NFIB buys a Lincoln

The pretender small business organization is at it again representing the interests of its real patrons—big business and the wealthiest Americans. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has hired former Democratic Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln to be the front stooge of its latest publicity stunt, Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations.

Lincoln’s job is to distract the public from the real reason small businesses aren’t doing the hiring we need to lift our economy—lack of consumers and access to capital. Instead the mistress of the NFIB says the problem is that handy boogieman FEDERAL REGULATIONS.

But these nasty regulations don’t seem to bother two segments of our economy that are booming.

Luxury items for the wealthy are flying off the shelves and from the showrooms. According to a New York Time’s story today by Stephanie Clifford, “the luxury category has posted 10 consecutive months of sales increases compared with the year earlier.”

Sales for the luxury big retailers are going up, up, up. First quarter sales this year for Tiffany’s were up 20%. LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Givenchy) sales rose 13% for the first half of the year. PPR (Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent) sales jumped 23% for the first six months.

BMW quarterly profits have more than doubled and the first half of the year saw Porsche profits rise 59% and Mercedes $200,000+ S-Class sedans sales increased 14%.

Obviously cash in the pockets of the wealthy drives their spending to boost the luxury market. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the top two income brackets and the Dow being up about 80% since March of last year have created luxury consumer spending.

But instead of helping put cash in the pockets of the average consumer, Congress and the President are pulling out over $2 trillion from our economy–money that would have ended up in the hands of workers, the unemployed and seniors. These folks then would have spent the money in our small businesses. As these sales decrease so will our jobs. Our consumer spending problem is due to simple economics 101 and not to Federal regulation scapegoating.

The other segment of our economy doing well, that we mere mortals can identify with, is the pawn shop industry. When you don’t have a job and a small business can’t get a loan or a line credit, pawn shops are the new banks.

According to CNNMoney’s Catherine Clifford, small businesses that are shut out of a small loan or lines of credit from traditional financial institutions are turning to pawn shops. Expensive watches, gold and other big ticket items get the small business owner with cash flow issues the money to make payroll. This access to capital for small business is a very serious problem but it has everything to do with banker fears of risk and depreciated equity assets of small business owners—not Federal regulations on the books.

Lincoln and the NFIB are on a mission of distracting Congress and the public from what our country should be doing to get the economy moving. But they’ll be well paid for their efforts while the rest of us visit the pawn shops.

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