“The old system no longer works.” That’s a paraphrase of recent comments uttered by Obama in a graduation speech. Indeed, it seems a lot of colleges teach you a skill, and then show how you can find a company and climb the ladder. Follow that formula, rise to the top, raise your family, have 2.5 children… you get the picture. It’s a great model. It’s the American dream. And these days, it seems that model is no longer working.
I am noticing a very peculiar thing happening in this economic crisis. As people continue to fail to find jobs, they are deciding that the best thing they could do is create their own work by starting their own businesses. We started as a society of entrepreneurs. However, the 19th century ushered in the age of the major corporation and Americans forgot how to fend for themselves. We became complacent in our “secure” jobs. Now that the security blanket has been removed, many of us are doing what made this country so great in the first place. We are improvising. We are inventing. We are creating. The best thing that government can do right now is to step out of the way and let it happen! Don’t coddle us when we are down. Don’t spend a gazillion dollars trying to keep crippling big businesses alive. Let us be Americans!
One quick final note. This cartoon is not intended to be a slam on college graduates. I’ve known many college grads who started great businesses. I’ve also known many who didn’t attend college who started great businesses, and are doing very well for themselves. I just know from my experience, many of my college educated friends, including myself, were never taught how to be entrepreneurs. I always found it pretty funny, that some of us with our so-called serious education didn’t have a lick of street smarts on graduation day. But through time, experience and a few hard knocks, we’ve learned, and so can any capable person who really puts their mind to it.