BVM August, 2016 - page 7

Business View Magazine - August 2016 7
The balloons have all been popped and the delegates have all headed home. Now America’s two major political parties have their nominees for the
presidency of the United States, and over the next three months, we are likely to witness one of the most momentous, if not one of the most conten-
tious, elections in modern history.
While most of us will vote for our candidate of choice based upon our own personal ideologies and the desires that we have for our county’s future,
as business people, we will also most likely be considering which of the two candidates best represents the interests of the business of America,
which, as Calvin Coolidge once reminded us. . .is business.
Years ago, that choice was much clearer – the Republican Party was generally considered to be more business-friendly, while the Democratic Party
was seen to be more disposed to the wants and needs of organized labor and the working man. This time around, though, it’s much, much harder
to discern which of the two presidential candidates best represents the interests of American businesses, both large and small, and their millions
of employees.
What makes the choice even more confusing is the realization that American business is far from monolithic. There are many different types of big
business in our country and oftentimes they have competing agendas. There are also millions of small businesses in the U.S., whose needs may be
completely dissimilar from those of their larger counterparts.
For example, the fossil fuel industry is a big business that may tend to have a deep investment in a candidate, like Donald Trump, who denies that
climate change is a real and present danger. Likewise the insurance industry – another big business - is likely to support a Republican nominee who
vows to repeal Obamacare, in order to return the realm of healthcare coverage back to the private sector.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has always pursued a hawkish foreign policy, so the big business of weaponry for the military is likely to tilt in her
direction. The financial sector - a very big business - prefers certainty to doubt and may also decide to back Clinton, thinking that Trump would be a
much too unreliable steward of the national economy.
The conundrum continues. Many business leaders who would normally support the Republican ticket are alarmed at Trump’s protectionist threats
and his call for punitive tariffs on imports, which could lead to a trade war. Thus, businesses that are heavily involved in international trade are be-
hind Clinton, while some domestic-oriented sectors are backing Trump because of their wariness of Democratic policies that promote environmental
protection and trade unionism. And interestingly, Clinton and Trump both oppose corporate tax inversions, which is the practice of U.S. corporations
moving their headquarters to lower tax rate countries, so it’s a wash for those large American multinationals that are currently profiting from the
status quo. They stand to lose, either way.
America’s 28 million small businesses are equally divided. Trump supporters believe that he brings the perspective of a business owner to the job,
and his stance against raising the minimum wage is attractive to small businesses with tight payrolls. They are likewise afraid of what it may mean
to their balance sheets if Clinton’s desire to mandate paid family leave should ever make it through Congress.
Meanwhile Clinton supporters see her proposals as making it easier for them to secure the capital they need to survive, and they laud her plan to
start a nationwide effort to cut red tape at every level of government while creating incubators which will provide mentoring and training to small
business owners in underserved communities. They also mistrust Trump’s vaunted business acumen, pointing out that his companies have gone
bankrupt, several times.
So, while in some ways the difference between the two major party candidates couldn’t be starker, when it comes to business, the picture is a lot
murkier. Nonetheless, whoever wins the race for the Oval Office come November, the rest of us will all have to live with the consequences.
Business View Magazine solicits your thoughts and opinions on the subject. Let us know what you think, and why, by contacting us at info@business- And, either way, don’t forget to vote.
Al Krulick
Business View Magazine
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