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Not enough Countercurrent Fezziwigs

mom and pop store

A yearly tradition, since my childhood, is to watch the classic 1951 film A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim. In the film, Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Sim, is taken up by the ghost of Christmas’s past to review the events of his life. What always brings tears to this writer’s eyes is when Scrooge sees how his former employer Fezziwig ran his business. The Fezziwig and Co Christmas party scene brought joy to Scrooge, as everyone danced and reveled in celebrating the holiday spirit. Things then picked up speed until the Fezziwig refused to sell out to “new interests” who wanted to modernize, forerunners of today’s business interests. Scrooge eventually leaves Fezziwig and Co. to take better paying work with the contestants, forever severing his ties to the old ways.

The days of small, family-run “Mom and Dad” businesses are rapidly disintegrating before our eyes. Between corporate stores and online Amazons and the like, it’s strangling Mom and Pops. How can they compete with much lower prices for, in many cases, the same items? In addition to this is the scandalous The rents that mum and dad have to pay to private landlords, in most cases huge corporations.

This writer was associated with a Mom and Pop coffee company a few years ago. We were lucky to own our building. Yet the mortgage and insurance payments, compounded by all the fees we had to pay, were just as painful as if we were renting a space. We only had a few employees and our overhead was so high that we only had to hire P/Ts to save on benefits payments etc. Still, it was difficult for a new company to make payroll. Eventually we had to take a huge loss and sell a song.

Wal-Mart and other business mega-monsters get all kinds of perks and allowances from localities. One of the biggest scammers with Wal-Mart has been the PR bullshit that “they use our local banks for their receipts.” What actually happens, in many cases, is that the day’s receipts are deposited at a local bank and then, overnight, the funds are wired to the Arkansas Wal-Mart bank. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart and every other big box store are sinking our local Fezziwigs when it comes to retail or consumer products. I have used a Mom and Dad drinking water delivery service for over 23 years in my residence. Then, just like that, Culligan Corp bought it out. For all these years we have had “Just a phone call away” customer service and in fact best prices. We knew they came once every two weeks and dealt with any complaints etc. Now we can only deliver once a month, and they change the dates when it suits them. Our delivery man is as nice as our old one, but he has no say in how things go.

Here’s what to do to save Mom and Pop American Business:

Local communities should use eminent domain and replace the private absentee landlord system with community-owned strip malls. The rents charged should also be non-profit, thus lowering them drastically. Allowed tenants in these malls should only be moms and dads, with no corporate chains, franchises or satellites.

* Former Sec. Robert Reich had a great idea. He offered a Exemption plan from social charges, after which the 7.75% payroll tax assessment for the employee and business owner was waived for earnings up to $20,000 per year. I would add that this pardon should only be for the first 50 employees per company, whether full-time or part-time. Do the math and see how much, WITHOUT TAX, the employee and owner will save. A Mom and Pop business could use these savings to upgrade or offer bonuses to its employees. It’s a way for a mom and dad to compete with the big boxes. Also, the employee who earns, say, at least $20,000 a year could use the $1,550 TAX ​​FREE for whatever they need. Not a lot of money but…

* If we finally had Medicare for All, the burden of having to cover employee health benefits would be eliminated for ALL business owners. Between this and the payroll tax exemption plan mentioned above, no small business owner would EVER hire “off-the-books” workers, which would wipe out much of the underground economy, bringing more tax revenue to Uncle Sam.

Being a socialist, this writer would like to see a lot more changes in our current system. For now, however, let’s stay behind the ideas presented here.

Philippe A Farruggio is a regular columnist on it’s the stupid empire website. It is also frequently published on nation of change and counter-currents.. He is the son and grandson of longshoremen from Brooklyn NYC and a graduate of Brooklyn College, Class of 1974. Since the election debacle of 2000, Philip has written over 500 articles on the Industrial Military Empire and other facets of the life in an upside down America. He also hosts the radio show “It’s the Empire… Stupid”, co-produced by Chuck Gregory. Philippe can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net.

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