At first I thought nothing of it… Charlie Copeland’s stump speech… “I am the only one running for statewide office that has grown a business.” We know he took his AGS and grew it from a few employees (8 I think) to around 80…. But you know, we were dealing with other issues and I thought at the time… who cares…?

It was actually Allen Loudell, of WDEL fame (interesting alliteration) who brought it to my attention…

He said “I think that Jack Markell would take offense to that…(Jack Markell is a founder of Nextel).
Charlie clarified the point to say within the last 10 years, or the time that Markell has been the state treasurer…. So I’m thinking Markell — giant business; Copeland — little xerox machine. What on earth is he talking about….

We know that Charlie likes to exaggerate when he boasts… He founded Bluewater Wind… He thought up and started the Challenge Program…. He put Thurman Adams in as head of the Senate, because he supported Charlie’s vision of FOIA….. We know that… It’s been proven over, and over, and over, and over, and actually, its what makes Charlie even the least bit viable as a candidate…. We know he is going to boast, we know he is going to stretch the truth, we know he really doesn’t have the qualification for the job at hand… but he say’s it anyway…. You gotta to love it, man… Just like you do that Eagles fan who says they are actually going to win the Superbowl this year…..(They are, you know…William Penn is now on top of the Comcast Building)…..

“I’ve grown jobs, and I’m the only person who knows what it takes to grow jobs who is running for a state office…” I think is what he says…. But how does growing a printer business help bring more jobs into this state?

Here is how he grew the business if you read AGS reports… He used technology, basically he bought a new form of a copier, and to his credit, his firm won an award for one of the software pieces they created… He went to beg for Astra Zenica’s business, got it, and built on that… They have a lot of printing needs…by the way… (I believe Hercules also uses them, but there volume is less…) For some reason every election year his business increases…

Now obviously, if you buy his argument, that he will bring jobs to Delaware because he has had business experience…. you don’t know much about small business…. If you want to prosper there is something very important you have to understand… your bills need to be less then your income… You can survive a while on loans and keeping the nose ahead of the closing curtain, but eventually, you need more income than your costs.. That’s it… Everything else driving a business is aimed at that one factor…

So as a business person, you need to micromanage your business better than your competitors… Basically you need to hustle in sales, by offering a lower cost than your competitors for the quality you are providing….. Which means you need to know your business… How much ink costs, where the cheaper supplier is, how much paper costs, where the cheaper supplier is, how little you can pay your employees, without them unionizing… (lol)… These are the special knowledge that one must master to become successful.. As more contracts come in… it becomes a lot easier…

Now being an expert printer, is no qualification for being Lieutenant Governor… If any other of Delaware’s printers were running, Matt would win hands down… Contrary to what Republicans would like to tell you, a tax structure has little to with keeping a small business afloat… Because you see, the only part that is taxed… are the profits… no profits… no tax… a little profit… just like your income… a very little tax… Lots and lots of profits… a tiny increase in the rate one pays…. If you are making money you can afford it….

Government is different… Running a government like a business…well… it was tried by the national Republicans from 2000 to 2008… So how’s it working for you? Yeah… you get my point… For Charlie to say that he will use business techniques to run our government, is scary to say the least….

Here is an example… DNREC has over 1000 employees.. I’ll use that figure as an illustration because it makes the math easy.. So a business person would look at DNREC and say we can cut 500 of them and save $25 million every year….yeah, yeah, yeah,…BOOM… it’s done… $25 million is saved every year…. But… here is the difference…. only 500 people are now regulating the pollution laws, throughout the state… Before 1000 were insufficient, now there are 500…Guess what happens… “Is the inspector down in Seaford today?” “Yes, he is.” “Good, kill the scrubbers, let it go… we’re safe in Delaware City today…” So there is less accountability.. there is more corruption, leading to a definite dive in the quality of life for every Delawarean…

Government is not to be a business.. it is not there to make a profit… It is there to make our lives better…. Otherwise….as my Libertarian friends would espouse… “why have it?”

So to run government on a better note… one would say…”hmm Taxpayers of Delaware….. Which do you prefer…. paying us 25 more dollars each per year for your roads…. or charge you $1.00 each way on I 95….. After pulling out my calculator, it would be obvious that after two and a half weeks, it would be cheaper for me to pay $25 dollars more per year…. Because as we all know once you start.. it jumps from one dollar to two, then three, then four…… The tax increase less than a restaurant meal is a bargain….

Actually what Charlie accomplished with his business, is exactly what this state needs to do… Get more money coming in… But whether one pays high taxes or high utilities, matters little… it is still a cost whether it comes from our government… or a private entity…. it is money out of our pocket….

Now good government seeks to lower the cost imposed by it and all other factors upon its citizens.. Good government should be dedicated to making each citizen’s cost lower than his income… Good government should seek to make larger that discrepancy… One of the tools government has to do just that…is taxes… It’s a tool…

There is no question that our taxes under Bush/Cheney went down… He said he was going to do… we did it…. and all of our taxes went down…. So in Reaganomic terms… why are we so miserable?

Simple…each one of our other costs went up… Insurance… way up…Energy…way up….Health Care….way up… Food…. way up… With no regulatory agencies in place to monitor the best practices of business…. they practiced what was best for them… raising prices… and if you worked for them… lowering your cost to them…. So business thrived,…. we got squeezed, and all the extra profit went into marginalized derivatives, which as we all have found out,….eventually evaporate into nothing…. Out of all that money, no factories were built… no manufacturing jobs were created… and once busted….we had nothing to sell…

So someone who has run a business and grown a business would be a very dangerous person to elect right now… So what is the alternative?

Someone who actually lowered a part of our monthly expense… our insurance…. Someone who did not kowtow to big business and regulated them… “This is what you are going to charge in this state….Colonoscopies? With anesthesia… you will do it”…. A business person would dance and say ok… let the market decide… Wrong answer… They are the market, they decide whatever they want unless we the citizens through our government, tell them “what’s up.”

Now like any pendulum swinging backwards in the opposite direction… regulation can go too far and stifle business from growing… Today that is not the problem…. As every state scrambles to coax businesses into their tax structure… saying we won’t tax you is not a competitive advantage…

But…. if we had a 600MWh windfarm off Rehoboth cranking out 2.3 cents a kwh of electricity, when other states had 18 cents kwh as a charge…business would be fools not to move into this state…
If we had an educational community that was world class, business would be fools not to move into our state…If we had un-choked roads so goods could be in New York or Washington in less than two hours…. business would be fools not to move into our state… If we had insurance rates lower than surrounding states, but had better coverage then most… business would be fools not to move into our state… If we had open space with uncluttered schools and uncluttered roads, and no workforce housing in rural areas, people would be fools not to move into our state and set up housekeeping….

So this is just a brief overview… But you see… and I’m remember a story of one of our old governors who sat in General Motor’s executive office all day to plead our state’s case for not closing our Boxwood plant…. Government is a good thing… Government can bring a 600 MWh to Rehoboth. Government can invest in an education community that is world class. Government can widen our roads. Government can force our insurance rates down…Government can enforce zoning laws already on the books and forget about rewarding developers with extra bonuses for overcrowding our land….

And it can do it cheaper than any private enterprise can…

So I balk at the idea that Charlie Copeland can better Delaware because he grew his business… Coming from someone who has grown a business too… every quarter… at least up until July… I can tell you Charlie has no clue what he is talking about when it comes to running a government…

One just has to look that the Bush administration over the past 8 years… if you love Bush… you’ll love Copeland…..