“Small Business” Is Just as Bad (Or Good) As “Big Business”

It’s a commonly-cited fact that “small business” is generally more trusted in America than the government, academia, or even churches.  What is a small business that it is such a font of moral virtue?  According to the US, it is a business with fewer than 250 employees.  Apparently that is all it takes.

Not to Godwin’s Law myself, but most slave plantations were small businesses.  Large planters had over 50 slaves, but of course far fewer employees.  I wouldn’t describe Candyland as more morally praiseworthy than the Lowell Mills.  In that proud tradition , small farmers today are generally the ones responsible for the most egregious abuses of migrant labor.  An independent farm owner can get away with labor abuses that large corporations never could, because they aren’t closely monitored by OSHA.

Small business has all the same virtues and defects as larger businesses in smaller packages.  It is an interesting question as to how it has acquired such a patina of grace.


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