Millennials

The Lost Generation of Millennial Entrepreneurs

The number of startups headed by the youngs is one-third of what it was in 1989!

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WSJ

This isn't good, as Ron Hart points out in The Orange County Register:

Recently released statistics show that the percentage of adults under age 30 who own a business is the lowest in 30 years. Today, only 3.6 percent own a stake in a private company, compared with 6.1 percent in 2010. Even more troubling: This number was 10.6 percent in 1989.

This trend toward a lost generation of entrepreneurs has profound implications for the growth of our economy.

We have raised kids averse to risk and hard work. More Americans want a government job or a disability check. Forty years ago, we rode dirt bikes and bumper cars, our popular rides of choice, at the county fair. Today, the most popular rides are those motorized shopping carts at Wal-Mart.

Read more here.

Hart semi-facetiously points to various reasons for the decline, including helicopter parenting, anti-capitalist bias in education, and growing willingness to accept disability payments.

There's something to all that, I suspect. The Wall Street Journal suggests that a generally weak economy is taking a toll. Worse still is the overall trend:

The U.S. "startup rate"—new firms as a portion of all firms—fell by nearly half between 1978 and 2011, according to an analysis by [Brookings' Robert] Litan and his research partner, economist Ian Hathaway.

Startups help keep an economy dynamic even if small businesses aren't the job-creation engine many defenders claim. It's never a good sign when people are forming fewer and fewer new companies. And few observers expect this to change anytime soon:

In an annual survey [Donna Kelley of Babson College] oversees, more than 41% of 25-to-34-year-old Americans who saw an opportunity to start a business said fear of failure would keep them from doing so, up from 23.9% in 2001. "The fear of failure is the measure we should be most concerned about," she said.

Hmm, perhaps this helps explain why Donald Trump—with his banal exhortations about "winning"—is pulling such a large audience. Economic lassitude may well lead to psychological fears and anxieties.

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  1. with his banal exhortations about “winning”?is pulling such a large audience

    LINGUISTIC KILLSHOT!

    /Scott Adams

    1. I can’t wait until Adams makes phrenology hip again.

      1. I say he tries to reinstate Phlogiston!

        1. I do say, that comment raised my sanguine humour and induced laughter!

  2. “We have raised kids averse to risk and hard work.”

    This sounds true enough, but the overlapping regulations regarding businesses now mean that the gov’t can pretty much set a fine-amount and then look for a reason to assess it.
    It pays to be risk-averse as regards the gov’t; they got the guns and jails.

    1. It’s amazing how the government will jump to the front of the line, too.

      We had a guy here who scammed investors out of $6 million dollars. The victims were mostly elderly, stupid, or both. The guy was caught and convicted. Instead of returning the money to the people who were victimized, the government decided that it was owed income tax on that $6 million. So they’re trying to take $3 million.

      Apparently, just about every gov agency has the power to fine “administratively”, and it always goes to that agency instead of the victims.

    2. I was going to make, essentially the same comment. Yes, the country is clearly full of enormous pussies, but regulation is what keeps people from becoming businessmen.

      When you spend 13% of GDP complying with federal regulation alone, it’s amazing we have the economy we do. And it’s not only the money, but the complexity. Way too much shit to know to keep your ass outta jail and keep from being sued. Used to be, you wanted to start a hot dog stand you got cart, some buns, dogs and mustard and you were off to the races. Today you gotta have 6 to 9 permits, inspections, a waste disposal plan, a fucking lawyer…

      Government makes it nearly impossible to do business…I wonder why there are fewer new businessmen?

      1. Because millennials are lazy and ruined everything!

  3. We have raised kids averse to risk and hard work. More Americans want a government job or a disability check. Forty years ago, we rode dirt bikes and bumper cars, our popular rides of choice, at the county fair. Today, the most popular rides are those motorized shopping carts at Wal-Mart.

    ^EVERY SECOND COMMENT ON A LENORE SKENAZY ARTICLE^

    1. IN MY DAY
      *Shakes sword cane*

      1. BACK IN MY DAY, we didn’t have any fancy “sword canes” – we had to embed bits of glass and teeth into a young tree, then cut a branch off to use as a spiked club!

        1. Glass? GLASS?!?! You young whipper snapper.

          1. In my day, we had to scour the volcanic badlands for shards of obsidian to make our spiked clubs.

            1. Well, at least you didn’t need to worry about White Walkers.

    2. Get off my locally-sourced, pushmowed, greywatered chamomile lawn, gramps.

  4. I don’t think its a fear of failure. Its a fear of failing to obey a federal, state, or local statute and being ruined financially, and going to prison.

    1. Kids today also suck.

      I’m 36, and I have friends from HS who still haven’t had a real job. They’re on their 3rd or 4th master’s and still think they’re gonna get a lucrative job working for a non-profit or NGO on a grant.

      Sorry, assholes, you aren’t going to self-actualize on my dime.

      1. Without being a cane-shaking old man yelling at clouds, I’m pretty comfortable saying that the concept of “work ethic” is rapidly spinning down the shitter.

        1. The young soldiers I was lucky enough to lead sure had it, tho’…

          1. The masturbation euphemisms these days, i swear.

            1. My thoughts and prayers are with you, X.

        2. “Living Wage” now means living in an high-rent apartment in an expensive neighborhood in an expensive city with an entry level job.

          1. I laughed. Gonna have to borrow that one.

          2. Don’t forget the triple cream brie and liquor delivery service.

          3. Yeah, because the generations before millennials screwed it up for them.

            If you compare past generations’ money to today’s in absolute value, the “minimum” wage is less now than it was for the last few generations. College is more expensive. Basic living expenses have soared as the elders used their “intellect” to drive regulatory compliance costs through the roof for ridiculous reasons (including, but not limited to, raw power grabs by government or “thinking of the children”)

            But, yes, it’s all the millennial generations’ fault they want to live in a similar way that their elders did when they were just breaking into the world and not only can’t find a way to, they complain that they were kicked in the balls.

            Millennials can’t even enjoy themselves the way elder generations did. Want to bum around? Sorry, hitchhiking is vagrancy. Go to a city park for sports? Great, it’s nice to go to a place that’s frequented by druggies that the police don’t care enough to get rid of. Want to find another nice open space? Sorry, all of the open fields are religiously policed by their owners and you’ll get arrested for trespass OR they are so far away you need to arrange rides. People who work enough to afford them don’t have the time to go horse around all that often.

            So they get a TV, an Xbox, and Netflix because that costs them very little. But, of course, that’s wrong, too. They don’t get out enough.

            To complain about state of the millennials, we need to look in a mirror.

            1. But, yes, it’s all the millennial generations’ fault they want to live in a similar way that their elders did when they were just breaking into the world and not only can’t find a way to, they complain that they were kicked in the balls.

              I’m not sure what “past generation” lived better than their children (without doing some pretty immense cherry picking) but my elders grew up during the great depression and through world war ii. Yes, “things” were much cheaper then but “things” were also much more incredibly rare. This is obvious when you live in or walk through old houses that are mysteriously devoid of things like closets. But I digress.

              I think you’re missing my point in that regardless of what inflation and central bank meddling has done to our dollar and your savings, there are things that are expensive, and things that are cheap. There have always been expensive neighborhoods and cities, and cheaper counterparts in relative comparison.

              Choosing to live in one of the most expensive real estate locations in the country is, alas, a choice. Choosing to do it while being engaged in an entry-level job is also a choice.

              1. contd.

                If you’re going to bitch about the “libertarian” moment being a chimera, you won’t find much disagreement here. But again, regardless of the relative value of your dollar compared to 75 years ago, we live in the world we live, which is why I don’t life in Madison Valley in a $900,000 home while bitching about my lack of living wage, while ordering high end liquor and posting pics of it on instagram.

                the reality is, the expectations of younger generations has gone up considerably. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it would be nice if we’d acknowledge those expectations. I realize that my “idea” of being broke is WAY different then that of my parents. So I’m careful not to blog about how hard my life is, and how unfair it all is when I remember my father being handed the responsibilities of small farm when he was 7 years old, after his father died of pneumonia.

            2. hey want to live in a similar way that their elders did when they were just breaking into the world and not only can’t find a way to, they complain that they were kicked in the balls.

              And there’s your problem (well one of them) Their elders had to work for several years too before they could afford that sort of thing – it didn’t come right away. And “can’t find a way to?” bullshit – the answers are pretty obvious, if you objectively assess earning potentials with various degrees/trades/etc – I will admit that onlder generations have tacitly encouraged this behaviour by treating college as ‘worth it no matter what’ without teaching cost benefit analysis

              speaking as a millennial with a good job (and a spouse with a decent job) I hate the whining of my generational peers

              1. I will admit that onlder generations have tacitly encouraged this behaviour by treating college as ‘worth it no matter what’ without teaching cost benefit analysis

                *ding*ding*ding*ding*

                Millennials need to push back against this. I don’t blame them for the atmosphere, but at some point a clear-headed assessment needs to be made on ROI for certain college degrees. It’s painful, it’s ugly, but it’s possible that college isn’t for everyone. And if you do go to college, it might have to be in one of those fields where you don’t get graded on your mattress-carrying prowess.

                1. Millennials want to borrow on their great-grandchildren, too. Just like their elders.

                  I admit it sucks to be the last row on the pyramid scheme, but every millennial had the option to opt out. Public school has always been little more than an elaborate Amway sales pitch.

                  The joke’s on the millennials. They could take up arms, but they’re too entitled.

        3. You got that right. About the only effort most will exert is writing a text message. Then they whine if it doesn’t send.

      2. I tend to disagree, fairly strongly. Yeah, there are kids who are like this. There may even be more of them than there were in 1969, although I doubt it.
        Entrepreneurial efforts have never been popular, have never been the focus of the majority of “kids today”, for any given value of “today”.
        The educational establishments have certainly let them down. They don’t learn anything, anything at all, about how business works, what entrepreneurs do, or how they do ti. But that’s not significantly different now than it was in 1969 (the year I graduated high school).
        The most the schools provide are those freaking “junior achievement” clubs that are the equivalent of the grade-school kid trying to sell pot-holders made on one of those little metal looms using stretchy fabric bands [are those still even around?].
        Ultimately, if “kids today” suck, who’s to blame? It’s not inherent in childhood or ‘young adulthood’.
        We’ve betrayed them by failing to teach how to do anything but suck. Amazingly, not all of them learn that. And I’m not convinced the suckle is worse now than it was in 69/70.

        1. “…[are those still even around?]….”

          Not on your LIFE; dangerous, saw-like shape.

        2. If you’re not majoring in business or STEM, which is most people, this shit is pushed on you from the moment you set foot on campus.

          1. The big deal in my area now is STEAM. Science, Technology, Arts, Math.
            Making me wonder — what the f**k else is there?

            1. Reading. Which is the *most* important of all.

            2. The E in STEM stands for Engineering? does STEAM leave out engineering?

              1. No, but Shirley does.

                1. Yeah, Shirley messed up by leaving that one out. Probably subconscious because she’s trying not to think about work today. Not that, in her opinion, “Software Engineering” is actually engineering of any sort.
                  And just BTW, everywhere I’ve been, reading falls under Art.
                  Probably as silly as considering software development to be engineering, but somehow it grates more.

            3. “Art” can mean a lot of different things. Myself, I wouldn’t include things like history, languages, reading, writing. Some of those things can be applied to art, but also to other endeavors.

              Then there is the more old fashioned meaning of “arts” (as in the Bachelor of Arts degree) which basically means being able to do things.

            4. The Art Of Bureaucracy.

            1. Looking at rocks is an honest living. I have no idea why you gave it up.

              1. Because it’s not as easy as it looks to get rocks off.

                1. *Narrows gaze at HM, unzips*

        3. Ultimately, if “kids today” suck, who’s to blame?

          Scoreless T-ball.

          *drops microphone*

          1. Here’s your participation trophy.

      3. You’re 36? I didn’t realize we were so close in age.

        1. I’M NO HIPSTER MILLENIAL.

          1. I think foodie is a subset of hipsters. The millennial part I can’t answer because I don’t think there is a clear cutoff.

            1. Turns out I’m not a millennial. I’ve merged my handles.

              1. I don’t see what was wrong with Florida Man. It speaks volumes.

                1. It is dishonest. My brother is 10x the FM I am.

    2. ^^THIS
      I’ve worked with start-ups started by the young (college students generally). I’m involved with ‘accelerators’ and ‘incubators’ focused on entrepreneurship..
      The regulatory environment is arguably the single biggest obstacle. Specifically, the regulatory environment means you have to spend a lot, a whole lot, of money on legal advice. This is before you can even begin to get off the ground, before you can begin generating revenue and cash flow.
      Then the second layer of obstacles kick in — accounting.
      The the third layer — employment laws, and the whole obscene melding of accounting and law in local, county, state, and federal layers.
      Starting a business is hard work. We’ve made it much much harder since 1969.

        1. You know, my wife is planning to have a tag sale this spring to clear out our old junk. I didn’t even think of it but she mentioned having to get a permit so we don’t get shut down and/or fined.

          This really pisses me off.

          1. Would they really shut you down? Here, if a cop catches you holding an un-permitted yard sale, they’ll just sell you the permit on the spot.

        2. 1964 Volkswagen Camper “EZ Camper” conversion
          “When my kids were little we would drive around in this bus every Sunday to get bagels and lox. The little kitchen drives them wild. We got busted by the cops with it for putting up an illegal lemonade stand this past summer in the Hamptons.” – Jerry Seinfeld
          http://www.sfgate.com/cars/art…..889423.php

      1. This so much. My grandma started trying to sell the fudge and peanut brittle she made. It was ridiculous all the hoops they made her jump through. She had to partner with a local restaurant because she couldn’t meet all the safety regs required in her at home kitchen.

        This is why I’m in favor of the sticker method of government regulations. All regs are optional, but if you meet them you get to put a “Government Approved” sticker on your product or business. If the regs really are for the customer benefit then people will pay a premium for stickered products.

        1. “All regs are optional, but if you meet them you get to put a “Government Approved” sticker on your product or business”

          ^ This.

          Or even better, private certification agencies. The construction industry is full of these. Government regulations on construction almost universally refer to standards developed and maintained by private certification agencies.

          Instead of making compliance a matter of law, make it a matter of achieving a recognized quality stamp and leave it to the buyer to decide whether they are concerned about those standards.

          1. “Underwriter’s Laboratory”

            1. They have a really cool job.

              1. I would love to break things for a living.

                1. Watching them destroy a safe is oddly satisfying.

            2. Wonderful people. Also, ANSI, ASTM, NECA, NEMA, MCAA – the list just goes on and on.

            3. T?V are available just about anywhere.

          2. I”ve been suggesting this for years. Get rid of all but the most basic of building regs, nothing more than maximum % of lot covered, setbacks / height, and no sewage to flow off of property. The rest is between you, the bank and the insurance company.

          3. Government regulations on construction almost universally refer to standards developed and maintained by private certification agencies.

            Hahahahahaha. One of my liberal friends claims that government regulations are what keeps your house from burning down.

            1. That is the ostensible and long-standing rationalization behind the building code – i.e. your straw hut presents a fire danger to the neighborhood, so we’re going to outlaw straw huts.

              The current building code goes *so* far beyond that it’s not even funny. And insurance companies are much more honestly concerned about making sure your house doesn’t burn down than the government is, so if you got rid of the building code today, insurance companies would still insist on the most important elements.

              OTOH, in countries that don’t have building codes, the poorest people tend to build out of adobe, which is very illegal here, and thus thousands die when earthquakes hit and the four-story adobes crumble like dry sandcastles.

              It’s not a simple issue, but in this country today law-based building codes cause more harm than they prevent.

      2. I would love to start my own business. I can’t even calculate the startup costs

        1. I can’t even calculate the startup costs

          Not everyone should start a business. Nothing wrong with working for someone or having a bunch of kids and collecting welfare instead.

          1. It’s much more moral to get on the dole and have a mess of kids. That way you aren’t exploiting your workers or allowing someone else to exploit you.

      3. It’s not just regulations, it is chronyism.

        My buddy worked for one of the big solar startups. They had compelling technology, a good plan, important targets, but backed the wrong senator. So their competitor got the big contract with millions of dollars in tax rebates.

        When your business plan is largely “target the right politicians” innovation and entrepreneurship is dead.

        1. It’s not what you know? it’s who you know.

          1. And what you know about them. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

        2. When your product is not economically viable so that you have to “target the right politicians” to be successful, you probably shouldn’t be making that product.

      4. Arguably? There is no doubt that the regulatory environment is the biggest obstacle to entrepreneurship. I own my own business managing and assisting startups and small companies, and 3/4 of the people I talk to give up when I’m about halfway through the list of bullshit they have to go through to start a business, any business. God forbid that business involves anything other than providing a straight service at a single location.

  5. It’s always a bit disconcerting when you read these ‘Millennials do/don’t X, Y, Z’ bits and they hit too close to home. It’s like — I am “averse to risk and hard work” — but I don’t like seeing it reiterated back to me in a generalizing article. I imagine it’s like a black man reading an article about how one can always bank on a black man lovin’ fried chicken; I’m sure it often can illicit a ‘fuck you’ response in the gut of the black reader but it can also illicit a sense of shame in some readers because the truth is ‘I do like fried chicken’. I feel that way at times when I read all the Millennial articles scattered about the web, pegging us to the wall.

    1. Come on, though, who DOESN’T like fried chicken? UnCivil Servant, probably, but who else?

        1. And now you’ve got me looking for karaage in my town.

        2. The only thing Playa loves more than food is telling people how much he loves food.

          1. I thought he loved telling people how much he loves beer.

            1. Quiet you two!

              I get ideas from him…

            2. He doesn’t love beer. He loves IPAs.

              1. Im drinking a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in a mexican restaurant in Fullerton as I am writing this.

                1. It’s quite early for that. I might hop on board later.

                  I can coach 4-year-old soccer after 6 beers, right?

                  1. You can’t coach 4 year old soccer. The kids all just chase the ball around till its time for juice boxes.

            3. I like food. I like beer. I like nachos. I like America.

          2. Food is a substitute for sex. I’m surprised that you don’t talk about it more.

            And, when you do, I’d like to note that it’s usually about Dominos or Chipotle.

        3. That’s some quality culture you appropriated.

          1. It’s just chicken tempura.

            1. Don’t piss on my social-justice-parade-pissing parade.

        4. Coincidientally, I had this on Wednesday:

          http://whitefencefarm-co.com/co/index-home.php

          Good fried chicken doesn’t need any extra theme bullshit.

          1. White Fence Farm is the joint. I should go there this weekend.

            1. As long as they remember not to bring the fucking beets to my table. Disgusting. Fortunately, the corn fritters make up for it.

      1. Only commies and terrorists come to mind. Also non-red blooded Americans *spits*

    2. the Venn diagram of hoplophobes and those that hate fried chicken is a circle.

  6. Nothing appears to be deterring this generation from borrowing money to go to college. And the lower classes are racking up a lot of credit card debt.

    I think the more likely explanation is Walmart. There’s less room for the mom and pop business.

    1. Walmart has been huge for years and the number of businesses owned by those under 30 fell by almost half between 2010 and 2013.

      That’s not the Walmart effect.

    2. Walmart tuk yer jerbs?

    3. There isn’t even a Walmart in my city. There are far more government-ey factors in making it hard to own a business than anything Walmart is doing.

      1. ^ This. I live in the East SF Bay, where most cities ban Walmart. I couldn’t even tell you where the closest Walmart is, yet there is no flurry of either startups or “mom and pop” businesses.

        1. Almost like symptoms of the same disease… but no, that’s not possible, government *creates* jobs.

    4. This generation can borrow money to go to college for 2% interest which is deferred, along with any repayment, for as long as they remain in college. They can borrow money to start a business at 19% interest, repayment of which begins immediately and requires collateralizing any asset they own. They have incentive to go to college, and to stay there as long as possible. This generation isn’t lazy, it’s just responding to incentives in a rational way. It’s not their fault the incentives are so fucked up that they punish hard work and initiative while rewarding idleness and extended adolescence.

      1. Agreed. Human effort, like many things in nature, tends to follow the path of least resistance.

        The free market may not always lead to maximum prosperity, but at least it’s agile enough to add resistance to some paths and remove resistance to some paths based on human behavior. The government picks its promoted value for the decade (recently, EVERYONE GETS A DEGREE!) and isn’t nearly flexible enough to adjust when the consequences manifest.

      2. “It’s not their fault the incentives are so fucked up that they punish hard work and initiative while rewarding idleness and extended adolescence.”

        I agree. The problem is too many people my age want to keep the incentives the way they are…

  7. I am sure our millennial commenters can explain to us how their friends try to strike it rich these days.

    (The answer is app development, people).

    1. It’s got something to do with sending Lolpics and texting people in novel ways.

    2. Start working for a political campaign or think-tank and work your way up.

      Seriously. That’s what my ambitious friends did after I graduated college a handful of years back. Everyone else just applied to a bunch of jobs in their field and crossed their fingers.

    3. Rape accusations.

  8. Just because I’m feeling curmudgeonly (fuck March Madness to death) — a major factor in “maybe this is why Trump is getting traction with ‘winning'” is the disparate (to understate wildly) focus on sports versus business/economics.
    If schools put 10% of what they put into sports into business education, we’d see a major positive impact.
    Yeah, at ridiculous cost and done absurdly badly, that’s how public schools work. But it’s better than churning out a crowd of jocks and jock wannabes who put everything in terms of “winning” rather than even comprehending ‘comparative advantage’.

    1. Most of the successful business owners I know didn’t even finish high school. I’m sure there is some advantage to defining common sense into business terms and discussing it in classes, but beyond keg parties and loose chicks I don’t see many.

      1. Actually there is another one. Networking with people that might be helpful contacts to have in the future

    2. This is too stupid to even form a coherent response.

  9. Maybe the fact that you need 70 days of training to work as a barbershop shampooer has something to do with the lack of small business creation.

  10. calculating FUTA and SUTA quarterly did me in. i’m sure PPACA will crush any dreams of growing a company greater than 50 FTEs. no thanks to that headache.

    1. I’ve got clients who are trying to get to 49 FTE’s and then stop.

      1. No, he was one of those fine arts fags who didn’t want to study at a real school (No, seriously…that’s what they call it in German)

        Hitler rebelled against this decision, and in Mein Kampf revealed that he intentionally did poorly in school, hoping that once his father saw “what little progress I was making at the technical school he would let me devote myself to my dream”.

        Hitler was a fuck-up even in his art “career”

        From 1905, Hitler lived a bohemian life in Vienna, financed by orphan’s benefits and support from his mother. He worked as a casual labourer and eventually as a painter, selling watercolours of Vienna’s sights. Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts rejected him in 1907 and again in 1908, citing “unfitness for painting”.The director, sympathetic to his situation, recommended that Hitler study architecture, which was also an interest, but he lacked academic credentials as he had not finished secondary school.

        Again, it’s worth nothing that before entering politics, Hitler, basically, succeeded at nothing. He held no job to speak of, and before before entering the military, was basically a hobo drifting from flophouse to flophouse.

        1. No, he was one of those fine arts fags who didn’t want to study at a real school (No, seriously…that’s what they call it in German)

          Everything in German is a description of what a thing is.

          1. That’s some knowledge shaft right there.

            1. It’s some knowledge vergewaltigen.

          2. hospital = Krankhaus (sick house)

            watch = Armbanduhr (arm band clock)

            1. Oh, just remembered this one:

              vacuum cleaner = Staubsauger (dust sucker)

          3. Everything in German is a description of what a thing is

            It works even better in Icelandic.

        2. Again, it’s worth nothing that before entering politics, Hitler, basically, succeeded at nothing. He held no job to speak of, and before before entering the military, was basically a hobo drifting from flophouse to flophouse.

          It’s already been established that Hitler was the Bernie Sanders of Berlin.

          1. What did Peikoff call it? Yes, the “ominous parallels”.

          2. Hey, Bernie wasn’t a flophouse drifter! He lived in a one-room sugar shack with a dirt floor, is all.

          3. Really? I read it as ‘the Donald Trump’ of Berlin.

            1. You should read Goebbels anti-capitalist screeds. Dude was a walking, talking Occupy Wallstreet protest.

              1. Yup.

                Therefore we demand:

                11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

                12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

                13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

                14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.

                15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.

                16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

                17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

                18. We demand that ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Traitors, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.

                And it goes on from there…

                1. “regardless of creed or race.”

                  Well, at least they don’t discriminate.

          4. Bernie was born a generation too early to seize the means of production and begin the purges.

            1. Bernie doesn’t want to seize the means of production. He wants to direct the results of production in service to the state’s goals. There’s a system for that, but the name escapes me at the moment.

        3. Well, it’s nice to know that I still have career options.

        4. financed by orphan’s benefits and support from his mother

          Wouldn’t the support from his mother imply he didn’t qualify for the orphan’s benefits?

          1. Wouldn’t the support from his mother imply he didn’t qualify for the orphan’s benefits?

            I guess only the father counted back then?

        5. I’m guessing Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts now questions that decision.

    1. Immigrants who aren’t afraid of hard work?

    2. b/c they don’t know the meaning of bureaucracy with a functioning enforcement arm that can’t be bribed away?

  11. Before we start blaming the Millennials, I notice the real decline started with my generation, aka “the slacker” generation.

    I do notice a sharp dropoff in the graph starting around 2010 though, which I find curious because this is during the time when “everyone agrees” the Recover Summer was totally on. So I’m not sure what to make of that, other than the sting of the Great Recession caught up to the younger generation and those that couldn’t hold on any longer finally gave up.

    I’m sure that it’s not just a generational thing, as much as I like to make merciless fun of my own generation, the “Dude, yer gettin’ a Dell” generation. But I’m sure taxes and regulation have also happened, along with municipalities everywhere stomping the shit out of the so-called “sharing economy”.

    I’m sure young people actually have taken lessons from what they’ve seen with Uber and Lyft, and that probably colors their worldview on starting a business.

    1. I’d be willing to bet that the decline really started when getting a job became optional for teens.

      Maybe someone else can do that research.

      1. Agreed. I do believe that the nebulous ‘work-ethic’ (as a concept) has come crashing down for American-born people with each new generation.

        Some of that is natural. As a nation becomes wealthier, we don’t need kids out on the farm, up and working by 4am, slopping hogs and bailing hay.

        But there is definitely something going on in the last 10-15 years.

        I was talking to a guy who runs a high-end commercial construction crew for a large firm and he said he’s having a hell of a time dealing with his younger workers, having to stay on them constantly– an issue he never had in the past.

        1. I was talking to a guy who runs a high-end commercial construction crew for a large firm and he said he’s having a hell of a time dealing with his younger workers, having to stay on them constantly– an issue he never had in the past.

          I’ve heard this a lot. All notional, of course, but it wouldn’t/doesn’t surprise me.

      2. I’d be willing to bet that the decline really started when getting a job became optional for teens.

        I knew high-achieving kids in high school and most of them wanted to work part time jobs. A few did not because it would interfere with all their activities – there are always those five or six kids that were in drama club and track and band,and yearbook and… Constant activity, and basically zero alone time/spare time. Even in summer there were school activities and band camp and the list goes on. Colleges fawned all over these kids and gave them free rides.

        As people became to value college more, parents saw that keeping junior involved in activities would increase their scholarship chances. That means no chance to work part time. The problem is most of these activities are “me” centered. I worked retail for the narcissism of having money to spend, but the job involved serving people. School activities mostly involve serving yourself happy, with a smidgen of teamwork which often doubles as social time. The kids being pushed into these activities by their parents is one thing, but some parents are refusing to limit their precious snowflake’s activities and enabling their narcissism.

  12. Maybe it’s less to do with anti-capitalist bias in the population and more to do with the anti-capitalist government agencies and regulations strangling small businesses to death. I have a hard time finding data on the failure rate of new businesses over long time scales.

  13. It only gets worse from here. Start my own business!?!? That’s scary! I’d rather get one of the plentiful government jobs that will only grow going forward.

    Mark my words: In a few decades, private ownership of small businesses will be nonexistent. Everyone will just get State jobs or jobs at one of a few State-funded enterprises. Holy shit, I wish I was older.

    1. Or maybe a job blogging… or youtubing.

  14. There are three major factors, I think: more kids going to college, student loans, and the education system as a whole.

    If you spend an additional 4-6 years in college after high school, you’re 22-25 when you get out. A lot of the greatest generation or Gen X would have gone straight to work after high school – maybe apprenticed for a couple years then taken those skills and opened their own shop.

    Student loans are a big barrier to creating businesses. If I have $100k in student loan debt, it is a lot easier/more comfortable to get a steady paycheck rather than try to start a business.

    Now, I’m not proposing we should be making college free or anything: I’m just suggesting that could be a factor contributing to this trend.

    The final factor, which is tangential to the anti-capitalism in education, is the education system’s insistence on coddling and social promotion. Kids are not actually educated in high school (and increasingly in college too).

    1. If I have $100k in student loan debt, it is a lot easier/more comfortable to get a steady paycheck rather than try to start a business.

      I can’t also help but wonder that if you’re 21-22 years old, and you have $100k in student loan debt, you may not have the best business acumen.

      1. “if you’re 21-22 years old, and you have $100k in student loan debt, you may not have the best business acumen.”

        ^^ This. I maxed out at about $35k because I looked at my $35k in debt and said to myself “that’s a big problem – I can’t let that get bigger. I need to either drop out or find some supplemental income.”

        I know so many people however, who just put the blinders on and lingered in college to their heart’s content, and then got a bill for $90k that they were literally surprised by, at which point they start lamenting the tyranny of capitalism. . .

    2. “The final factor, which is tangential to the anti-capitalism in education, is the education system’s insistence on coddling and social promotion”

      I actually think the anti-capitalism is a bigger factor – kids are literally taught that it is impossible for little people to start their own businesses and succeed, that people who do succeed are evil and will destroy you if you even try, and that the most noble professions you can aspire to are lawyer and social worker.

      At my daughter’s elementary school in the MPR they have a bunch of big posters about how wonderful lawyers are, pictures of famous lawyers like Ghandi, Clinton and Obama, and worshipful screeds about the awesomeness of the UN and *their* lawyers.

      Could you imaging if they put up a picture of someone like Mark Zuckerberg and implied that he’s admirable?

  15. Also young people are working – less and less. Back when I was 15, I was washing dishes. 16 I had my first job doing programming, at $4hr, mind you. And then warehouse work and screenprinting.

    Getting out of college and getting a temp job at $13/hr seemed like frickin’ paradise compared to those early years.

    Of course there is the immigrant argument – importing more cheap labor is going to skew the market for lower-end jobs. Why hire a kid to work part-time, doesn’t know much, and who may be a general jerk-off, when you can get someone from Eastern Europe, or wherever, who can work without the expectations that an American teenager may (or may not) have.

    1. I’m a millennial and I got my first job at 12, as a paper boy. Then I started working for a friend’s dad’s IT company at 14 years old. Worked through high school, then put myself through college while also holding a job. I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I got a post-college job offer in my senior year of college, which I worked between the ages of 22 thru 24. Now I work as an Associate Vice President for a NBFI making $80K a year. I’m 25.

      I took the initiative and asked my mom if I could do that paper boy job when I was 12. I found the flier and asked her. I just like money, and recognized that I needed to work hard if I wanted to have it.

      1. Marry me!

        err wait that’s not…

      2. Your peers are going to make sure your income tax rate is increased.

        1. Yeah, I know. v.v

  16. But the same number have BUILT their own business: zero

  17. Gawdallfreakingmighty. Libertarians are now clueless about what is killing entrepreneurs?

    What is killing entrepreneurs is the cronyism that keeps the big and fat and rich fed and prosperous. That kept the TBTF alive (Opportunity cost 101 – you can only bail out the big at the expense of the small) during the 2008 crisis – and that remains pretty much a taboo topic at Reason. That has tried desperately to avoid the destructiveness of recession for 30+ years so that the economy can become nothing but perpetual asset bubbles and mispriced capital signals now – again a taboo topic at Reason. That actually thinks that marginal tax rates at the top will somehow redistribute wealth/income better than raw market competition will – golly another taboo topic at Reason.

    But hey keep focusing on pot ass sex and Mexicans. Yeesh – Mother Jones is better at identifying cronyism than Reason is.

      1. Export-Import Bank repeated 100 times does not invalidate a thing I said.

        1. If anything it makes what I said MORE valid. Ex-Im and ethanol and such are the ADMITTED forms of cronyism. The parts of the iceberg above the waterline. Compare that to ignored cronyism that has directly been used to kill off entrepreneurs (eg Monsanto’s 150+ lawsuits intended to kill off farmers who don’t want their products). Or cronyism that wraps itself in the phrase ‘free trade’ (eg TPP)

          1. I think everybody would agree with you. But you came in pretty hot with your first conment, and insulted everybody here as well as the websites’ gracious host.

            1. He also set up several straw men regarding things that are taboo in the Reason of his mind and then repeated things that have been said ad nauseum by Reason for the last 8 years, all of which were called racist at the time. Not sure if troll or just cunt.

          2. That kept the TBTF alive (Opportunity cost 101 – you can only bail out the big at the expense of the small) during the 2008 crisis – and that remains pretty much a taboo topic at Reason.

            Only if you have never actually read Reason.

    1. I know – right? Like, no one *ever* talks about cronyism or destructive government manipulation of markets here. EVAR.

  18. What was the number before 1989?

    1. What is this “before 1989” of which you speak?

      1. It was a time when people snorted cocaine, listened to synth-pop, and everything was painted teal and pink.

      2. In the beginning, before Twitter…

  19. There is also the fact that we have extended childhood well in to the 20’s for a lot of these kids.

  20. The biggest fear is violating some obscure law and being jailed and broke because of it. Like depositing your lousy cash flow of 8K a month and being labelled a terrorist.

  21. I don’t think regulation comes into play at the beginning. At least not in many fields. State and local govt’s generally don’t have a clue about what’s going on and the feds only care that you pay your taxes. You will be well under any radar when it comes to the truly retarded stuff, until you start getting real traction and the problem becomes worth addressing anyway. “Asking for forgiveness later” generally works unless you make a target of yourself somehow.

    I blame the “you didn’t build that” mindset of every naive fool (and therefore of the younger generations, of course), where the risks and effort to succeed on your own (rather than via getting accepted into some “system” where govt protects you) are far far more immense than they think the payoff should be allowed to be. They may lack the intelligence or intellectual honesty to identity the problem, but they are certainly affected by it anyway.

  22. I started a small business at the age of 25 in New Orleans, aTV repair service. Way back in 1965, I advertised with flyers on my neighbors mailboxes and short paid radio announcements. All with no permits etc. When the business was more or less growing, I went to apply and was told I had to pay $$$ for a months long official electronics course, and more for a permit, so I stayed illegal.
    Later I discovered that nearby in MS, the business permit was $10, and no other problems. So we moved to MS and began a decades long TV Shop, and then another branch, then satellite-tv etc.
    So, young people, try something under the table and if you LIKE doing it, find a place where it is easier to be legal!
    PS, I am now living in Mexico–it’s great here……

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