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Across the Pond: A Nation of Shopkeepers Debate Their Bailout Too


The issues facing small businesses became a front burner item in the recent presidential election that landed Senator Barack Obama in the White House. Over in England a similarly divisive debate has erupted. An article in the New York Times chronicles the difficulties Britain’s small businesses are having as that country descends into its first recession in 17 years. In England small businesses are said to employ 13 million people while making up more than half of the country’s gross domestic product. Following the massive government bailout of banks that did little to ease up credit, small businesses began to demand cheaper credit and tax breaks. At the moment small business representatives and the government have locked horns over the issue.

The issue has started to threaten the Labor Party’s traditionally cozy relationship with small business and has moved small businesses into the center of a lively political debate about economic competence between Britain’s two major parties.

Perhaps a British version of Joe the Plumber will emerge on the political stage.


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