Ep 149: The War on Small Business – Best-Selling Author Carol Roth

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About Carol Roth:

Carol Roth is a content creator, “recovering” investment banker, author of The War on Small Business, entrepreneur, TV pundit and host, and New York Times bestselling author of The Entrepreneur Equation.

She has worked in a variety of capacities across industries, including currently as an outsourced CCO, as a director on public and private company boards and as a strategic advisor. She advocates for small business, small government and big hair.

Carol Roth’s experience overlaps content creation, on-camera and in-person hosting, finance, business, economics, pop culture and even comedy.

On the content side, Carol is a national media personality, with more than a dozen years of on-camera expertise. Formerly, she has been a judge on the Mark Burnett-produced technology competition series, America’s Greatest Makers, on TBS and the Host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy show, as well as a panelist on Fox Business’s Bulls & Bears and CNBC’s Closing Bell.

Topics Discussed:

  • What was the motivation for Carol to write “The War on Small Business.”
  • What is the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism.
  • Why small businesses are the backbone of the US and the world economies.
  • When did the war on small business start and what caused it.
  • How Covid-19 was the perfect opportunity for the federal gov to pic winners and losers.
  • How it was possible for the biggest companies to grow at record rates even while the economy was struggling during Covid-19.
  • Why the fed gov detests small businesses.
  • What/where is Davos, and why it is so important to the super rich and elite in the world.
  • Why we sent our critical med supplies to China during Covid-19. 
  • Why almost none of the stimulus (CARES Act) money went to small businesses.
  • What is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and why did 75% of it go to big biz.
  • Why have interest rates been low for so long and the damage that is doing to long-term economy.
  • How BlackRock has profited big time through crony capitalism.
  • What are Zombie Companies and how do they inhibit start-ups.
  • How big biz and the fed gov are deep inside the pocket of China.

Episode Resources:

Transcripts :


with gary collins

your how-to guide for getting your



hey carol thanks for coming on uh gotta

hit record or we’ll spend an hour

bullshitting so i’ve done it trust me

um but yeah i i really enjoyed your book

and i thought it was really important i

think i i saw it about a year ago i want

to say this

nine months ago probably yeah yeah and i

remember and i saw you hitting the

interview trail and all that and i’m

like i can get her on my show sometime

and actually a listener

said you need to get her on your show

anyway you know i reached out to your

prp and they never got back to me the

first time but i best because it’s

probably just i know how it is it’s just

mayhem in the beginning and you’re

getting hit by everyone when you do a

new release or it went straight to spam

who knows

you know i have i say all my important

emails go to spam all the spam emails go

to my inbox so


that’s a gary’s rule i like that yeah

yeah and so i always check sp i check

spam a couple times a day i do because

i’m all there’s that’s where they

usually go

but with the book um the war on small


grab my copy here show that i actually

physically have the book

and you see it’s all there’s you know i

see this stuff

red i i do this oh no i i read every

single book of every guest that comes on

i i do not do that crap um

but yeah why what motivated you to write

it because the timing is


so i was actually approached to write a

book by harper harpercollins that would

take a look at the you know historic

economic moment that was resulting from

the decisions the government made during

the pandemic and this was very early on

it was i had a very sharp editor who uh

eric nelson is amazing he works with a

lot of you know the most best-selling

authors uh in the country and he just

said you know that this is a moment i

need somebody who is credible to tell us

what’s happening because this is this is

going to be history and like a total

i was like oh that sounds like fun

yeah that seems like a good project um

not having any idea how completely

complicated and bananas it was going to


so i went into it just sort of

chronicling what had happened and i’m a

longtime small business advocate in

march 2020 you know when they were

working on the first quote-unquote

relief packages i put out op-eds on fox

business that said don’t screw this up

for small business i know you’re going

to screw them over here’s how to not

screw them over so like that’s always

going to be in my head

but given the fact that they were the

first to be shut down and you know the

sort of the unfair burden that they

shared and then some of the decisions

that were made after

as i was putting all of this together it

was clear that they were a really

important part of the story and despite

the book being called the war on small

business um it’s really about a bigger

topic it’s about decentralization versus

central planning and sort of what’s

happened that’s moved us away from

capitalism to cronyism and this sort of

centralized control and small business

is really the lens that i walk through

the discussion um with but it’s not you

know the only thing that’s covered in

the book and so after putting all of

this stuff together over the course of

time um eventually we had to go to print

on it and uh you know we didn’t get to

all the long tail things that sort of

alluded to this may happen or that may

happen um but all the sort of long tail

issues from the disruptions in the

supply chain to the disruptions in the

labor force to the epic inflation that

happened as a result of these decisions

that were laid out so that was sort of

the the impetus and um despite the fact

that it was extremely painful um this is

as you know since you’ve read it a

incredibly well-sourced book um you know

there’s hundreds and hundreds of sources

and it basically i wrote three and a

half different books and had to call the

last version down to to make it you know

something that people could actually

read um so it was a hard effort but i’m

so glad that i was able to do that and

to chronicle it and give people a real

look at what happened for history

because the narrative has already

changed on what happens and so you know

i feel good about being able to to make

that contribution

well yeah you wrote it you know you

probably started it before

covid had really kicked in

you release it dead center

now we’re coming out because it’s

amazing how war cures viruses it’s the

strangest thing i’ve ever

flattened the curve hey yeah just start

a war

they figured out another way to make

money so now it’s like oh that’s quiet

for now even though get your fourth

booster and you’ll be getting your 24th

before you die but

you talk about the difference between

capitalism and crony capitalism because

there’s a lot of confusion people most

people don’t even understand what true

capitalism even is all right so the

first thing i’m going to do is i’m going

to correct you we’re going to call it

cronyism because capitalism has no crony

aspects to it so we’ll call it


so the way i look at it is on a spectrum

people get very caught up in these names

of things and i’m much more focused on

principles so i want everyone to think

of a spectrum

what i call capitalism true free market

capitalism is freedom choice and


of many people making decisions with the

guard rails of property rights that’s it

we all make transactions freely by

choice everybody kind of knows what they


property rights are protected that’s


as you move away from that you move to

the other end of the spectrum and you

have a handful of people who are making

decisions they’re making them using

force coercion and control usually it’s

highly opaque and a lot of times it’s

you know without any sort of property

rights or at least there’s some some

gray aryan ambiguity

that is what i call central planning of

any sort of

flavor you know any ism that you want to

attach to it so for me

i don’t care what you call it i just

want people to be focused on the

principle you know it is something being

done by the choices of everybody with

that freedom and choice and transparency

or are a handful of people basically

forcing stuff upon us

and we have unfortunately moved large

parts of our economy and our decision


from that sort of transparent and open

free choice towards a handful of people

and human nature dictates that when you

have a handful of people with that


they are going to

grant favors or do things that tilt the

playing field

and who are they going to tilt it

towards well is it going to be all the

free independent people are running

around doing their own thing or are they

going to do it to the handful of people

who have a lot of money who that will


and uh who will also give them campaign

contributions and that’s really kind of

the struggle that we have going on and

unfortunately capitalism gets blamed for

a lot of things that really is the sort

of um

cronyism or you know big business big

government big special interest

triumvirates that’s running the scenes

and because it may involve a private

enterprise it’s like oh well that’s

capitalism and you know private

enterprise does not equal capitalism and

that’s you know one of the things that i

try to impress upon people in the book

yeah and you go into depth of

as a small business owner i knew some of

the numbers obviously because i’m in it

but most people also don’t realize and i

kind of call it you know i’m an aniran

fan so group reading it in a big rush

fan so um you know talking about laissez

faire capitalism right that you know

it’s transaction person to person you

have to look that person in the eye

those who provide the best service are

the ones who will rise to the top right

it’s a very simple concept and it’s

government should not be involved in our

transactions to each other on the

consumer level and and that’s where i

think it’s all gotten changed around

but most people don’t understand that

small business

is that and that it runs the economy of

the world it’s it’s not in the u.s too

but the world in general and you go into

the numbers

would you kind of expand upon what i

just said about how big

small businesses into the world economy

in the u.s economy yeah it’s fascinating

because i do think for

people who are perhaps separate from the

small business community they may go oh

well it’s small so it’s a niche thing

but it’s actually the majority of

business entities in the world so small

businesses comprise

99.9 percent of all business entities

not only in the united states but

everywhere around the globe

and in the united states right now

latest statistics we’re about 31.7

million small businesses versus about

twenty thousand and change

large businesses and the economy

um if you kind of take pre-covet and

assume that that still is is the case if

you you basically divide the economy in


and half the jobs and half the gdp

approximately are in the hands of the

31.7 million small businesses six

million of which have employees

and the other half of the economy is

really concentrated in the hands of 20

000 big businesses and actually i did

the map

walmart and amazon out of every worker

in the united states one in 60 works for

amazon or walmart so that just gives you

a sense of like the power and the

concentration um so if you look at that

you know and you see

who is independent and free and

providing different levels of goods and

services you know it is that small

business side

whereas you have these big businesses

who are highly concentrated and have a

lot of money and are easier to sort of


and you know kind of play that dance

with big government and that’s why they

lobby for anti-competitive legislation

um the things that keep other small

businesses from being able to compete

because they don’t have the same kinds

of resources and they were the ones who

were far and away the beneficiaries of

the decisions that were made

both directly

during coven in terms of who could stay

open and who had to close but also the


decisions that were made in terms of

monetary policy that supported the

biggest companies and gave them access

to basically almost free capital to go

out and compete with big businesses

personally with small businesses as

competitors who are already languishing

because they might not even have been

open um so it was really a one-two punch

of well one two three punch fiscal

policy monetary policy and general

policy decisions that really shifted the

playing field and created the most

historic transfer of wealth from main

street to wall street that we have ever





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