Almost 25 years ago, using my training as an airplane mechanic and pilot, I started a little company on Cape Cod. There were six of us, we had one plane with one route to fly — and we had a lot of dreams.
Today that company, Cape Air, still based in Hyannis, employs more than 1,000 people, flies more than 70 planes, and will gross more than $100 million in revenue this year. We share ownership of the company with our employees, and we share our success with the communities we serve.
So those dreams have come true — and are still coming true.
I understand what it takes to build a business from scratch, to meet payroll in good times and bad, to make a profit while respecting employees and communities, to work in cooperation with public officials and regulators to accomplish those goals.
And now, as a Massachusetts senator, I also understand what it means to serve the public from the Statehouse, to represent all of our citizens and not just those with the resources to send lobbyists to Beacon Hill, to make decisions holding a fundamental question foremost in mind: How will our actions today help make us a better community tomorrow — and 20 years from now?
All of my experience, every one of my perspectives, leads me to the same conclusion: Elizabeth Warren should be our next United States senator. She is truly the pro-business candidate.
The real pro-business candidate understands that healthy small businesses equal healthy communities, which in turn equals a healthy economy, which in turn equals job creation and economic development.
The real pro-business candidate appreciates the profound difference between a business on Main Street, with all of its community connections and roots, versus a corporation on Wall Street.
The real pro-business candidate understands that the Cape and Islands economy has unique challenges and opportunities driven by our seasonal nature, our amazing environment and cultural resources, and our older population, and wants to work with us as a strong partner.
The real pro-business candidate offers a vision built on our nation's amazing success in the decades after World War II: Invest in infrastructure, invest in education, invest in manufacturing, invest in research and development, invest in alternative energy. Do that and we prosper, surprising even ourselves with our innovations and successes.
We have stopped making many of those investments, choosing instead to allow corporate profits and priorities to define our path. These policies, and cynical manipulation by our financial service industry, plunged us into the worst recession since the 1930s.
Elizabeth Warren understands that turning back would be disastrous for everyone but the wealthiest few. So she is committed to moving us forward by supporting small business with smart investment, streamlined regulation and a public-private partnership.
There has been a lot of conversation about the role of our government in our economy, about who really "built it" and who should take credit for our many successes. My own life informs me: I didn't "build" Cape Air alone — many of us built it together. And we didn't "build" an airline in a vacuum — we land on runways in public airports, we rely on air traffic controllers, radar and strong safety inspectors.
We need to make these kinds of partnerships work in every sector of our economy, understanding when government has a role to play in supporting business growth and when government should get out of the way. Elizabeth Warren understands this, and understands that her key priority as a senator will be to make sure the system is fair and level. She has the integrity, intelligence, values and guts to do just that.
And so here is my conclusion, and my deepest conviction: Elizabeth Warren is the real pro-business candidate because Elizabeth Warren is the real deal.
Dan Wolf, D-Harwich, is the state senator for the Cape and Islands District.