Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Only A Few Are Entrepreneurs

Only 2% of all Americans employ all of the private sector employees! 98% of Americans do not risk capital, or try to meet a payroll. These people buy health insurance for their workers, try to create and innovate, often lease an attractive site, maintain business licenses, observe myriad obscure regulations, compete with cutthroat competitors, and busy themselves with trying to meet disability access standards. It is not uncommon for them to also remain on call 24/7 for any business emergencies, and stay up late into the night trying to juggle interests of employees, business and community.

America is the greatest and richest capitalistic society in the world, yet we should note that our entrepreneur class that is surprisingly small and shallow. According to the Small Business Administration only 10% of Americans own a business and 80% of these are single self employed businesses. This means only 2% of all Americans actually employ at least one non-relative employee. Few businesses are large conglomerates like Walmart or McDonald's with hundreds of thousands of employees, some are mediums size, but by far most are small companies with under 50 employees.

The other 98% of Americans busy themselves with demanding jobs with higher than average wages, a full complement of generous benefits and frequent paid holidays. Most seek a definite work day without after hour calls. America is not so much a capitalist society as a worker's society demanding socialist protections, this is why workers are not getting any job offers.

The solution to unemployment is more entrepreneurship, if only 2% of Americans decided to start a business and hire at least one employee America would double the rate of entrepreneurship and capitalism! The sad truth is beyond the Lemonade Stand of childhood, few Americans know anything about running a business. Running a business in America is complex and requires knowledge and smarts, Government must encourage business formation by slashing through the regulations and roadblocks that make it more difficult.

There is another source for these rare entrepreneurs: Immigrants. Immigrants have more than ten times the rates of business start ups than the natives. In certain communities, it is even higher such as the Jewish/ Israeli, Lebanese, Indian and Chinese communities. Immigration policy should promote bringing these rare capitalists to our shores; they are more essential to America than Olympic athletes.

Very few Americans have the guts to risk entrepreneurship, they are the few that make America great. They think differently, they take risk, and they problem solve. America must  find these souls and promote them and enable them. It is risky, hard work, and exhausting, but it may be the only long term solution to the Great Recession. It is the 2% that carry 98% of the Capitalist Economy. 

Footnote; Thanks for reading, your comments are appreciated. For more on small business see the article below.

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