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Saturday, March 14, 2009

NYT on "forced entrepreneurship"

Lead story on this morning, and also on A1 of today's print edition (just below the fold): "Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own", about the growing phenomenon of "forced entrepreneurship."

This is encouraging in some ways; seems clear that this is what it will take for the economy to turn around. Indeed, as the article refers to via a quote, it's the process of "creative destruction" of capitalism at work:

Mark V. Cannice, executive director of the entrepreneurship program at the
University of San Francisco, calls the phenomenon “forced entrepreneurship.”

“If there is a silver lining, the large-scale downsizing from major
companies will release a lot of new entrepreneurial talent and ideas —
scientists, engineers, business folks now looking to do other things,” Mr.
Cannice said. “It’s a Darwinian unleashing of talent into the entrepreneurial

Certainly there is a lot of financial and quantitative talent that's been released from Wall Street over the past year. Indeed, it's probably a good thing for our society that a smaller percentage of the most ambitious and accomplished college graduates aim to be something other than an analyst at an i-bank, and that fewer of our math, physics, and engineering PhDs end up working as something other than quants on Wall St.

Back to this grassroots entrepreneurship: I imagine/hope that this is what the GOP would like to support, instead of governemnt spending. But I haven't heard any concrete policy proposals for how they would do so; what I have heard is the mantra of more and more tax cuts--what they've been repeating for 30 years (the Age of Reagan, now seemingly coming to an end).

For starters, how about universal health care, so individuals can pursue entrepreneurial ventures w/o worrying about finding a job that includes decent health insurance for themselves and their dependents?

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