Sunday, October 11, 2009

what makes an entrepreneur?

In my very short college career, one thing I learned about was the labeling of textiles. So I've been sifting through the Textile and Wool Acts to make sure my labels are in order. Even though I stopped selling children's products because CPSIA made it so complicated, that doesn't mean I'm free from all regulations. Unfortunately.

This has made me think about regulation of businesses in general. Yes, some regulation is necessary. But it seems to me that what we have in America today is two centuries worth of layer upon layer of federal, state and local rules and regulations. When the laws themselves become so long and complicated that the congressmen passing those laws do not even take the time to read them, we're in trouble. This aspect of government is such a bloated monstrosity that it has lost effectiveness.

Yet the regulations remain. And they are daunting to anyone starting a new business. Enough that it makes me want to throw in the towel some days. After all, can't I use my talents to make things for my family and friends, and choose to save what little money we have instead of trying to make more?

But then I think about the kinds of business that will remain if all the "little guys" give up, saying it's too hard. There will be big business, those large enough to hire lobbyists to change the laws, and lawyers to understand the laws. There will be the businesses with no integrity who choose to ignore the laws (see this great post by Wacky Hermit about overregulation). And of course, there will be very small businesses who are either ignorant of the laws, or don't care to learn them. They are of little consequence, because if they grow they will not be able to fly under the radar.

That outcome does not look like a place I'd like to live. So I guess I'll get back to my reading.

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