendment is doomed. It won't be repealed, it will simply be ignored.
And that makes me despair.
The schools are evidently so busy teaching self-esteem that they don't have time for the Constitution.
My suggestion to you, as a small business person, is to vote for Trump.
I am not aware of any other national public figure who would have your back or even welcome you at the table. This goes for all of Middle Working America, Main Street, and, I would include, medium size/regional businesses too.
I plan to vote for jobs (real jobs that grow the pie), as diversified an economy as is practicable, and the "Bill of Rights". Fix this, and the rest will take care of itself.
I didn't see where you were asking for comment, or why, but I will offer this:
I commend you for your considered risk-taking. It it this concept, a willingness to interpret the business environment and endeavor to deploy capital for a return, that has made our country and economy the strongest in the world. People like you are very brave, investing not only capital but investing of yourself to make and share success. We salute you!
But this can only happen in business and social environments that display a certain fidelity and regularity to principals of order. No other society invests such responsibility, or places such trust in the individual. It is the faith that the social compact will be upheld that provides the opportunity for you to gamble your stake with confidence in your business success.
What happens when this compact becomes broken, and when society's leaders, rather than embrace its concept and defend its well-being, endorse its destruction either directly or through their silent assent? That's what you are seeing now: Craven destructive cowardice on a grand and most despicable scale.
Like others here, I suggest you consider the case for Trump, by ignoring what he says and taking careful note of what his administration does. If you are in the service business, you will already know that the the side aligned against the President is the side that relies on intimidation, extortion, and forceful & unpleasant social action to leverage their goals - and the threat of their actions will always be at your direct expense, to the point of seeing it in flames.
"All I ask is that everyone do a personal inventory of your motives for hate speech or rallying in an unsafe way - whichever side you are on."
And just who gets to decide what is or is not hate speech? Or rallying in an 'unsafe' way? What does that even mean?
This comes across more as a scold than an appeal. Hard pass.
As one who has operated a small business for over forty years, working mostly for the CEOs of mid-sized concerns, I have found the biggest challenge is government bureaucracy at every level. It has grown enormously over the last several decades in spite of promises by every elected official to cut, cut, cut. Meanwhile, it grows like a cancer on our Constitutional Republic, sticking its nose in places that prevent entrepreneurship and innovation except for those with the money and power to buy off these offensive shysters who have never grown a business nor turned away from a bribe to grease the way. The number of residents in our country dependent on a government -- city, state, municipal, federal -- for a job or hand-outs is staggering.
With the pandemic, most blue states are hiring hundreds of additional "trackers" to control an illness that was ignored by former administrations and certainly did not shut down entire economies. The MSM has done a fine job of scaring the wits out of the world. No church services, but the flocks at John Lewis' funeral were entertained by the same former presidents who ignored other pandemics and failed to keep critical materiel produced within American borders.
The SBA CAN BE a good source for assistance; many of my clients have volunteered there. But, it has done nothing to deter or minimize this wall of people and paperwork that hinder successful growth. They should make a HUGE effort now to help the thousands of businesses forced to close because of the antics of mayors and governors who keep whip-lashing us with ever-changing regulations and threats to pull licenses.
I, too, hope you consider t6he candidates for re-election who KNOW that the power mongers are trying to destroy instead of exerting efforts to level the playing field for 1) American citizens, 2) taxpayers, 3) those attempting to grow the American dream from Main Street, not Wall Street or D.C.
WE KNOW and are working hard to make certain he will have another four years to trim the waste impeding your and others efforts.
This, kids, is from the 70's.
"The greatest impediment to progress is the bureaucracy."
Edward T. Hall on Bureaucracy: “no soul, no memory, and no conscience….” Edward Hall was the pioneer who wrote “Beyond Culture”.
“By their very nature bureaucracies have no conscience, no memory and no mind. They are self-serving, amoral and live forever. What could be more irrational? Changing them is almost impossible, because they function according to their own rules and bow to no man, not even the President of the United States. Custom, human frailties, and the will to power keep our bureaucracies going. … Paradoxically, most bureaucracies are staffed largely with conscientious, committed people who are trying to do the right thing, but they are powerless (or feel powerless) to change things. None of which would be so serious if it weren’t that these are the very institutions on which we depend to solve all our major problems. Some answer must be found to bureaucracy.”
“Bureaucratic and institutional irrationality occur because, of all man’s institutions, bureaucracy in all cultures has a tremendous potential to be counterproductive. This drive toward inefficiency may be a direct consequence of blind adherence to procedure, but it also stems from bureaucratic needs for self-preservation and a vulnerability to pressure groups. The combination is unbeatable.”
“Bureaucracy on the life-destroying scale described by Edward T. Hall is an industrial era phenomenon. Only a bureaucracy can turn ordinary, decent people into participants in gigantic atrocities that go on and on, and absolve the people who operate the government machine from personal responsibility for the consequences.
The above is from 9/25 Chicagoboyz.net
This letter reads like a salve to ease the mind.
Please define "hate speech"? And please clarify if you are the authority to define hate speech.
Please define "rallying in an unsafe way" because some "rallies" have destroyed buildings & businesses, and killed innocent people? "Unsafe" seems woefully understated.
Funny, I expected that the audience of Maggie's Farm didn't need to be schooled on the importance of small businesses. Could be my bias showing, could be that the entrepreneur is just firing off the same letter to many websites.
In any case I have become more careful in my discretionary spending, not spending any money with businesses that hate me. Especially in times of drought you want to water the flowers, not the weeds.
The term "hate speech" is straightforward totalitarian thought control. There is no such thing as "hate speech" - just speech someone doesn't agree with and would like to suppress. The use of the term is a bright flashing light signalling that the person who uses it doesn't believe in American values.
I have a lot of sympathy for small business owners because they are on the receiving end of attempts by big business to drive them into failure to limit competition for the big guys. This is done mainly by supporting new regulations that come with a higher proportional cost to the small business owner than the big, or by raising the cost of entry into a business, or both.
Drop the mindset that sees phrases like "hate speech" as something that has a neutral meaning. It doesn't. It's used by people who want to make everyone, including you, into a helpless dependent of an all-powerful state, with no personal agency over your life.
To be helpful and constructive in commenting, it would be good to know who the letter is intended to address and why. What do you want? Your ask is way down at the bottom after a lot of stuff that is unrelated to your ask. Your letter is much too long. I'd gut the whole thing. There are plenty of examples of how to write a persuasive letter on the internet. Start there.
Let's start with the salutation. "Good Morning" Who? Is this for me or someone else entirely?
It seems to be a complete mis-fit for the audience here if this audience is the intended target. If the audience is your customers then you would know them better than we would however we could provide some limited input from a particular demographic in terms of average age and political spectrum - how we would take this letter as proxy customers if we received it from you.
That said, the reaction to the term "hate speech" is predictable from this demographic. Just sayin.
My feedback: make sure you know what your motives are. What are you trying to achieve and with whom? Lead with that. Don't make people guess or wade through a bunch of details while wondering where is this going and what has this to do with what you want from me? that guy over there? whomever. If you can start by articulating this to yourself, then you will be able to better articulate it to us and your intended target. You will also be better able to focus your efforts and you will get better constructive criticism. That said - remember the old trope - tell the people what you are going to tell them, then tell it to them, then tell them what you told them. Make it short, compelling, pursuasive. Good luck.
Years ago I was a DBA converting a companies computer system to a relational database. One of the systems programmers was a pain in my ass. At every meeting he would find something to object to, something that had to be changed or almost anything, it seemed, to be contrary. At first I hated it, it made the meetings longer and typically prevented us from coming to some kind of decision. After a while I began to see he was almost always right and his input, as irritable as it was, was useful and even necessary. His attitude took some getting used to but his input was valuable. It was tough to have to constantly swallow my anger/resentment when he torpedoed a proposal/plan but I did it because he was my "no" man.
My suggestion to our young entrepreneur is to resist the temptation to ignore/reject the tough love in these replies but instead to mine them for their value. This is good advice to everyone; don't take offense when someone is less than polite or too "honest" in their communications with you. If you respond in kind or shrug them off you will possibly miss something of value.
I might add that now, 20 years retired, our "group" from that company have luncheons a few times a year and I look forward to seeing my friend who sometimes seemed hostile so many years ago. He saved me a lot of "do overs".
Look for the silver lining and try to ignore the clouds.
"can't we all just get along??"
some guy in Los Angeles.