Karlgaard: Small Business Problems and a Recession Relapse

From Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes, a column highlighting the role of small business in promoting recovery, and what happens if entrepreneurship lags. Form “Recession Relapse?

If our apparent third-quarter economic recovery proves weak and relapses into a second recession, the causes will be:

–Small businesses, constrained by lack of expansion capital and fearful of possible regulatory changes in health care, energy and union membership, sit on their hands and don’t hire.

–Unemployment creeps above 10% and stubbornly stays there.

–Because small businesses can’t or won’t expand, commercial real estate values sink more than expected.

–Regional banks with lots of commercial real estate paper on their balance sheets fail by the hundreds.

In other words, a second leg of recession will occur if America’s small-business sector doesn’t expand.

Karlgaard promotes the idea of a Founder Visa to encourage the immigration of entrepreneurs, but that’s a long-term approach. In the short- and medium-term:

Most existing small businesses don’t need assistance from the government. What they need is across-the-board relief on taxes. They need benign legislation (or no change) on health care, energy and unions. A wish list, in other words, that runs counter to everything the Obama Administration is currently trying to pass.

That sounds like what you might call “a growth agenda.”

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

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