Friday, November 14, 2008

"Entrepreneurs will lead us out of this mess"

I'm glad to see this being said, although it is not in itself remarkable, in fact it should be a no brainer. But what is remarkable is where it is posted: HuffPo. Getting Democrats to recognize that while an active government may be appropriate in some circumstances, it will be the entrepreneurs who create the way out of the current situation, and so it is essential to have policies implemented to foster entrepreneurship--and to avoid policies that stifle entrepreneurship. Mark Cuban:

Its great to see President-elect Obama aggressively taking on the economy prior to his taking office. Unfortunately, the economic advisory team that he has put together looks more like a semester's worth of great guest speakers for an MBA class than an economic advisory team that can truly help him.
There are a lot of great minds on the list:
Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Laura Tyson, who served as Clinton's top economic adviser; former Fed Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson; Time Warner Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons; former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson and Xerox Corp. Chief Executive Officer Anne Mulcahy.

Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Roel Campos, an ex-SEC commissioner, and Warren Buffett are also on the advisory board.

Notice anything missing?
Not a single entrepreneur. Yes Warren Buffett started a business, but he will be the first to tell you that he "doesn't do start ups". Which means there isn't a single person advising PE Obama that we know of that knows what it's like to start and run a business in this or any economic climate.That's a huge problem.
If we are going to solve our current economic problems, our president needs to get first hand information on the impact his proposed policies will have on real Joe the Plumbers. People who are 1-person companies living job to job, hoping they get paid on time. We need to know what the impact of his policies will be on the individually owned Chrysler Dealership in Iowa. The bodega in Manhattan. The mobile phone software startup out of Carnegie Mellon. The event planner in Dallas. The barbershop in L.A. The restaurant in Boston.
Entrepreneurs that start and run small businesses will be the propellant in this economy. PE Obama needs to have the counsel of those who will take the real risk inherent in creating companies and jobs. Those who put their money and lives on the line with their business.
PE Obama, I'm always available to help, but my recommendation would be to randomly go through the new incorporation filings and ask for volunteers to give feedback. Ask the people who are actually starting new businesses what they need.
Entrepreneurs will lead us out of this mess. Talk to them.


Palimpsester said...

Thought of you when I saw this item, especially the last paragraph:

Rick’s Picks Thursday, December 4, 2008

Global Slowdown Saps Even China

Some years ago, when China began to ramp up its export economy, we predicted here that the country would continue to export aggressively even if global trade fell off a cliff. The result, we wrote, would be historically unprecedented deflation in the manufacturing sector – plummeting prices that would make it all but impossible for even the strongest exporters, including Germany and Japan, to make a profit. China would continue to glut down-and-out consumers with exports because the alternative – sending tens of millions of assembly line workers back to the farm – was unthinkable.
Turns out we were wrong and that the unthinkable is happening. Responding to the worst downturn in international trade since the 1930s, Chinese factories have cut back sharply or shut down, and the workers are being left to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, they do not have the kind of safety net that U.S. workers enjoy -- no jobless benefits, no food stamps, no Medicaid, no welfare. Even worse, the farm jobs that they left no longer exist, since much of the land has been leased to agribusiness.
Not that the migrant workers would be much better off if China had not promoted the consolidation of farms in recent years. In fact, there was never enough arable land in the first place to support a large work force, much less make farming pay well enough to bring affluence to the hinterlands. Notes the Wall Street Journal: “China has roughly the same amount of farmable land as the U.S., where only 2% of workers are employed in agriculture. But China has some 730 million rural residents --- more than twice the entire American population.” The article was headlined, China Fears Restive Migrants/As Jobs Disappear in Cities. The picture is quite grim, since there is nothing to suggest that exports will not weaken even more before a bottom is reached.
America’s Advantage
In the meantime, tens of millions of Chinese factory and construction workers are about to find themselves adrift. The paychecks they sent home will no longer be there to alleviate the poverty of rural areas. “I don’t have a head for business,” one worker told the Journal. I can only go down the path of a migrant worker. If I can’t be a migrant worker, I don’t have any other ideas.” We Americans are indeed fortunate to live in a country where just about any good idea can attract financial support. We are a nation of entrepreneurs, and that will count for a great deal as we struggle with the same deflationary forces that have begun to sap the vitality, even, of so industrious and energetic an economy as China’s.

Mark Moore

phil said...

Hi Mark,
Thanks for the article. It's definitely the kind of thing I'm interested in.