Sunday, June 1, 2014

Entrepreneurship and Jobs (not Steve)


On one hand, blockbuster acquisitions [such as the WhatsApp purchase] inspire millions of Americans to try entrepreneurship every year. Conversely, WhatsApp and Twitch employ fewer than 200 people combined, reminding us that entrepreneurs, even when they create enormous value, do not always create enormous numbers of jobs, particularly for the middle class.

This reality doesn't square with rhetoric about the crucial link between entrepreneurship and job creation. Yet Washington is cranking out legislation, and nearly every state has programs, such as tax credits for investors, to cultivate entrepreneurship.

Why do politicians and business leaders continue to link entrepreneurship to employment in the age of Instagram?

There are two reasons: history [that is, second wave] and marketing.

Historically, there was a link between entrepreneurship and jobs. Early American innovators such as Henry Ford, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison created millions of middle-class jobs through their entrepreneurial efforts.

One key difference is that many of the entrepreneurial success stories of 2014 are in mobile applications and other kinds of software that will never require huge production plants or bustling warehouses [..].

One example is, the handy application that allows you to shop for airline tickets, along with hotels and rental cars [..] Kayak created tremendous value for its investors, but did it create jobs? The company had 185 employees in 2012. In fact, Kayak likely destroyed jobs. By a conservative measure, the number of travel agents declined by 50 percent from 2000 to 2012. Likewise, companies such as Netflix contributed to the failure of Blockbuster and the jobs of 60,000 workers. And the advent of e-mail is one important factor in the expected elimination of more than 100,000 postal worker jobs over the next few years.


In our new non-smokestack economy,  if "creative destruction" destroys jobs in some factory, we do not get another factory that will employ the same non-skilled blue-collar workers. Nowadays when jobs are destroyed, they are gone for good.


THE way we’re working isn’t working. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not very excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you’re there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you’re doing makes much of a difference anyway. By the time you get home, you’re pretty much running on empty, and yet still answering emails until you fall asleep [..]. Around the world, across 142 countries, the proportion of employees who feel engaged at work is just 13 percent.

And there is that

I believe the two stories above are somewhat connected.

Govs one day will have to give their citizens basic income because beyond earning money there is now a fundamental disconnect between things we thought were always connected: job and earning (good) income, college education and getting a job, gaining knowledge and college education, teachers and schools. 

Money is the biggest issue - without it, people cannot survive, so it needs to be given out (bcz it cannot be safely, consistenly tied to a job anymore). Either that, or people shift to a new digital currency that has social features built-in en masse, voting umm.. with their pockets, or their .. currencies. When can this happen? Well, how long do we have until the next financial crisis? It happens every 10 years, so in 4 years right? 2018 then. And this time, when next meltdown occurs ppl will truly scratch their heads and start grumbling louder.


[Greenspan is] just this gnarly mass of contradictions. He’s an acolyte of Ayn Rand – believes that no intervention in free markets is the right approach – and yet he proceeded to spend his entire career, from 1987 through 2005, with his hands on the levers of Federal Reserve policy. He manipulated interest rates and money supply in order to win the love of traders. In 2001 he took rates down to unprecedented levels – below 2% – and kept them there for three years. Rates were at 1% for a full year! That had simply never occurred before in history. If you look at the late 1950s and early 1960s, rates would dip below 2%, but only for weeks at a time. In the “Who is to blame?” game Alan Greenspan is number one with the bullet, he’s top of the list [..]

[If we want to prevent another financial meltdown what needs to be done is] really simple. Go back through the past 20 years of radical deregulation and overturn all the rules that were changed. You don’t need all this Dodd-Frank legislation. Just reinstate Glass-Steagall, overturn CFMA. Just undo everything that was done in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, remembering that old expression: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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