November 1st, 2012


Scott Brown, I heard your ad thanking small business...

[Also posted to Blue Mass Group. I originally sent a version of this as a letter to the editor to a newspaper in early September. Please share/repost/link this!]

Scott Brown, I heard your ad thanking small business leaders for working hard and creating opportunity.

Years ago I co-founded a small business with some friends. We connected Boston area companies to the Internet, secured their networks, set up email systems and databases, and helped them put up web sites.

We worked hard. In the first few years I took almost no vacation and worked 60 hours a week. Before we merged with another company, we'd grown to employ nearly 30 people. I guess we're among the people you meant to thank.

We often used public transportation to get to our customers - many of which were companies founded by people who'd graduated from excellent nearby universities, with the help of federal financial aid. Government regulators ensured we and our customers had safe water piped to our offices and homes, while government employees - police and firefighters and courthouse staff and others - protected our neighborhoods from crime and fire and disease and gave us confidence that our contracts would be honored and we'd have recourse if bills were not paid.

We were able to focus on what we could do best because all around us, public services and public employees took care of so many other things we needed, and did it so well that we hardly ever had to worry or even think about most of those things. And if it hadn't been for the government managing and funding the creation of the Internet years earlier, there would have been no need for our business in the first place. Public investment fertilizes and waters the gardens where new business can best flourish.

Senator Brown, you are committed to tearing down everything that creates an environment to nurture small business success. I don't want your thanks; I want a Senator who won't undermine opportunities for other people to work hard and succeed like we did.