Many forecasters like to equate economic cycles to baseball which I find curious because our economy has never had a ninth inning or extra innings. Our economy is a never ending cycle of expansion and contraction, but if you like the baseball analogy, I would place us in the 3rd inning.
When I was a young man, I had an unexplainable respect and curiosity for the entrepreneur. I would arrange my room furniture to resemble an office and cultivated my first customer at the age of 11. Paper routes, lawn mowing and car washing filled my spare time.
Allowance was not a word used at home. My father worked nights and without a mom at home, my sisters and I ran our household. Chores were not a special training course for adulthood they were necessary.
Advance 30 years into the future and I am now the entrepreneur for which I was I once so curious. College, marriage and children are among my greatest achievements.
Small business is the most important economic mover of our national economy. Tens of thousands of people like myself rise everyday to move their visions further with sweat and toil. Our collective work accounts for over 90% of all employment in America.
I have respect for the intelligence of our national leadership, but I fear that our nations efforts to assist our economy are not working. Our banking system has gone from a full throttle debt expansion cycle to absolute survival mode. The government is loaning money to these banks for free, but is not allowing the banks to do what they have been doing since the 15th century and that is to loan money to small business.
Small business cannot exist without access to credit. Going one step further, American business and employment cannot exist without access to credit. Unfortunately, most small business owners are too busy right now trying to survive than to complain or cause effective change.
The old adage that it is only a recession when your neighbor looses their job and a depression when you do is true. I have always displayed a painting in my home from my great grandfather and namesake. It is a painting of our family farm that had been in the family since before the Civil War. In 1936, my great grandfather left the Missouri farm for Santa Paula. He spent his remaining years working for the Limoneira Ranch. The painting is a constant reminder of the penalty of risk.
I occupy and ferociously defend the space between my employee’s paycheck, my customer’s wishes and my vendor’s demands. It is a battle zone that is the magic of the American Dream.