2016-01-23

We All Have A Part To Play In Fostering Entrepreneurship

I don't think people stop and think on the little things they can do to help foster entrepreneurship. Personally, the only true process of entrepreneurship begins at the bottom; that is, the personal level with a dream; an idea.

It doesn't begin with an innovation minister of some kind nor is a department of entrepreneurs is necessary. People always have find ways to get things done with or without the government.

It's this part of the free-market that's often misunderstood. The reactionary impulse of needing to regulate only suffocates the blossoming of potential entrepreneurs. Don't forget, people are rational when it comes to taking risk. They will calculate to the very detail if it's worth investing capital in an adventure. If the regulatory demands are ominous, the less likely they will invest and will end up doing something else.

The cycle goes something like this. Private enterprise driven by people innovate, government steps in to regulate. Then, as is usually the case, over-regulation threatens the process and growth starts to recede and less taxes are collected. In our current modern construct of 'cradle-to-grave welfare' this is problematic. So government tries to solve a problem they largely created by coming up with ministerial portfolios - often taken by people who aren't experts in their files - to come up with ways to 'jolt' citizens into entrepreneurial action. Hence, we've come to believe innovation comes from the government.

It's nonsense. The opposite is the reality. People alone drive free-enterprise. If the government gets involved it usually comes with strings attached and cronyism.

Individuals seeking profit aren't interested in power politics and trends the government wants to push.

But if the government is giving out 'free money' to further its agenda, it will attract people willing to take the bait. No risk-reward calculation needed. It's other people's money, right? Think green-energy companies.

This is why companies like Lyft and Uber are essential to keep free-enterprise alive and kicking. From where I sit, the criticism against them have little to do with 'fair market principles' and everything to do with people having been conditioned to believe that a cab company out of nowhere can't possibly be legit. It must go through a draconian process of smoke and mirrors and illusions of 'public safety' that all end up in monopolies. Monopolies that offer shitty services.

Uber's success is simple. There's a demand. People want it. All the side issues with it are just distractions. First and foremost is the concept of pricing and how it relates to supply and demand.

It blows the mind of programmed robotic mind that if an Uber drives further out to pick someone up in a remote area will reflect a true cost often more expensive than a superficial monopolistic price of a yellow cab.

Let the market sort these things out. It knows better than me, you and most certainly the government.

All this to say.

And I finally get to my point. Before winter came in I got a letter in the mailbox from a 12 year-old offering his services from shoveling snow to cutting grass.

My wife was ready to discard it because I do that stuff. But I wasn't. I explained to her the bigger picture at work here. That a kid is showing such initiative is important and needs to be encouraged.

That I do it myself is besides the point. I don't like it anyway. Seriously though, I cook very well but it doesn't stop me from going out to dinner, right?

Why shouldn't this logic be applied here?

Who knows, as he gains clients he may see a viable business and by the time he's 18 may be in business for himself. One less guy in the welfare ranks or putzing around the post-secondary education system taking to the streets demanding free tuition or entering the realm of self-entitlement.

I took him up and he's come three times to shovel. Turns out he's proactive, polite and a good worker.
Money well spent from where I sit. 

We need more people like this and they will only come out at the pace we're willing to support them.

That's how we can foster true entrepreneurship.

That's the community at work.

Free, voluntary and non-coerced.

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