Just when we were about to work ourselves into a lather over the latest example of the government's obstruction of small business, along came a letter that helped put things back in perspective. It arrived, appropriately enough, via the Internet on the Fourth of July and was from Shankar G. Hemmady, CEO of Guru Technologies, a consulting company in Cupertino, Calif.:

"I had wanted to start a company since 1988, a year after arriving in the United States. It was clear that this was a country where one could make dreams come true, and indeed the entire system supports the nurturing of entrepreneurial dreams. Although much has been said about how the U.S. government is restrictive and gets in the way of small business, let me say from my own firsthand experience and the experience of my fellow immigrants: the United States is still one of the few places where it is possible to start businesses, where entrepreneurship is considered a skill rather than a curse, where there is value in being different rather than in being a conformist. . . .

"While we have experienced the rejection known to many Inc. 500 founders and the sleepless nights dreaming of the next big contract, all in all, starting a business has been a wonderful experience. It is our fervent hope that this day, the Fourth of July, should be a great inspiration to other budding entrepreneurs as well."

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