September 18, 2013
In my opinion the reason that non-accredited investors have not been allowed to be directly offered equity positions in start-ups for the past 80 years was not to "protect" them but "protect" the market exclusively for wealthy investors. Moreover, it is my direct experience that banks, venture capitalists, angel and high net worth investors are simply not doing anywhere near an adequate job of providng capital, and expecially at the formation stage of new businesses. I deal with entrepreneurs with great ideas around which successful companies could be formed that would create jobs but for their access to investment dollars. If rules are passed that defacto prevent the full blossoming of non-accredited equity based crowdfunding, that will run contrary to the intent of Congress in passing the Jobs Act in the first place, will hamper our economic recovery, and will further concentrate wealth in the top 1%. (Which level of concentration is already at the point of ruining the country financially, e.g. 1000 millionaires will spend more than 1 billionaire). Look at the problem this way, if we fail to allow in a reasonably unfettered manner for the development of this new pathway to capital we will damage our already fragile economic recovery and probably sink any hopes of ever being able to balance our budget let alone pay down our national debt. As a consequence thereof, our country will not be able to maintain its leadership position in the world technologically, economically or militarily. In other words, a weak economy translates into a weak country which has very definite and negative social, economic and national security consequences. Thus, do not do anything ludicrous like require investors to submit their tax returns or income statements. Yes, there will be some rip-off artists, so what else is new, but there will be ways of filtering that out with the application of rudimentary due diligence. And please, whatever you do, do not adopt the patronizing attitude that the small investor needs your "protection", they are perfectly capable of looking out for themselves. Besides, as I said at the outset, that attitude is nothing more than a rationalization for locking out the average American from great investment opportunities that the upper 1% have heretofore been able to hog for themselves. Maybe this is a large part of what has been wrong with our economic system all along. If capitalism is a good thing, i.e., the opportunity for entrepreneurship and to better one's self economically, which I believe in, then it should be good for everyone not just an elite few. So do what's right for the country for a change and don't listen to the selfish bastards and their lobbyists that want to find a way to maintain the status quo.