Hint: it’s not the “socialists” …
Here are three examples of big business lobbying for regulation to the detriment of small business:
- Big publishers in mid-90s pushing to extend the length of copyrights and gut the idea of fair-use; this pretty much stifled the growth of upstart Kinko’s and their production of course packets. In addition, it removed a lot of material from the public domain, material that could’ve been used to spur further innovation and creativity.
- Big Ag (Monsanto, Conagra, et al) lobbied for regulations that would allow them to patent genomes, thus creating a market for GMOs that would further undercut small farmers who were already under duress …
- Pharmaceutical companies lobbied to have the patent period extended to 17 years in order to stifle drug development by small bio-chem firms that were popping up everywhere.
In addition, corporate welfare in the form of tax incentives to big-box stores like Target, Walmart, Sears and Cabela’s give large competitive advantages to big businesses over extant and potential small businesses.
The problem isn’t too much or too little regulation; it’s misapplied regulation. Putting the wrong regulations in place just end up having, from the naive lawmaker’s and citizen’s perspective at least, unintended consequences that are detrimental to small business.
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