The Edmond Sun

September 23, 2013

Thwarting the laws of the market

Rep. Jason Murphey
The Edmond Sun

GUTHRIE — It doesn’t take a new business owner long to realize the importance of a general liability insurance policy. The excitement over his first client may quickly temper when that potential client asks for proof of liability insurance as a condition of hire. From that day forward, he will pay these insurance premiums until his business ceases to exist.

The high cost of general liability insurance and workers’ compensation discourages Oklahomans from creating small businesses. For many it is safer to stay within the confines of a secure job at someone else’s company rather than taking a risk and starting their own companies where they will be forced to pay these high costs.

It is difficult to determine how much damage has been done to our economy because so many have been deterred from becoming entrepreneurs by our antiquated legal system.

Those who oppose workers’ compensation and tort reforms often accuse the reformers of protecting big business. Ironically, while many business entities (except perhaps a small segment of law firms) will benefit from these reforms, the primary beneficiary should be small business.

Unlike small businesses, most large companies have the means to afford high premiums. In fact, when due to these costs, a small business can not challenge a big business, the large company may raise its prices as it no longer fears competition.

When big business partners with big government, prices go up and the laws of the market are not allowed to provide the economic benefit that would otherwise occur. The consumer becomes the ultimate victim of bad government policies and antiquated laws because they thwart the laws of the free market.

Thwarting the laws of the free market doesn’t always happen accidentally. Unethical big businesses may sometimes invest in paid lobbyists to encourage big government to create a scheme, which punishes small business through too much regulation, high taxation and punitive laws or award big business with unnecessary tax credits for which the small business cannot qualify.

When entrepreneurial Oklahomans are allowed to form new small businesses, they lower the cost to the consumer and provide new jobs.

The aggressive and ongoing commitment of the governor and the Legislature to bring down the high cost of doing business for everyone stands to benefit all Oklahomans.

REP. JASON MURPHEY, R-Guthrie, represents House District 31, which encompasses all of Logan County and a portion of northern Edmond. He may be reached via email at