Throughout my time in “Communist” China, one of the recurring jokes has been how there is often so much more economic and business freedom in China than there is in the U.S.
It sounds counter-intuitive, and small businesses in China definitely have to deal with a lot of hassles and paperwork, but they’re also given a great amount of leeway in terms of how they get to run their operations.
Some great examples of this are in Mike Michelini’s recent blog article titled Maybe I’ve Been in China Too Long. Mike is a businessman who has been bouncing between the US, China, and Phillippines. While I don’t agree with the Healthcare bullet point at all, it’s hard to argue with the other points.
One of the many interesting things I saw in China was a Help Wanted sign at a clothing store that dictated the prospective employee had to be under 5’4″ and 90lbs. Imagine doing that in the States! Every obesity support group in the country would have you in court by the week’s end. God forbid you want someone attractive and healthy modeling your petite line of clothing.
In the US, on the other hand, we have exceedingly aggressive laws and tax codes that have been written by lawyers and CPAs – two regulated industries where you need “certification” in order to enter the industry. This creates a barrier to entry, thus artificially inducing the wage floor. At the same time, since these are the people writing the laws, they write them in such a way that you need to hire one of them to figure it all out – and if you don’t, you’re going to get screwed by someone who does. Land of the free, right?
It’s a vicious circle, and if you’re not one of them, it affects you negatively. Not a day goes by where I don’t respect lawyers less. What am I doing about it? You’ll find out soon enough, but it’s phenomenal to see people such as Rand Paul, who I heavily support, getting elected this week. Rand will fight this kind of nonsense and try to reduce these laws and simplify the tax codes.
In the meantime, we have sticks-in-the-ass like this clown who shut down a 7 year old’s Lemonaide stand in Oregon due to lack of paperwork and licensing. Yes, I know the story had a happy ending, but it should have never have happened in the first place – and WOULDN’T have happened in “highly regulated” China. Land of the free, right?
As for me right now, I’m happy to admit that I’m struggling with the growth of my network. I have several successful projects, but I do nearly everything for every single one of them. The profit margin is great, but it’s time to start hiring other people.
The first thing I want to do is hire a writer. While I love writing, the research and composition takes too much time I’d rather be doing other things (designing, coding, marketing, and surfing, mainly).
Clearly, I want a quality writer who speaks English as his or her first language. But guess what – In the Land of the Free known as the United States of America, you can’t ask or require that English be your first language. That’s illegal become some bureaucrats decided that I need to give everyone a “fair chance”. The best I can do is massage the system and ask backassward questions such as “Do you have any language abilities that would be helpful in doing this job?”. A lot of good that will do.
So I either have to waste my time testing and weeding a bunch of people out (and most likely ultimately arrive at a native English speaker), or I can just say screw it and outsource the service to contractors, who likely aren’t Americans (right now I’m actually working with a British team). I don’t have to pay them benefits that I can’t currently afford, I don’t have to worry about ridiculous Obamacare rules and Welfare policies that may or may not get enacted, and I can stop sourcing to them whenever I want for any reason I choose.
So tell me, who are these laws really helping? Because let me tell you something: Life isn’t fair, and if you don’t meet my requirements, you don’t deserve a “fair chance”. In the real Land of the Free, you don’t have the government make fair chances for you – you make them yourself.