IBO: An Endangered Species?
Could it be that there is a beast that is more threatened than the short tailed albatross, the blunt nosed leopard lizard or the black footed ferret in this country? Could the government have failed to list one of its most important threatened species or is the government hunting down and killing the Ibo?
Ibo’s come in all sizes and colors and are often hard to recognize. They adapt to their surroundings looking larger than they actually are to ward off all the predators that seem to crave their hides.
According to the government last year there were 677,000 Ibos born and 595,000 of them died. No matter how you count them, those are endangered species numbers.
The Ibo is often known to engage in highly risky behavior. In creating their hives and dens they often gamble everything they have, like so many beasts usually with only instinct to guide them.
But unlike the Canyon Bat Cave Spider there isn’t a protection list for America’s independent business owners.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration for firms employing fewer than 30 people the annual cost of compliance to Federal regulations runs over $7,000 a year per worker. Despite those costs 90% of firms of that size offer health care benefits to their employees even as premiums rise dramatically each year.
In 2008, 99% of the nearly 30 million businesses in this country were defined by the government as small. It’s almost defiant to call them small when they employed over 60 million people.
Yet the current administration seems to want to corral or kill this species. Efforts to tax them for health care; creating unfair advantages for unions; conjuring up an unnecessary consumer protection agency and then holding them responsible for the government’s failure to control our borders will only endanger small businesses’ existence even more.
Someday if the administration succeeds in its assault on small business and their failure rate grows we can take the one step we may be on the verge of anyway. We can hand over the keys to the United States to the government that holds its ever growing mortgage: China. Maybe that’s not a bad idea. In communist China small business, especially manufacturers are flourishing, creating a middle class for the first time in that ancient country’s history.
There is one agency that places the survival of independent small business proprietors at the top of its list offering government relations, community affairs, business development, networking and often health care coverage. All over Pennsylvania there are hundreds of local chambers of commerce dedicated to doing just that. For the endangered Ibo, membership in the chamber is one of its best chances of survival.
Albert Paschall is Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, a non-profit educational foundation based in Harrisburg. Somedays is syndicated to leading newspapers and radio stations in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at [email protected]