I don't just mean that business dodges taxes and pays low wages. Such talk of unfairness distracts from the fact that, in recent years at least, business has simply failed.
And for another, business has failed to invest in real assets despite making big profits. Since 2000 non-financial businesses' retained profits have exceeded investment in equipment and inventories by a cumulative £478.7bn*. In this sense, business has become an extractive institution, taking more money out of the economy than it has been putting in.
Business - at least in the UK - has become very good at extracting corporate welfare in the form of cushy government contracts, but much less good at riskier innovative ventures. Indeed, one could easily argue that the implicit subsidy to banks per banker is greater than spending on the welfare state per recipient.
In this context, we must distinguish between business and markets. Business is about hierarchy and control; markets are about dispersing power. Markets are about competition, whereas business tries to suppress competition and seek monopoly power; the last thing big business wants is creative destruction. A pro-business government would seek to protect incumbents through red tape that strangles small firms; tough copyright laws; generous outsourcing and procurement policies; and tax breaks. A pro-market government would do the exact opposite, and do everything it could to promote competition. Governments can - and should - be anti-business but pro-market.
All this poses the question: why, then, is Labour scared of being seen as anti-business? The Times gives us the answer. It quotes Tony Blair:
If chief executives say it is Labour that will put the economy at risk, who does the voter believe? Answer: the cief executives. Once you lose them, you lose more than a few votes. You lose your economic credibility.
But why do bosses have such influence? Partly, it's because politicians have so little credibility. But there are also two other reasons.
One is that the media - and the BBC is as guilty as anyone - sets up bosses as being general purpose experts: their opinions on the wider economy are often reported as authoritative in the way that others are not. This, though, misses the point that businessmen are at best experts only at running their own businesses - or in Stefano Pessina's case, inheriting them - and often not even that. As fans of many football teams will tell you, an ability to run one business often doesn't imply an ability to run another.
Also, bosses have managed to mythologize themselves as heroic, risk-taking leaders. But as we saw when Citylink collapsed, this is a fiction: it is workers and small contractors who bear risk, not big businessmen.
"Business leaders" are rather like corrupt medieval clergymen: they use an ideological fiction as a means of extracting wealth and power. What we need is a Martin Luther or Thomas Cromwell.
* I stress retained profits: these are the profits left after taxes, interest payments and dividends.