Wednesday 18 June 2014

Local Business is Beautiful Business

Local Business is Beautiful Business

As Traditional Conservatives we believe in communities and in families. The reason we believe in these things is because they provide mutual support to each other, they are not competitive or exploitative by nature. But instead the health of one contributes to the health of the other. In economics we need this as well, we need the economy to be mutually supportive, to not be exploitative and to contribute to both societies and the Nations health. We do however still require competition within the economy. The question is how to achieve these things.

We often hear about Multinationals and other very large companies, it's easier for both the media and politicians to concentrate upon these large entities. But most wealth and most jobs are not created or maintained by Multinationals, instead those things are created and maintained by medium and small business. Enterprises that may consist of as many as 10,000 employees, but in the majority of cases consist of less than 100 employees. It is here that most people work and it is here that we can have a real influence and impact as the needs of these companies are very close to ours.

We want communities to support themselves, to provide employment and opportunity. We want communities to be mutual aid societies, where people can look to others within their community to help and protect them in hard times. Instead of what we currently have where support is provided from on high, by a distant Government who then feels that as they are paying the bills they should get to decide far too much about our lives. While we believe that both Government and even Multinationals have their place, we need to push the interests of medium and small business. To help them both remain in business and to encourage new businesses. Most businesses benefit from a prosperous community and both medium and small business can help create those conditions. Mutually supporting conditions.

These companies employ local staff, they spend most of their expenditure, both business and private, locally. Within the community. It is this mutual aid that we need to support. Strong local business can create strong local communities. Furthermore many of the large companies can also be used to help support local communities, by making them into franchises. A supermarket chain is the perfect example of whats wrong and what we can do about it. They have the advantage of buying in bulk thereby getting lower prices which they pass on to us. They employ local people but unfortunately the profits of the business are not enjoyed by that community. Instead they go to shareholders who may live in the community but most likely they live in other communities. But if a supermarket chain was made into a franchise that one disadvantage can become an advantage. Local people owning a franchise or being shareholders in their local supermarket. The only thing it doesn't do locally would be purchasing.

Strong communities pay dividends, they are great places for families, for the young and the old, they provide jobs and security, job security as well as personal security. They are of course not the whole answer, but they are a needed part of the mix and we should be supporting them by supporting medium and small business.

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  1. Often big businesses have become large through collusion with government. Big businesses lobby government for "necessary" regulations in their industry, knowing they can afford to pay the costs while their smaller, nimbler, more localised competitors are crushed under the weight of regulation (which in turn offsets the costs of regulation to the big businesses). This is why the European Union, in its current form, needs to be abolished: all it does is regulate and perpetuate cronyism and corporatism.

    The bigness of some businesses are good (Google, for example). But, in the current state of affairs, we should be suspect of bigness, as Murray Rothbard said: "in the contemporary world of total neo-mercantilism and what is essentially a neofascist 'corporate state,' bigness is a priori highly suspect, because Big Business most likely got that way through an intricate and decisive network of subsidies, privileges, and direct and indirect grants of monopoly protection."

    However I wouldn't go about solving cronyism through forcibly breaking up businesses (they are people's property after all). I would deregulate, ease burdens on small business and generally expose all businesses (big and small) to the rigour of free market competition.

  2. Dear Mr. Panther

    You make a very good point regarding big business, Crony Capitalism is a very big problem. I had not thought about regulation in that way, which now that you've brought it up seems obvious!

    But it does demonstrate that just there is a place for us with medium and small businesses. I'll keep an ear open more when they talk about deregulation.

    I didn't make this clear so I have only myself to blame but I'm not suggesting that we forcibly break up businesses. What I am suggesting is a franchise like arrangement. That would mean that market prices and forces would still be in operation.

    Mark Moncrieff