Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
In response to the July/August article, Outside the Big Box: Who speaks for small business? by Nicole D. Kazee, Michael Lipsky, and Cathie Jo Martin, I am compelled to point out a significant gap in the coverage of small-business advocates. The story focuses on the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the authors’ conclusion that there needs to be a national alternative to NFIB, yet completely fails to even mention the oldest small-business advocacy group in the country—the National Small Business Association. Founded in 1937, NSBA has not only been the leading voice of America’s small-business owners, we have done it in a staunchly nonpartisan way.
For more than seventy years, NSBA has been a strictly member-driven organization, crafting our priority issues through a democratic process open to every member. We do not accept grants or funds from outside organizations with hidden agendas, and govern ourselves by one policy: do what is best for America’s small-business community. While our nonpartisan stance can, at times, force us to work harder without the alliances inherent to a more party-affiliated group, it is that independence which underscores our sole allegiance to the small-business community, regardless of what party affiliation one may have.
Further missing the mark, the article focused a great deal of attention on health care, an issue on which NSBA has been scrupulously independent, and nearly four years ago produced a broad reform proposal with components that have been embraced by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. In examining the Association Health Plan debate, the writers failed to mention that NSBA created and led the small-business coalition opposing AHPs, commissioned two widely cited reports on the problems of AHPs, and played a key role in educating Congress on the ills of AHP legislation. Conversely, NSBA was the first national small-business group to endorse the Fair Tax. NSBA looks at each issue, just as small-business owners do, for how it will impact small business—regardless of who introduced the bill in Congress.
Unfortunately, and, frankly, to the detriment of America’s small-business owners, the article took an “either-or” look at small-business advocacy, leading your readers to believe their only options are conservative-leaning organizations like NFIB, or liberal-leaning organizations like American Small Business Alliance. This simply is not the case. Oversimplifying the small-business advocacy arena, as this article has done, provides your readers, and small-businesses nationwide a great disservice.
…we need your help. Confronting the many challenges of COVID-19—from the medical to the economic, the social to the political—demands all the moral and deliberative clarity we can muster. In Thinking in a Pandemic, we’ve organized the latest arguments from doctors and epidemiologists, philosophers and economists, legal scholars and historians, activists and citizens, as they think not just through this moment but beyond it. While much remains uncertain, Boston Review’s responsibility to public reason is sure. That’s why you’ll never see a paywall or ads. It also means that we rely on you, our readers, for support. If you like what you read here, pledge your contribution to keep it free for everyone by making a tax-deductible donation.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
Historian Gerald Horne has developed a grand theory of U.S. history as a series of devastating backlashes to progress—right down to the present day.
Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.
Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.