Sunday, 23 March 2008

Government Destruction of Small Business

More socialist destruction of business -small business, not "evil" big business has come out from the government today. From Stuff:

"changes to be made to the Employment Relations Act:

* Someone working a standard eight-hour day would be entitled to a minimum of two 10-minute paid rest breaks and a half hour unpaid meal break throughout the day. The breaks would have to be fairly timed so a meal break was taken as near as practicable to the middle of the work period. If an employment agreement had more generous entitlements, then these would apply.

* Employers would be required to provide, where reasonable and practical, facilities and breaks for employees who wished to breastfeed. A code of employment practice would guide employers on how to uphold the obligations."

This little piece of legislation got me thinking: who is really hurt by Socialist taxes and regulations? Big business, which is supposedly the great morass of evil, or small business, set up by poor or middle class people, with a small clientèle?

The answer, almost without exception, is the latter. Rich people and corporations can afford to pay taxes and follow regulations. Small businesses have a lot less money, and less productive capability -and as thus, much less power to abide by governmental regulation. A big business may be able to provide breastfeeding stations, as laid out in the law changes, for its female employees at a small cost of total expenses. Even if a small business' breastfeeding stations aren't as clean and safe as a big business' equivalent, and there are less of them, the new stations create a much larger dent in the budget.

For a small business, having to provide such services amounts to little more than instant gratification on the employee's side. By having their perks now, the money that was supposed to be used for production and business growth, and as thus, more competition for labour, goes to these short term benefits, which may, at worst, put a small company out of business. Long term thinking and benefits are sacrificed to short term whim.

A small business, as well as having to abide by such governmental legislation, also needs, as a percentage, more money to spend in other areas. For instance, a large factory may have a lot more automation, and a much higher output per worker than a smaller factory. The smaller factory mightn't afford the extra cost of automation, and thus its output per worker is lower. However, the small business still has to provide the same services to its employees as the big business. This means less money used on increasing production (by means of either machines or workers).

Add to that the fact that big business has the power to "get into bed" with government. With a government which couldn't put a myriad of regulations over the economy (or any sector of human life for that matter), there'd be no incentive for businesses to lobby politicians to introduce legislation to crush the competition.

By regulating businesses in this way, government hurts who it claims to protect -poor, lower-class people looking to get ahead in life, both workers and businesses.

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