Spare Small Business the Campaign Spotlight
Frequently I have mentioned how Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and President Obama are turning their focus towards small business owners in these late rounds of campaigning. Well it isn’t just them. Politicians in general have picked this up this mentality that winning the small business vote is the only way to win in America. Obviously we recognize how important small businesses are to America but I would prefer a President and representatives in Congress who cared about doing what's best for America rather that what’s best for their careers in Washington. Neither side has seemed to completely offer this as career politicians appear here to stat. Nevertheless, let’s go back to the issue of political pandering to small business owners. Although they are crucial to the economy are they really the group that will get you elected? Business Week asked this very question and found some interesting results. First, they highlight that only 15 million of the 143 million working Americans were self-employed in July, the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. They further breakdown the numbers and find that of those 15 million, roughly only 4.3 million actually employ others today. They imply that this number is too small to impact the vote. The obvious flaw with that argument by itself is that of those 4.3 million, you automatically implied that they at least employ 1 other person. I all likelihood these people will want to keep their jobs at those 4.3 million small businesses meaning what’s good for their boss is what’s good for them. So already if we again assume that they hire at least 1 person the number jumps from 4.3 million to 8.6 million doubling the voting impact. There are various other ways with similar interconnectedness arguments to expand this number to a substantial voter representation but we will now let BusinessWeek continues with argument. They expand, “Could the small business vote really make a significant difference? Small business owners make up only 15 percent of registered voters, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, a right-leaning advocacy group, based on its analysis of government data. They aren’t concentrated in swing states like Florida or Ohio; my analysis shows that swing and non-swing states alike have a statistically indistinguishable 1.9 employer businesses for every 100 residents. And a recent Gallup Organization poll of 9,925 working registered voters showed that small business owners’ preferences for president are hardly in doubt. Those identified as business owners favor the challenger over the incumbent 57 percent to 37 percent.
The presidential candidates have focused on small business in large part to associate themselves with a trusted group. According to a 2010 Pew Foundation survey, 71 percent of Americans think that small business has a positive “effect on the way things are going in this country”—that’s 8 percentage points higher than churches and other religious organizations. With 69 percent of the respondents also dissatisfied with the government, it’s not surprising that the candidates are trying to get under the small business halo. The candidates are also trying to appeal to people who work for small employers. While only a small fraction of people run their own businesses, a much larger number depend on small businesses for a paycheck. In 2009, the most recent year data are available, 56.3 million Americans worked for small companies, the SBA reports (PDF)…”
Source - BusinessWeek