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June 02, 2010

Robert Reich deflates enthusiasm for the "startup boom"

About 95% of what Reich has written here is dead on accurate analysis of the workforce transformation phenomenon happening out in the street today. He only drifts off into mush brained liberalism in the last few paragraphs of the piece.

...Another surprise is the age of these new entrepreneurs. According to the report, most of the growth in startups was propelled by 35- to 44-year-olds, followed by people 55 to 64. Forget Internet whiz kids in their 20’s. It’s the gray-heads who are taking the reins of the new startup economy. And if you thought minorities had been hit particularly hard by this awful recession, think again. According to the report, entrepreneurship increased more among African-Americans than among whites.

At first glance, all this seems a bit odd. Usually new businesses take off in good times when consumers are flush and banks are eager to lend. So why all this entrepreneurship last year?

In a word, unemployment. Booted off company payrolls, millions of Americans had no choice but to try selling themselves. Another term for “entrepreneur” is “self-employed.” ...

The whole thing is worth reading. His dissection of the phenomenon is correct, even if some of his prescriptions in the last few paragraphs are not.

Reich is a sharp guy for a liberal. I've always had a modest measure of respect for him precisely because he wasn't PelosiGrade™ stupid.

DESPERATION IS THE NEW HOPE


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