There are innumerable issues and circumstances that can create obstacles to small business success. Whether internal or external, most of these factors occur naturally in the course of doing business, and dealing with them just comes with the territory.
But there is one issue that small business owners shouldn’t be threatened with: poor performance of Washington’s political class.
The marketplace is indifferent to, and unforgiving of, the poor performance of any small business. But what is the small business appeal process when government behavior compromises the greater economy?
Job-one for small business owners is to keep their financial affairs in order – cash flow, profitability, etc. Failure to do so negates positive performance of all other activity.
Job-one for members of Congress is to appropriate the funds for the short and long-term financial operation of the government. Since the federal fiscal year begins on October 1, it follows that the budget and associated appropriations should be completed by September 30. At least that’s how things work in a small business – in the real world.
Without any sense of shame, it apparently seems normal to the Washington political class to still be debating the 2011 budget and funding process with less than half of the fiscal year remaining. Without any sense of embarrassment, the political class continues to behave in such a way as to be regularly compared to a Kabuki dance.
Kabuki is a form of Japanese theater in which characters dress, dance and behave on stage in ways that require the audience to suspend any sense of reality to enjoy. Sadly, few metaphors are more apt today.
We wanted to know what my radio, Internet and Newsletter audience thought about the behavior of America’s Kabuki cast of characters, so we asked this question: “Who is to blame for how Washington is handling the 2011 budget process?”
Even though both major political parties were offered up as the first two options, the response to the third is at once dramatic and hopeful. Almost 60% of our sample chose: “A pox on both houses; both are incompetent.”
If this super-majority sentiment is representative and endures to November 2012, all candidates may be required to demonstrate that they will operate the government as a successful small business owner does – in the responsible, real world.
Perhaps it would be enough just to have a sense of shame.
Last week on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked more about the lack of statesmanship and political shenanigans going on these days in Washington, D.C. Take a few minutes to click on the links below and leave us your thoughts on how you think the political haranguing should be resolved.