Federal Policy and The Market Solution
From the early 1970's onward, small business legislation and policy reflect attempts to forge an empirical consensus of support for increasing the distribution of federal resources to aid small businesses. Along with new aid and advocacy programs, the United States Federal government has sought to resolve or balance the disadvantaged position of ethnic and racial minorities, women and all small businesses in relation to large corporations, government regulatory agencies and labor markets. In the course of small business activism in the 1990's, the legitimacy of government as an institution balancing individual and collective interests has been tied to the legitimacy of the market solution, the belief that capitalist free enterprise will create successful strategies for the resolution of social inequalities. Based on the market solution ideology, legislation designed to help women achieve greater equity in the small business world does not address the patterns or processes of structural inequality that reinforce women's subordinate status.