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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:37 AM

 

US second-to-last of 22 countries in percent of workers who own their own businesses

Where the independent pharmacist counted pills, we see a CVS employee. Where family livestock farms dotted the landscape, we see immense operations run by Smithfield and Tyson... Where our community bank stood, we see Bank of America. Where the local grocer marketed local fruit, we see Wal-Mart. Where the local general-merchandise store stacked jeans, we see, well, Wal-Mart again. It's not only mom-and-pop operations that are vanishing. It's also smaller advertising agencies, law firms and medical offices. It's happening, too, in the pharmaceutical and software industries, which only a decade ago displayed vibrant competition among upstart ventures.

One recent study, based on data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, placed the United States second to last out of 22 rich nations in the percentage of workers who run their own businesses. Only Luxembourg ranked lower.

The American small business is increasingly becoming an American myth: Self-employment in nonfarm businesses has fallen by nearly half over the past 50 years...

Yet specific political moves and decisions in Washington over the past several decades have made it much easier for the people who control large-scale corporations to displace small proprietors... One of the most important was a radical change in 1981 in the enforcement of U.S. antitrust laws. Until then, small entrepreneurs were protected by a legal framework created during the Second New Deal, which began in 1935.

Many histories of the era focus on the FDR administration's initial decision to all but suspend antitrust laws. But after the Supreme Court declared the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional, the administration (along with numerous populist allies in Congress) reversed course and adopted a very aggressive competition policy designed to protect citizens against excessive corporate concentration... Instead of protecting competitive markets, Reagan officials said they would use anti-monopoly laws to promote "consumer welfare," which they defined largely as lower prices. It no longer mattered how much power was consolidated, as long as the consolidation appeared to result in the delivery of less-expensive goods...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/19/AR2010021902043.html

Travel in europe & asia made me aware that the reason those countries had a more vibrant small business community (& thus, most interesting big cities) was very often that they had a political/legal structure specifically designed to protect them.

The US, otoh, increasingly resembles a corporate monoculture, a kind of desert.

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Reply US second-to-last of 22 countries in percent of workers who own their own businesses (Original post)
HiPointDem Dec 2012 OP
uponit7771 Dec 2012 #1
Whovian Dec 2012 #2
moondust Dec 2012 #3
ErikJ Dec 2012 #4
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #5
exboyfil Dec 2012 #9
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #10
exboyfil Dec 2012 #13
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #14
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #6
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #11
Nay Dec 2012 #17
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #25
world wide wally Dec 2012 #7
patrice Dec 2012 #8
Douglas Carpenter Dec 2012 #12
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #15
Quantess Dec 2012 #16
Heywood J Dec 2012 #18
LineNew Reply ^
Wilms Dec 2012 #19
kenny blankenship Dec 2012 #20
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #21
CTyankee Dec 2012 #22
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #23
CTyankee Dec 2012 #24

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:39 AM

1. one big reason is healthcare cost, I pray that this the run pool will help

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:41 AM

2. K&R

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:23 AM

3. K/R

And so the U.S. lost much of its charm and countless opportunities for creative self-determination and independence.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:26 AM

4. Duh!, we're trapped by our employer-based healthcare system.

Most are afraid to quit and try their dream because they might not be able to get health insurance with a pre-existing condition.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:36 AM

5. that's one reason, but as the article details, not the most important reason.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:03 AM

9. The cited report says that it is healthcare

The report also says that the monopoly condition has led to higher prices. Except for healthcare (which is its own category) I tend to disagree with that assessment.

Canada also has a proportionally low rate as well, and they have universal healthcare. I have to wonder if some of it is cultural (the countries with the highest percentage are clustered around the Mediterranean). The next two are small island nations next to a much larger country. The next two are small countries next to a much larger country.

I am not saying that antitrust enforcement might make a difference, but it is interesting to see the trend in the report.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:14 AM

10. Don't know how old you are, but I'm 60 & the infiltration of every available niche by corporations

 

has gotten increasingly obvious through the years & accelerated since 2000.

The fact that canada has universal health care & also a low rate of independent small businesses tends to lend support to the belief that health care isn't the primary reason.

The 'cultural difference' you notice is laws that protect small businesses from corporations in various ways.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:23 AM

13. The weird thing is PIIGS

Those countries classified as weakest after the economic meltdown. Except for New Zealand they are tops for self-employment.

I don't know if there is any link, but I do find it interesting and should be explored as well.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:57 AM

14. that *is* an interesting correlation. which could lead to the hypothesis that perhaps those

 

countries are being targeted for not toeing the neo-liberal economic line closely enough and opening their economies wide enough to international corporate capital -- which is the force that destroys the small businesses that make a lot of european & asian streets seem so vibrant, varied and interesting.



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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:39 AM

6. That's why sales were not so good this Christmas.

In addition to the fact that we have less money than in past years, shopping has become boring. We find far less variety, fewer choices in terms of colors, styles, sizes and tastes in my opinion.

For example, the reds in the stores I visited were mostly sort of orangish. I for one can't wear that color. A lot of women can't. Seems like we are getting more and more into one color, one style, one size fits all.

The good news is that we save money because we wear our clothes much longer than we used to.

The bad news is that styles as well as colors, etc. are boring.

The quality of the fabrics and the stitching is low in my opinion. Americans don't learn to sew and can't tell poor quality when they buy it.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:15 AM

11. hard to wear a lot of the new clothes longer because they're so low-quality. i can find better

 

jeans second-hand than new a lot of the time.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:06 AM

17. And for 10 years the colors/styling/quality of clothing has degenerated. The stuff out there

is downright UGLY. I honestly shop at Goodwill to find attractive clothing at a decent price. Stuff that won't fall apart after the first wash.

And even if Americans could still sew, there are no good fabrics being sold in 'fabric' stores. I have the ' ' around 'fabric' because stores like Joann's, etc., are now basically craft stores, not fabric stores.

Another point: I tried to buy locally when I needed a good, stiff seat pad for my car so my grandson's car seat wouldn't dig into my leather upholstery and ruin it. I went to a bunch of stores -- nothing worth buying. I had to order it online.

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Response to Nay (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:04 AM

25. I am lucky. I live in LA where we can still get fabric.

It isn't fabric like we used to get, but at least we have a better selection than just JoAnn's, Walmart or Hobbie whatever-you-call-it.

We have a garment district downtown and then fabric stores elsewhere. Some sell pretty high quality fabric.

But if you aren't in a big city, you really can't buy fabric. It is just awful.

I would like to see a renaissance in home-sewing, knitting and crocheting.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:44 AM

7. It wasn't like that before Walmart and the other chains took over for "Corporate America"

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:54 AM

8. I'd swear the Progressive Congressional Caucus floated an idea about this late in 2010,

when a WHOLE lot of other stuff was going on, so it just disappeared in all of the crossfire, but it had to do with raising the bottom of the top tax bracket, one could assume to rectify for the fact that just under $300K is NOTHING like the top of that income range, and possibly to free up some NEW entrepreneurial capital . . . ?

I should see if I can find that link.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:16 AM

12. one of the most important article ever posted here - this REALLY should go viral

VERY few Americans realize that America is lagging way behind most European social democracies - countries with much higher taxes, much bigger welfare states, much stronger and more powerful unions and much more government regulation of the labour market.

Imagine the political change that would be affected if most Americans knew that.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:29 AM

15. And because 'our' government has been screwing small businesses in favor making big business bigger

 

for the last half century. reagan got the car on the freeway and Clinton mashed the accelerator to the floor.

Even when they accidentally do something good for small business, withing a couple of years it is perverted into another welfare program for big business.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:17 AM

16. Not surprised.

I'm old enough to remember all the small businesses on main street.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:33 PM

18. There are no incentives to make things here anymore.

Between cheap imports from China, a litigious culture, tax codes designed to support outsourcing, plus the crash in lending, it doesn't seem possible unless someone large is bankrolling you.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:11 PM

19. ^

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:16 PM

20. Corporate Monocultures and Authoritarian Police States go together

like peanut butter and jelly. Both have a guiding interest in disempowering individuals, and frequently they WORK TOGETHER accomplishing this.

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:24 PM

21. +1. while all the time talking about 'individualism,' blah blah blah gag.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:32 PM

22. where is the list of the other 21 countries above us? I didn't see it in the article.

do you know where I can find it?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:37 PM

23. linked in the article.

 

http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/small-business-2009-08.pdf

In order from highest rate small biz to lowest, they are:

Greece, italy, portugal, spain, NZ, ireland, austria, belgium, uk, australia, finland, netherlands, germany, switzerland, sweden, canada, france, denmark, norway, US, luxembourg.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:49 PM

24. thanks, my bad that I didn't see it.

Look at all those SOCIALIST countries on the list of countries that have higher numbers of entrepreneurs than we do! But, but, that can't be right! How can that BE?

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