Orlando Gets a New Treasure: Getting to the finish line in spite of the looters

A friend of mine just opened a new restaurant in Orlando, Florida. Every time I hear about one of these success stories, where an entrepreneur is able to leap all the hurdles placed in front of such an endeavor to open a new establishment I find myself enjoying the announcements more than I should. To me, these types of things should be common place in America. Ideas should be allowed to flourish, and actually encouraged. But the way things are it’s a minor miracle when something like a new restaurant opens because there are so many regulations and looters involved in the process of innovation. By the time all the regulations are satisfied, the permit issues are written, the taxes are paid in addition to all the requirements involved in funding the enterprise; it is only the strongest projects with the most money behind them that survive.

The reason is that America has allowed socialism to permeate every single government position in our country so the amount of government employees that are involved in any entrepreneurial activity directly impacts the chance that a project will survive to actually open. The situation is so bad that John Stossel of the Fox Business Network and Glenn Beck discuss John’s attempt to open a lemonade stand in downtown New York. Watch this video so you can see how difficult it is to even start a business, let alone defend yourself from all the looters who attempt to rob you with law suits and excessive taxes once the business is established.

This is why I get so infuriated by government organizations, primarily schools that push for tax increases. Every business you see is a minor phenomenon. The fact that you see many businesses in your neighborhoods is evidence of 5 to 6 failures for every success. So when a new restaurant is seen opening in your neighborhood or a shopping complex, you are seeing the lucky ones who made it. If an entrepreneur is politically active and gives money to a lot of charities, they find that their chances of success increase dramatically, because paying off officials with political support and getting the crazy emotional mothers of a community appeased with charity work calls off the looting dogs as long as the money flows, but it takes money to pay off such fools. So only the luckiest of the lucky gain the ability to use their money to pay off the trolls who set up shop in our political system.

It is not the “permit” department at your local government office who creates jobs and new ideas. It’s not the regulator of any agency. It’s not the bureaucrat in any capacity who does anything, but creates a barrier for the dreamers, for the entrepreneur. These barriers push up the cost of playing the game so that only those who have been lucky enough to squeeze through the cracks before the looters realize that there is money to be made, make it, because that’s the only way one can achieve success these days. The business needs to either be established or have large financial reserves to combat the looters in court and in politics, or the business must fly under the radar of convention and arrive before the looters realize that the new business is going to be profitable.

I know this tragedy first hand. I’ve been involved in many business start-ups and all of them were made unnecessarily hard by excessive regulation. I once had a building code permit issuer tell me I had to prove to him that the HAVAC unit he was demanding I buy was not required under the Cincinnati Building Code. I spent an entire weekend reading a boring book to prove that the HAVAC unit was not necessary for my change of use submission. In a book of over 750 pages I found one sentence that disqualified my project from the imposition. Once I found it, the administrator gave me a rubber stamp with a smile on his face, as though it was an office joke whether or not I’d find the one sentence out of the thousands that would exclude me. It was literally like finding a needle in a hay stack.

But that wasn’t the end of the road. That was just one issue out of 32 similar complaints by the CBC office, and that was just one organization that had their teeth into my project. There were as many as 7 such agencies that my project had to comply with just to open and my choice was to do the work myself, or hire out a small army of lawyers, engineers, architects and other professionals to do the work of arguing each item for me. By the time all those employees are hired just to meet the cost of compliance the project budget increased by nearly a half a million dollars.

So these days I just write books, and study philosophy. I hire out my expertise because it’s unattractive to argue with all the fools in any endeavor that catapults the idea generators into the quick sand of the social looters. I determined a long time ago that since I refused to play the pay-off game because I find it ethically questionable, and too expensive on the front end, that I have no chance of getting anything off the ground in this modern environment. But I have friends who aren’t so restricted by such limits and they have managed to do the nearly impossible and open new shopping complexes, and restaurants. And for that I admire them.

That is why I get very angry when I hear people proclaim that my friends, are “rich” and they owe their school system more, or they “owe” the township more in taxes, or they “owe” Barry Obama more! They owe their state government more when it is proven that there are too many government workers to pay whose only purpose is to create more bureaucracy, which in turn drives up the cost of compliance as shown above. Anyone who says or thinks such things are correct thinking are fools—and socialist sympathizers. They are parasites to everything America has stood for and are destroyers of its future.

So I do salute with utmost respect my friend and the opening of his new restaurant. The small-minded and looter mentality will look jealousy at him and proclaim that he should do more for his community. They will say that he is wealthy, and if he has enough money to buy a restaurant then he has enough money to pay more in taxes. What those same fools don’t comprehend is that it will take years to return to my friend the money he invested, not just in opening the building, but the cost of fighting the looters along the way. And they don’t know that my friend has plans that will fuel his own retirement in the future and that these restaurants are part of that plan. He has no plans to draw a government pension or a check of any kind. He plans to take care of his own business the way every American should. And every time there is a new cost to him, a new looter who attempts to rob some of his money from him because they are too lazy to do for themselves, it pushes my friend’s retirement further into the future. The ultimate cost is to my friend who has worked hard, created jobs, and fought his way through every kind of red tape imaginable. The cost to the looter is nothing. They simply show up and demand money for doing nothing. It is my friend who must make more money to pay for more looters who have attached themselves to those who create, like my friend.

So congratulations are in order to my friend and those like him who have survived well enough to open a restaurant in the golden land of Orlando, where imagination still counts for something, and making money is expected, and not chastised as criminal behavior by the lazy looters of the government employee. The next time I’m in Orlando, I will stop by for a visit and pay homage to the great ordeal that has become of starting a business in modern-day America as controlled by the looters, the moochers, the derelicts, the welfare recipients, and the mentally deficient who occupy the jobs that make opening a restaurant such a pain in the ass.

Rich Hoffman


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7 thoughts on “Orlando Gets a New Treasure: Getting to the finish line in spite of the looters

  1. You nailed it. I have started over a half dozen businesses, none in the past five years. They have taken me an average of probably 60 days to open. I am in the process of starting a new one, I have over two years invested and am closing in on $100,000 in legal fees, all because of government regulation – regulation that did not exist a few short years ago. When fully operational we will employ about 40 tax paying individuals. What government does not realize, there is a time when the producers will check out.


  2. Like Rich and I am always saying, “Read Atlas Shrugged!” GFL’s comment above is right on, and this post is a great one indeed. I was wondering if Rich was going to comment on the Stossel piece. Rich has it exactly right…this post is full of wisdom and experience that no college will teach you about what really goes on in the world. Starting and operating your own business should be a simple process like getting a wedding license or drivers license…but the reality is that it’s anything but, and keeping it open is like paying protection money to organized crime. That’s the real reason unemployment is 8.3% (cough cough, more like 16%) and so many people are dependent on the government. Obama’s policies are like a roadblock to entrepreneurs and the regulations derived from all the laws passed by Congress are like a brick wall. I’m with Rich; anyone who starts and maintains a business in this climate is a hero.

    That’s one of the many reasons Atlas Shrugged is so brilliant. It was written in 1957 by a Russian immigrant…long before all these regulations were written, but it absolutely nails what’s going on today.


    1. Phil, if I wasn’t already married, I’d marry you. (kidding of course) It’s nice to hear from the handful of people left in the world with a brain. Beware of the mind killers. They seek to rid civilization of the kinds of minds who see what the looters are all about.


  3. Posted by $ DR_BRETT 0 minutes ago
    “If an entrepreneur is politically active and gives money to a lot of charities, they find that their chances of success increase dramatically, because paying off officials with political support and getting the crazy emotional mothers of a community appeased with charity work calls off the looting dogs as long as the money flows, but it takes money to pay off such fools.” —

    Only you, and a very few more REAL MEN, have the guts to write about this subject — “Charity.”


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