BUREAUCRACY and ENTREPRENEURSHIP ARE LIKE OIL and WATER: A Note on Rep. Shea-Porter's "Government Economic Opportunities" Forum
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has hardly an inkling of what it takes to generate real economic opportunities that lead to creation of businesses and jobs. If not already evident, this was made so by the dog-and-pony show of bureaucrats on parade at her "Government Economic Opportunities Forum" yesterday at UNH in Manchester. The show was dominated by representatives of federal agencies who specialize in letting contracts to business. They were there to talk about "How to market to the federal government." Two exceptions were provided by Mark Galvin, Managing Director of New Hampshire's Innovation Commercialization Center and Wally Fries, representing SBA's SCORE [Service Corps of Retired Executives] program in NH [Wally, by the way is also a long-time, highly respected Town Meeting Moderator in Danville].
Mind you, the battle to get federal agencies to devote 15-23% of their outsourcing budgets to small business was well worth fighting. Otherwise, business access to federal contracts would be 100% dominated by big business. Even so, far less than 15-25% goes to small businesses as prime contractors. Most small businesses who get a piece of the federal action need to do so as sub-contractors to the big boys.
The real point here is the cluelessness of our NH CD 1 Rep. on what it takes to generate enterprise and jobs -- a cluelessness revealed both by her opening remarks and her behavior. Apart from an occasional, now conventional bow to small businesses as the major source of job creation, Rep. Shea-Porter seems unaware of recent research that shows that a certain portion of the small business universe -- small, new and early-stage companies -- create the lion's share [64%] of net new jobs. Besides start-up and working capital, time is the #1 most precious resource of entrepreneurs founding fledgling enterprises. Who has the time to fill out the multitude of forms and jump the hurdles required to nail down federal contracts?
As for behavior, Rep. Shea-Porter revealed the federal, Washington, "command and control" focus of her and her party's approach to business development when she tried to bar this writer's partipation in her event, saying: "The rules are the rules; you were told to register in advance" -- even though two-dozen seats remained empty as she spoke. The lesson here: Scratch a go-along/get-along, Pelosi-enslaved Democrat and what do you find: A tight_____ bureaucrat.
The other lesson here? -- bureaucracy and entrepreneurship are like oil and water; they don't mix.
PETER BEARSE, Ph.D., International Consulting Economist and Independent Republican Candidate for Congress, NH CD 1