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In my Sept. 11 commentary “How job creators get rigmaroled over,” I was stating a list of some of the things an employer must comply with. I agree with the letter writers who responded that we need to pay taxes (though I would prefer less of them and more transparent — government spends $17,400 for every man, woman and child); that we need to create safe workplaces; that we need laws to protect citizens, and that we need to protect our environment.
As one writer pointed out, my competitors must “jump the same hoops,” as does anyone trying to open a bakery or a neighborhood store.
The government has created very convoluted tax, regulatory and tort systems. Could there not be one government organization to oversee business? One point of contact that helps businesses comply? One agency to streamline the process? One tax to pay? How is a bakery, a lawn mower or any small business to keep up with it? Small business makes up 50 percent of all private-sector employment. Why would government continue to make it harder and more expensive to start a business?
JOHN KALAN, Spring Lake Park
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One of the letter writers stated that in most cases business owners collect the largest paycheck of any employee. In reality, the largest percentage of businesses and most business owners are start-ups and entrepreneurs who generally don’t take a paycheck for years after they begin their company, and when they begin to, it’s modest (not to mention well-deserved, due to the inherent risk of starting/growing a business).
The letter also claimed that “in most cases business owners expand with the market that will one day enrich the owner and his family.” While that’s true, we’ve been stuck in a horrible economy for about seven years now. This evens the playing field between employers and employees. When the economy is how it has been recently, the employer must make more significant sacrifices than the employee because he’s in a more vulnerable position. Thus, with that risk come the riches (eventually, if at all).
TED STAUBER, Chaska
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There’s barely any significant difference between government regulations small employers have now and the ones they had in 1974, a high-water year for the American middle class. It was also the year I got my first job, which was at a local gas station. Kalan, like the rest of the American middle class, is having trouble getting by because American labor is directly competing with much cheaper labor outside this country and because we are still recovering from a major recession, which was the direct result of the near-global economic implosion brought on by a deregulated American financial services industry “freed” from government rules and regulations.
Had the American middle class been better protected by government than it was when I got my first job, Kalan would be doing just fine in his business now, because he’d have a thriving middle-class clientele to buy his services.
PAUL ROZYCKI, Minneapolis
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.