VIEWPOINT: Why small-business owners chose Trump
As a proud owner of a boutique public relations firm, I , like so many small business owners throughout the United States, had a feeling that the national election results might deviate from the suggested outcome of the aggregate polling data.
I have represented a variety of small businesses' public relations needs for more than 20 years and can confidently say I have spoken directly to more 5,000 small-business owners nationwide. My specialty is small business; I have not worked for the Fortune 500 crowd or represented their business needs in any way. For those that feed their news requirements from infotainment sources like of Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, the results of the election likely came as a bit of a shock.
Small businesses, by and large, saw the election results through the eyes of vindication in the face of the very stark reality these business people face daily.
Here are six reasons the majority of small business owners chose Donald Trump over Hillary Rodham Clinton:
Tax policy — It is no secret that Hillary Clinton intended on raising taxes to support her projected spending requirements. Small businesses are focused on reducing their tax burdens in an economic recovery that never truly materialized.
Unfortunately, for the Democrats, part-time service sector job growth does not equate to high-paying manufacturing jobs that support middle class neighborhoods and serve as the engine through which small businesses become large businesses.
Regulations — Small businesses have suffered from a litany of governmental regulations that sap the growth potential of many businesses. As the election bore out, well-intended business regulations do not necessarily produce positive business outcomes.
Protecting the environment is a noble cause until the price for that protection is neutered business growth. I am not arguing against environmental protections. I am simply observing that business outcomes must be weighed carefully before these protections are implemented unilaterally from the Bully Pulpit.
Immigration — Small businesses recognize that the United States is a nation of immigrants. On this point there can be no rational argument.
Our country, however, ceases to be a country when our borders are unregulated.
When immigrants are not properly identified and vetted, and their numbers are not adequately controlled, the voting rights, job security, health care and overall security of all Americans are at risk.
Democrats currently boast that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the national election. Small-business people wonder how many of those votes came from illegal immigrants. Our immigration system is so broken that this number may be virtually incalculable. This reality gives many small-business people great pause.
Health care — The strongest clue to the national election outcome came in my mailbox two weeks before the election in the form a health care advisory letter.
The letter curtly informed me that my health care premium would be increasing year-to-year a whopping average of 60 percent in my home state of Minnesota.
Arizona's statewide year-to-year premium increase was an unbelievable 116 percent, according to sources in the national news.
Suffice it to say that President Barack Obama's promise to control costs, guarantee existing coverage and keep our doctors has fallen to the wayside as his signature program crumbles against its own bureaucratic weight.
Too often federal programs that look great in Washington boardrooms struggle mightily in the critical execution phase at the state and local level.
Trade agreements — The Brexit vote in Great Britain, panned as a tragic mistake by the American national media (by and large), was an obvious bell weather indicator for Donald Trump's presidential victory.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the apparently dead Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), have hurt and (in the case of TPP) would have hurt small businesses in many ways.
Forcing middle class Americans to compete with global workforces from second- and third-world countries for precious jobs does very little to promote small business growth in the U.S. or protect precious jobs for American families. Nationalism is rapidly becoming vogue in the face of globalism's failure to guarantee prosperity for small businesses and working families across the entire country. Democrats need to understand that what is good for big business is rarely good for small business.
Republicans, truthfully, may need much more education on this topic, as well.
A phony recovery — What is the relevance of a 4.9 percent unemployment rate when we have an economy producing 100,000 to 200,000 part-time service sector jobs on a monthly basis?
What is the relevance of a 4.9 percent unemployment rate when 94 million eligible workers are no longer counted by the government based on false metrics used to calculate unemployment?
How can a head of household support his family working two (or three) part-time service sector jobs?
The United States has lost more than eight million manufacturing jobs since the 1980s. At some point (the Democrats had eight years to noodle this problem), someone has to either figure out a way to replace these jobs (many experts believe this will never happen) or create brand new career opportunities that offer a living wage suitable to raise a family and send kids to college.
Maybe President Obama's decision to double our national debt (from the $10 trillion President George W. Bush left us in 2008 to the almost $20 trillion dollars when President Obama leaves office in January 2017) was not in the best interests of either small businesses or the American people.
Small business people are not fools.
As the Democrats hopefully learned several weeks ago in the national election, giving a powerful speech and solving a problem are two very different things. Small business people are through with ticker-tape speeches and promises ultimately devoid of either hope or change.
A different direction
Small businesses have spoken and the country is now thankfully headed in a much different direction.
As a small-business person myself, I see a tremendous opportunity for our country to change the unfortunate direction we were headed. You do not have to take my word for it. According to realclearpolitics.com most recent polling data, 60.9 percent of those surveyed feel the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Donald Trump's election, however, is not a guarantee of positive change.
Small-business people must be vigilant in holding incoming President Trump to the promise of putting people back to work, protecting small businesses and making America great again. As we learned from President Obama over the last eight years, saying and doing are two very different things.
Frank Costabilo Jr. is the owner of Carefully Chosen Words Inc., based in Woodbury. He can be contacted at 612-518-1238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.