How Govt Used the Pandemic to Crush Small Businesses & Why
AN INTERVIEW WITH CAROL ROTH
How the Government Used the Pandemic to Crush Small Businesses—and Why: An Interview With Carol Roth
Author Carol Roth discusses the winners and the losers in the 2020 pandemic lockdowns and how the American Dream can be saved in a wide-ranging interview with FEE.
By: Jon Miltimore
This week FEE sat down with Carol Roth, an American entrepreneur, TV personality, radio host, investor, and bestselling author.
Roth’s latest book, The War on Small Business: How the Government Used the Pandemic to Crush the Backbone of America, examines the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, which triggered the sharpest economic collapse in American history.
In a wide-ranging interview, we talked about the winners and losers in the 2020 pandemic, lockdowns, and how the American Dream can be saved.*
First, what made you decide to write this book? What led you to realize that this book was needed?
ROTH: I’d written a book ten years ago called The Entrepreneur Equation. It was about all of the risks you take on as a small business owner and how difficult it is to be a small business owner. So I was highly aware of the plight of the small business owner. Little did I realize that the government shutting them down and taking away their business by mandate while leaving their big competitors open was actually their number one risk.
So HarperCollins approached me early in the pandemic. They knew this was going to be historic economically in some way, shape, or form. They wanted someone who had deep economic knowledge to be able to give a fair assessment and get into the nitty gritty, not something based on high level talking points.
So like a crazy person I said, “Oh, that sounds like fun!”
Did anything surprise you during the process?
I didn’t realize at the time this was going to be the herculean task that it was. Obviously things were unfolding in real time, information would dribble out and I’d have to piece it together. So I kind of wrote three and a half different books during the pandemic (laughs).
Ultimately, I knew small business was going to be a big part of the story. I didn’t realize the extent to which it would involve government picking winners and losers—not based on data or science but purely on political clout and connections. Government enabled the most historic wealth transfer we’ve seen in our lifetimes from Main Street to Wall Street.
We were the first person to market really making this case. So we were really excited. Unfortunately, it’s largely falling on deaf ears. It’s striking to me that no one is talking about this