A Nation of Entrepreneurs?
By Arnold Kling
Jeff Cornwall points to a survey on entrepreneurship. Cornwall writes,
The survey sampled 1,000 Americans over the age of 18. Here are some of their findings:
* 56% of Americans dream of starting their own business (E.M. Couple this with 40% of college students who responded in another study that owning their own business is a major goal for attending school and we see an entrepreneurial revolution at hand).
* 10% of Americans already own their own business (E.M. Think of all the special interest groups influencing our public policy with much smaller numbers than this).
Cornwall has further comments here.
In this essay, I suggest that rapid change is forcing more people to think like entrepreneurs.
The lifetime job using a fixed set of skills is disappearing. It may be reasonable to expect to change jobs every few years and to change fields at least once a decade. This means that almost everyone needs to learn to think like an entrepreneur. In particular, spotting trends is important.
…Accelerated learning is important because the only constant in our economy is change. The only way to cope with rapid change is to learn. Learning has to be an ongoing process. It has to take place outside the traditional classroom. It has to be efficient and up to date.
The other key trend is toward personal services. The SAT tutor works one on one. This is not an accident. Mass production, distribution, and marketing are not going away — but they will be a declining share of employment. When you think “mass,” think automation. Ultimately, goods and services that are delivered in mass-market form will be produced and distributed by machines.
For Discussion. What percent of people currently aged 20 do you think will be self-employed at some point in their careers?