During presidential campaign, I got sick and tired of hearing about “Benedict Arnold companies.” Why were these companies traitors? The burdens or taxes and regulations on businesses in the U.S. had forced themto either go under or move some of their operations to other countries.
Of course, we’d prefer that they stay put and hire Americans. But current policies in Washington give them a choice between flight and failure. This is not good for job-seeking Americans. As Charles Gasparino notes:
The problem for the average American worker: Businesses have learned to make money by cutting costs (i.e., jobs) or relocating to China and India. And it’s not merely that it’s cheaper to operate overseas; a huge part of the problem is the fear that it’s going to keep getting more expensive to hire here.
Both small-business owners, and analysts who cover these companies tell me that many American businesses would like to stay here, but they see no letup in sight in the endless stream of taxes and regulations coming from an administration most of them consider anti-business.
And now the weakness of the Republican presidential field raises the chances for President Obama’s re-election in 2012 — and even more Washington-imposed woes.
It’s smaller companies that are the engines of employment. But even some of these are feeling the pinch and moving to China or India. Gasparino tells about a relatively small Rhode Island company that relocated to China. It looked like an unnecessary move to Peter Sidoti, a financial analyst, until Sidoti added up the costs–including state and federal taxes–of doing business in Rhode Island. Then it made perfect sense.
Maybe instead of calling them after Benedict Arnold, we should call them Charles Darwin companies–after Darwin’s survival of the fittest. They do what it takes to survive, even if we don’t necessarily consider it pretty. If we’re prefer they remained here, well, they know that that’s the path to perishing.