Jerry Brown hating on small businesses

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Jerry Brown hates me.

Hates me.

We’ve never met.  It’s not like I ever caused him any personal harm or grief.  It’s not like I hit on Linda Ronstadt or anything.

But the guy just hates my guts.  I think he wants to destroy me.

I’m not paranoid.

I’m just a California business owner.

On some level, Jerry Brown must hate all of us.

I call it payroll envy.  It’s the feeling that people who have spent most if not all of their lives in government have about people who actually start a business, work really hard, hire people, and meet a payroll every two months.

People in government feel as though they’re missing out on that experience, which I consider one of the most important life experiences an individual can have.

It’s not just that we business owners get to create our own destiny, make all the money we can, and bring about wonderful lives for ourselves, those we love, our employees and their families, our communities, and the charitable organizations we support.

It’s the sense of building something.

It’s the sense of creating something that actually serves people and makes money at the same time.

This isn’t to say that government has never done anything for the people.  If it weren’t for our government, we wouldn’t have a military, although why we are busily defending borders thousands of miles from our nation instead of eighty miles from my home in Orange County is a mystery to me.

If it weren’t for government, we wouldn’t have freeways, although when you look at the state they’re in, you start to wonder whether government is the best guarantor of our nation’s infrastructure.

If it weren’t for state government, we wouldn’t have the UC system, perhaps the finest public education system ever created in the history of man.

What’s wrong with a little California-style hyperbole?  Anyway, it’s probably true.  The problem is that when government exceeds its responsibilities to protect us, help us get from point A to point B in our cars, and educate our kids effectively, it gets into trouble.

Pretty much every single time.

It rewards people who do not deserve to be rewarded, like teachers who are not dedicated to teaching, unions that are more interested in protecting pensions than serving the state, and all of the other shenanigans that we know all too well.  When government lacks sufficient resources to take care of its own citizens and yet opens its borders, its schools, its hospitals, and other expensive and vital resources to anyone old enough to break into the country, something’s wrong.

That’s why I think Jerry Brown must hate me.  All I’m doing is running a business, meeting a payroll, and wondering what obstacle government will throw up in my path next.

Governor Brown has lived in a state where Hollywood is located, so maybe he’s been influenced too much by what he sees on TV and at the movies.  The number one villain, year in year out, on the small screen and the big screen, isn’t terrorists, or foreign agents, or any other murderous bad guys.

It’s business people.

Hollywood loves, loves, loves to make movies and TV shows about larcenous business owners, thieving corporate executives, and greedy Wall Street types.

Of course there is excess and chicanery in the business world.  We live in the real world, and in the real world, sometimes people do bad things.

But business can’t be all bad.  The governor, and the legislators in Sacramento, like the cars they drive (or are driven in), the five-star hotels where they stay, the expensive restaurants where they dine, the movies they view, the basketball games they attend from luxury of their business-related donors all these goods and services are the products of businesses, and most all of this happens on our dime as taxpayers.

The point is that you can take all the potshots you want at business, but at the end of the day, Governor, you need us.  You need us to create things.  You need us to create jobs.  You need us to create tax revenue.

And we’re not stupid.  We can read balance sheets—both ours and yours.  Don’t tell us that the California budget is so complicated that only a few people can understand it and that we taxpayers are too dumb to figure it out.  We know when you are spending more than you’re taking in.  We know when you’re pandering to the unions, to illegals, and to other shortsighted special interest groups that are more interested in the question of “Where is mine?” than the question of “What’s right?”

Governor Brown, stop hating me just because I own a business and I make a payroll.

And if you’re going to tell me that you don’t hate me, that’s terrific.  But let your actions demonstrate that you’re not trying to choke business owners like me.

Without us, there won’t be any tax revenues for you to distribute to your friends and supporters.

And unlike your friend in Washington, you can’t just print more money to solve your problem.

Governor Brown, you don’t have to love me.  All I ask is that you leave me alone.

(New York Times bestselling author Michael Levin runs BusinessGhost.com, which provides books for business owners to distinguish themselves in their crowded marketplaces.)

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