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August 4, 2009

Defending free enterprise

In the August edition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce newsletter, the U.S. Chamber announced its “Campaign for Free Enterprise” initiative. As our nation is experiencing rapid government expansion and increased taxes, regulations, entitlements, debt and attacks by anti-business activists, our nation’s free enterprise system is faced with unprecedented challenges. The U.S. Chamber’s Campaign for Free Enterprise “will rally small businesses, local chambers, policymakers and the general public to stand up for free enterprise, entrepreneurship and economic opportunity.”

“It is time to remind all Americans that it was a free enterprise system based on individual initiative, hard work, risk, innovation and profit that built our great country,” said Tom Donahue, president/CEO of the U.S. Chamber.

The Dalton-Whitfield Chamber supports the new campaign and will partner with the U.S. Chamber, local entrepreneurs, small business owners and policymakers at all levels to support a return to free market principles.

To put a local perspective on the need to defend the free enterprise system, consider just two of the anti-business initiatives being pushed by the majority in our nation’s capital: cap-and-trade legislation and the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) legislation. Cap-and-trade legislation is targeted at protecting our environment by reducing CO2 emissions. It requires caps on emissions and requires that all states have at least 25 percent of their energy needs produced by renewable energy sources. In the Southeast, renewable energy sources are not abundant enough to deliver 25 percent of our energy needs. In essence, all of us living in the Southeast will see huge increases in our utility bills due primarily as an indirect tax on our energy consumption.

The Employee Free Choice Act legislation basically provides for labor unions to execute a vote for their representation of employees without a public vote. Once a labor union, through guerilla tactics, reaches a minimal threshold of approving votes, they are elected to represent employees. Once a labor union is in place, most evidence proves that costs increase, competitiveness decreases and the affected businesses are wounded from the start. You would think Detroit and the plight of the auto industry would be proof enough that the labor union model is not healthy for U.S. businesses and the American economy.

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