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Antigovernment argument rests on flimsy premise

Meredith Warren echoes the chorus of antigovernment conservatives in “Government is killing small business.” But her argument is based on partisan data.

Her source is the National Federation of Independent Business, a conservative group with members who are small-business owners. Surveying its members, and only its members, the NFIB found that government regulations and taxes are the two biggest problems reported. To put that in context, there are almost 28 million small businesses in the United States. NIFB has 325,000 members – a hair over 1 percent of the nation's total. How is such a small and biased survey of any value?

No one disputes that there are conservative, antigovernment small-business owners. But there are also liberal, progressive small-business owners who believe that government has an important role in helping business and the economy.

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If readers want the complete picture, they should look for data that are objective, such as scientific surveys of all small-business owners. Partisan surveys that pretend to be objective should be dismissed, as should analysis based on them.

Bob Keener
Needham

The writer is deputy director of public relations for the American Sustainable Business Council.