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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Why are you struggling? Really? With the results of an interesting poll

As you may have noticed, I take perverse pleasure in reading the emails sent by the sundry charlatans who inhabit cyberspace.

A great many start with questions like the first at the top, and answer them with an easy solution and an appealing offer.

These solutions often have these things in common:

a) You won't have to work hard to become whatever it is - an instant guru, an acclaimed author, a sought-after public speaker, a brilliant copywriter, or whatever your brain tells you is clearly impossible, but you would like to believe is not.

b) The money will be incredibly good and you won't have to wait too long for it to arrive.

c) It is all achievable because this guy did it. Here is the touching tale of how he climbed from trailer park to mansion in months - and how you can too. Sometimes there is more than one guy, and maybe the guy is a lady.

d) You don't believe me? Come and watch this free webinar/interview/whatever.

e) Wow! My webinar/interview/whatever was "awesome". I was blown away. Far more people attended than I expected. Many enjoyed orgasms of pleasure. But I'm worried that you missed it, so here's another chance. But it won't be around for long, because I'm taking it down, so act now

If you don't recognise all these signs of a scam, there's another pretty good one.

It is when you get variations of the same message from lots of people, most of whom make money not by running a business but by selling off vacant lots in Promiseland to gullible mooncalves.

But you know all this, I hope, and my reason for writing was because of a poll on Linked-in about another reason you may be struggling. It asked business people if red tape was stifling their business. 83% said it was.

I have no idea what could be going through the heads of the remainder, but to give you a clue about the impact of regulation Italy, once the fastest growing economy in Europe, slumped into decline the minute it started applying European laws, especially on employment.

The same has happened and will happen as long as wildly different European countries are gripped by the manifold straitjackets imposed by bureaucrats in Brussels who have neither knowledge of nor interest in how or whether people make a living, and who answer to a parliament full of thieving rogues.

The U.K. is infested with hordes of busybodies prying into everyone's business. It also has the most complex tax rules in the world - so complex that an entire department is devoted to tax simplification. Really.

This is even though the tax authorities have arranged things so that businesses - and quite a few individuals - are legally forced to do nearly all the work.

Despite other people doing their jobs for them, so incompetent are the tax people that they are years behind.

One respondent to the Linked-in poll said, "The state should be holding your hand not beating you with a stick."

I disagree violently. If there is one thing besides red tape that kills initiative, it is expecting the state to hold your hand.

If the state were holding your hand when crossing the road, you would be run over. I do not want or expect the state to hold my hand. I just want it to get out of the way.

Reagan's joke about the most dangerous words in the world applies: "I'm from the government, I'm here to help you."

But I guess it's marginally better than "I'm a guru, I'm here to rip you off."

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