, Salem, MA


October 24, 2012

Anderson: Remembering McGovern, pondering ballot questions

“I wish I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople while I was a U.S. senator and later a presidential nominee. That knowledge would have made me a better legislator and a more worthy aspirant to the White House. ... legislators and government regulators must more carefully consider the economic and management burdens we have been imposing on U.S. businesses. ... Many businesses, especially small independents such as the Stratford Inn, simply can’t pass such costs on to their customers and remain competitive or profitable.

“I can recover eventually from the loss of the Stratford Inn because I’m still able to generate income from lectures and other services. But what about the 60 people who worked for me in Stratford? While running my struggling hotel, I never once missed a payroll. What happens to the people who counted on that, and to their families and community, when an owner goes under?”

— George McGovern, after his

Connecticut hotel/restaurant closed in 1991. Published in the Nation’s Restaurant News.


When George McGovern died last weekend, I remembered (though most obituary writers didn’t) his amazing epiphany. I didn’t vote for him in 1972 because of his liberal economic positions, but loved him for his opposition to the Vietnam War. If only he had run a small business BEFORE he became a politician, I might have avoided voting for Richard Nixon that year.

Now, if only Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren had run a small business for a few years before becoming politicians, they might not be so utterly unqualified to deal with the present economy.

I’ve been decorating for Halloween; my lucky black-cat flag flies above the Brown, Romney and Tisei signs. Unfortunately, there’ll be no alternatives to my state representative and state senator on the Marblehead ballot, but along with the three binding ballot questions I’ve already written about, there are three nonbinding issues that are interesting.

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