http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2008/09/c ... -peer.htmlConsider, for example, the process of running a small, informal brew pub or restaurant out of your home, under a genuine free market regime. Buying a brewing vat and a few small fermenters for your basement, using a few tables in an extra room as a public restaurant area, etc., would maybe require a small bank loan for at most a few thousand dollars. And with that capital outlay, you could probably make payments on the debt with the margin from one customer a day. A few customers evenings and weekends, most of whom probably could be found mainly among your existing circle of acquaintances, would enable you to initially shift some of your working hours from wage labor to work in the restaurant, with the possibility of gradually phasing out wage labor altogether or scaling back to part time, as you built up a small customer base. In this and many other lines of business (for example a part-time gypsy cab service using a car you own anyway), the minimal entry costs and capital outlay mean that the minimum level of custom required to stay in business would be quite modest, and even a low level of turnover would be sufficient to pay the overhead. In that case, a lot more people would be able to start small businesses for supplementary income and just scale back their wage labor a bit, maybe gradually shift to complete self employment, all with minimal risk or sunk costs.
But that’s illegal. You have to buy an extremely expensive liquor license, as well as having an industrial size and strength stove, dishwasher, etc. And that level of capital outlay can only be paid off with a large dining room and a large kitchen-waiting staff, which means you have to keep the place filled or the overhead costs will eat you alive–IOW, Chapter Eleven. These high entry costs and the enormous overhead are the reason you can’t afford to start out really small and cheap, and the reason restaurants have such a high failure rate. It's illegal to use the surplus capacity of the ordinary household items we have to own anyway but remain idle most of the time. RFID chip requirements and bans on unpasteurized milk make it illegal to trade the small surpluses generated by ordinary household subsistence production. High fees for organic certification make it prohibitive to sell a few hundred dollars worth of surplus organic produce at a temporary roadside stand. You can't do just a few hundred or a few thousand dollars worth of business a year, because the state mandates capital equipment on the scale required for a large-scale business if you engage in the business at all.
So it's employers, as well as big competitors, who have a vested interest in keeping these entry costs so high. It’s a way of erecting an enormous toll gate between you and the possibility of self-employment, without a boss cracking the whip over you.]
What I like about Kevin Carson is his ability to express those objections I have (to contemporary capitalism) but cannot express in a systematic form.