Thursday, June 13, 2013

My NFIB Moment

My company has been a member of the NFIB—the National Federation of Independent Business—for 57 years.  My dad signed on back in 1956.  I never paid them much attention, but kept the membership up primarily because it had become something of a tradition.  For decades, the sales representative would call on us once a year—to give an update on their lobbying, and more importantly to try and coax a few more dollars out of us for our renewal.  The same woman called on us for close to twenty years.  She was a strange and eccentric sort, and her visits almost made the membership worthwhile.  But of course, that personal connection had to give way to an annual spiel from a phone bank in God knows where.  We substantially reduced our contribution beginning in 2009, but managed to hang on as members. 

For the most part, NFIB maintained a bi-partisan stance during those years.  In recent times, however, I detected more of an edge in their phone solicitations.  For example, I suppose they just assumed that all “bidnessmen” would be opposed to health care reform.  And then last October, the NFIB sent out pre-election special edition of the magazine they publish from time to time.  Any hint of bi-partisanship was out the window.  The slick publication might just as well been printed at the RNC or Romney Campaign headquarters.  They also included a special Texas insert, listing their recommendations for races here.  Our state representative had been defeated in the May primary.  This guy--a proud birther--was so extreme that he had begun to embarrass the powers that be in our district.  And mind you, we are the district that sends Louie Gohmert to Congress.  You might say we have a high threshold for embarrassment.  Anyway, his young challenger, just as extreme but a bit more nuanced in the proclamation of it, took his place on the November ballot.  The clueless NFIB listed the ousted representative as their recommendation, and gave him a 100% approval rating. 

My co-workers had a big laugh about my ranting over this.  I fired off an email to NFIB, but received no response.  So, I bided my time.  I knew that the NFIB would be making their phone solicitation sometime in the early summer.  That call came yesterday.  I cut the solicitor off in mid-spiel and told her I would not be renewing after 57 years.  I then told why, thanked her and hung up.

I know this is just a silly thing.  But I’m glad to be free of the NFIB, and in so doing striking a small blow for the old republic.

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