Internet entrepreneur Steve Berra is in the news again. This week in dramatic fashion he took to the web with a heartfelt diatribe centered on the plight of the American small businessman. In keeping with the militaristic theme of the Berrics he describes nothing less than “a war being waged upon small businesses” in the United States, where plucky entrepreneurs are “taxed to death on both the state and federal level,” and also they are “over-regulated” and unable to compete with larger corporate rivals. An uphill battle in the best of times that has proven the undoing of ventures like SkaterAde, IceLounge and Chris Gentry’s rap career, and Berra assures the viewer that “in the current economic climate, [skate shops] don’t stand a chance without your support.”
Now it might be too easy to caricature Steve Berra as Ron Paul with a five o’clock shadow and military jacket. Even if they do share similar views on gun control and pork flu and look alike. This post will not try and explore whether or not Ron Paul is Berra’s true father, even though it may even be actually true, but instead focuses on Steve Berra’s core issue which is undue economic burdens upon citizens and their little stores. Here he also is in line with RonPaul. Take this recent screed for example.
Ron Paul talks about Tax Freedom Day, a hypothetical holiday which is “celebrated” today, April 13, and symbolizes the fact that Americans are slaving away 3.5 months, or 28.2% of this year to fulfill the government’s voracious appetite for confiscatory taxes, corrupt bailouts and wasteful stimulus efforts.
What was going on at the Berrics on 4-13? The site archives are too hard to search to know for sure. But what is true is that the famed skatepark is launching its own mail-order website, as described in a recent message to shops regarding the “unified” program, which allows shops to harness the Berrics web traffic to promote their own brands in a localized fashion using the power of Google maps or something.
Many of you have also asked about our Canteen and if we are going to expand it into a fully stocked mail order. The answer is yes and no. Yes we are expanding it, but no we are not going to be fully stocked with everything. We are primarily going to focus on pro endorsed product and most of that pro product will be our team riders. On every page of the Canteen we will encourage that everyone check their local Berrics Unified shop first before purchasing anything online.
All this, even despite the fact that many shops now operate an online component. We know what the business-minded among you are thinking – would this not put Joe’s Board Store in direct competition with Berrics.com? Perhaps or perhaps not, but Berra has thought of this, and harkens back to another conservative touchstone, namely Ronald Reagan’s concept of trickle-down economics.
We do not find it a threat because both Eric and I firmly believe in the old saying, “a rising tide lifts all boats”, in other words, general prosperity is good for all. The Berrics is flourishing and prospering and it wants you to as well.
In his video soliloquy Steve Berra refers at one point to the Unified effort as “one of three initiatives” that Berrics is launching; with the mail-order business being a possible second, one can only assume that the third will be Berra’s candidacy for the US Senate. As the Republican party is in the midst of an identity crisis, battling between itself over a move to the center or further to the right, it might not be surprising to see Berra to sail under the banner of a third party in his crusade against government waste and overzealous regulation of the small business man. With a flair for rhetoric and an internet grass roots network already firmly in place – again, taking a page from the RonPaul – expect Berra to launch a full-scale assault against the perverted Washington plutocrats who insist on perpetuating a two-tiered economic system, after he wraps his “Battle Commander” section.