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Black is White, Up is Down and Money is Speech

It’s the two year anniversary of the Citizens United v FEC decision that has sent us down the rabbit hole.

I read today that an independent, national  poll of small business owners reports that 66% believe that the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizen’s United vs FEC two years ago hurts small companies, and 88% hold a negative view of the role money plays in politics. Those are big numbers folks, but as a small business person, I’m not surprised.

Business in general requires a vibrant free market in order to thrive.  It would be nice if we had one.   

The group Citizens United is not interested in a free market. The big corporations dumping anonymous money into their coffers are not really interested in a free market. They are interested only in market domination and securing the corporate welfare that small businesses don’t qualify for.  

Small businesses like mine have nothing to gain and a lot to lose as Citizens United pursues their agenda. Small business needs a level playing field. Big business has a vested interest in keeping that playing field tilted steeply in their favor.

I don’t mean to attack big corporations. Small business and big business are similar in many ways. We both enjoy making money. Many of us enjoy giving back to our communities. We both invest in people. Small business invest in their employees; Citizens United invests corporate money in politicians. In return for our investment, my employees work for me, and the politicians work for them.

Citizens United and the corporate giants that hide behind them do so to rig the system in their favor. They do so to minimize competition and, whether they mean to or not, stifle innovation. In exchange for a couple million, corporations can achieve favorable tax breaks or subsidies that save them tens of millions (if not billions).

That doesn’t sound like the free market to me. Citizens United has taken us a step backward toward the oligarchy of the robber baron days. As they do so, they undermine our democracy.

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