Monday, June 02, 2014

How Forced Entrepreneurship Helps Destroy the American Family

Entrepreneurship is largely regarded in society as a good thing.  It is the "missing ingredient" Keynesians refuse to acknowledge as they strive to find the perfect balance between unionized labor, capital and technology to increase economic growth.  It is responsible for nearly all the increases of standards of living since the post-Caveman days.  And it is the most surefire way to enjoy a happy and successful career.  There is not much bad that can be said about entrepreneurship.  However, when it is forced, leaving an individual no other option to earn his bread, it can still yield benefits, but it comes at a cost, an opportunity cost to be precise.  And this cost comes at the expense of the American family.

To understand this we first need to understand where forced entrepreneurs come from.  And today's economy is as good as any because it is the perfect storm with the perfect confluence of events which breeds (in my humble opinion) more forced entrepreneurs than it ever has before.

The first "ingredient" contributing to the rise of the forced entrepreneur is that there is no longer the "life long career."  Historically this laid the foundation to buying a home and raising a family as reliable employment would result in the money needed to afford both.  But with a "30 year, uninterrupted career" as mythical as unicorns, Santa Claus, social security, and pensions, any somewhat savvy individual will know not to breed or buy a house.  However, scaling down in major life purchases does not solve an individual's need for income and so whereas American employers become increasingly unreliable, taking matters into your own hands does not.

The second ingredient is with an ABYSMAL labor market and declining economic growth, increasing numbers of young people have to compete for relatively fewer jobs.  This has resulted in not only historic highs of unemployment and underemployment for younger people, but given employers carte blanche to power trip and become increasingly petty in their requirements for employees.  HR ditzes asking job candidates the dumbest of questions, the never ending progressive credentialism, refusing to train people and demanding 5 years experience in software that has only existed for 3 (true story).  However, the real cost manifests itself in the form of petty office politics and the increasing psycho-sadism among employers.  Like the cadre of "popular girls" in high school, employers now instill a work environment that is nothing short of psychological abuse, making their employees' lives psychological hell.  An employee can no longer show up on time, do a good job, and maybe make a recommendation.  No, s/he must figure out and play the office politics game or get rubbed out for good. Such an environment is so unacceptably childish and hostile, entrepreneurship, once again, looks to be a better option.

The third ingredient is affirmative action.  Not so much in hiring practices (though that is true), but because affirmative action actively discriminates against the group of people who historically have been most prone towards entrepreneurship - men.  However, in addition to being overlooked for promotion, there is a genuine institutionalized discrimination against men.  From school to university to media to the government to the entertainment industry, nearly every one of our institutions is geared towards women.  But our institutions are also the primary providers of "regular employment" and "regular careers."  Thusly, their preference towards women results in a "crowding out effect" somewhat forcing men out of these institutions and pushing them towards entrepreneurship.

The fourth ingredient is outsourcing our industrial economy to foreign countries.  Nothing forces a man into another field, potentially entrepreneurship, when you just outright wholesale the industries that historically employed men in exchange for malls, shopping centers, cappuccino cafes, green consulting agencies, government bureaucracies, and horse hobby farms.

Now these variables alone provide a great incentive to give up on the rat race and pursue a career as an entrepreneur.  I don't know anybody who truly likes their job, and nearly everybody would love to run their own business, not so much for the money, but "to be their own boss."  But that until itself would not spell demise to the American family.  Matter of fact, if more people were successful entrepreneurs that might even bolster the American family.  The true threat to the American family comes in the final ingredient to the "forced entrepreneur" - The mandatory and required "10 years wandering in the post-college-graduation desert" (or "TYWITPCGD" henceforth abbreviated).

You see, up until you graduate from college, society, government, parents, the schools, etc., is bending over backwards to kiss your ass and tell you what you want to hear.

"You can do anything you want!  Achieve your dreams!  Follow your heart and the money will follow!  Oh the places you will go!"

But while your family and friends tell you this out of a love-blinded naivety, the government, the teachers unions, and your professors tell you this for 100% pure profit motive.  The government tells you these pretty lies so when you get older you vote for more government.  Teachers and professors tell you this, because they profit directly off of your attending school.  But once you graduate from college, you no longer serve any financial or political purpose to these lamprey-like entities, and you are dumped out into the labor market, dumped out into the real world, NOT with an education that has prepared you for said real-world, but one of mush, poppy-cock, entitlement, feel-good USDA grade A bullshit.

And this is where the forced entrepreneur is formed.

For about 10 years the idealistic college student will live an abysmal life trying to reconcile what he was told the real world was going to be like versus what the real world actually is.  His career will never manifest the way his teachers told him it would, matter of fact (because of the dire economic conditions) his career will never get off the ground.  He will work part time jobs here, overnight shifts there, but MUCH WORSE he will take it personally, thinking somehow he has failed and not that he was the victim of what is arguably the world's greatest scam.  If it wasn't bad enough, add to his immense confusion, psychological pain, and shame that:

constant
never-ending
never-relenting
never-ceasing
always-threatening

poverty that follows him around.

Worrying about making rent for the month, having to eat ramen well-past college when college was supposed to afford him sushi, not being able to go out, and the terror that strikes when his car needs an expensive repair, it will ensure that this period of his life is the worst he will ever experience.

But while this epoch in his life is guaranteed to be the worst, he will learn one very valuable and important lesson from it - minimalism.  And that is the added chemical that forges the alloy known as the forced entrepreneur.

After stumbling through the "TYWITPCGD" and getting the harsh life lessons that came with it, he will enter the labor market (if he hasn't already) and be exposed to the aforementioned and unacceptable hell American employers have become.  Landing a "real" job "finally," thinking his financial problems are over, he'll learn that his boss is a psycho-path, his co-workers catty women who like to cause drama, and that any attempts at efficiency or progress are viewed as threats that threaten the status quo which constantly land him in trouble.  His job duties do not match the job description.  And the incompetence that surrounds him ensures he will be that Eagle who can never soar with the turkeys.

He'll think it's bad luck, not logically believing all employers are like this, and apply for another job elsewhere.  However, in due time, and after working enough jobs, he'll slowly realize that it isn't just him or "bad luck," but that ALL employers are like this.  And when having this epiphany, he'll realize the ONLY solution is entrepreneurship.

There's just one problem.

Was he stupid enough to breed, marry, sign a mortgage, and get a car loan?
Was he stupid enough to have kids with a spending-addicted woman?
Or did his true education from the TYWITPCGD stick?

Because a man with a mortgage, kids, a car loan, and a wife can rarely become an entrepreneur.  The man with such familial and financial liabilities is damned to a fate worse than the forced entrepreneur.  He gets to suck it up, suffer the psychological torture and the unreliability of American employers.

A man unencumbered with family, debt, and a house, however, can become an entrepreneur.  And given the intolerable work environment of America today will be forced to via self-respect.

However, before you get too excited about this person becoming the next Bill Gates, employing thousands and supporting millions of socialist parasites, understand what kind of entrepreneur he's going to be.  Since he went through the hell of  TYWITPCGD he will have been trained to be a minimalist. He will be immune and inoculated against the consumerist marketing industry to buy cars, take on leases, McMansions, trophy wives and credit card debt.  And given the hell he had to suffer when  he made a decent go at the "traditional means of employment" he knows that no amount of money is worth his sanity and freedom.  Therefore, this individual has no desire or incentive to create the next Apple or Standard Oil, but rather only cares to make enough money to get by, effectively turning him into a "Micro-Entrepreneur."

This spells doom for some would-be American families.  Not that the American family will be wiped out, or that there aren't millions of indebted wage mules on the hook for 30 years of mortgage/wife/kids payments to ensure its future *ahem* "success," but that there is a significant demographic forming (and I would contend growing) that go through the arduous process explained before and are forced into this micro-entrepreneur role.  But key to understanding why this would have a negative effect of American family formation is to realize it is antithetical to family formation.  Struggling, striving, and starving for a decade after college makes one awfully risk-averse.  Couple that with a declining economy and unacceptably psychotic employers, once one has a path and an opportunity to just a modicum (but self-sustaining and reliable) source of employment, they will abandon family creation for the stability, tranquility and freedom that comes from forced-micro entrepreneurship.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was a masterpiece. Needs to be a video on YT.


an expanded video.

Kristophr said...

Heh.

Been there. An employer advertizing for some one with ten years of Macintosh experience in 1991, seven years after the Mac came out.

I guess he wanted ex-Apple members of the Lisa development team ...

Anonymous said...

So basically it is a sort of " RooshV" lifestyle without the bangs...

leeholsen said...

this was inevitable. the west gave up all thier advantages faster than a drunk co-ed, but there's too many people living on a dollar a day. eventually the poorer countries wouldve dethroned the west as they gained thru their lower costs. about the only thing that pisses me off is the west gave or sold knowledge that could be used to wipe out millions of people by people that are just fine with wiping out millions of people even if they get wiped out for doing it. north korea and iran should have had their facilities dusted anytime fissionable materials came within 10 miles of their chemical plants.

thenoisyrogue said...

Captain,

I liked your post, and I assume it is an effective summation of the American economy at present, (I live in Australia). But I don't think it really has anything to do with entrepreneurs, it's just about what people have to do these days to get by.

Entrepreneurs are different and they are rare. They see the curve before it has even begun to rise and they position themselves accordingly. They not only predict future trends, they direct future trends. Opening a Dunkin Donuts franchise is not being an entrepreneur. I actually think one of the biggest traps in current economic life is believing you are an entrepreneur when you are not.

Incidentally, how do you square with what you wrote here with your interview of that writer the other day where his final advice was for people "to follow their dreams"?

Anonymous said...

There is one other consequence of affirmative action:

Having to carry everyone else's water.

When you hire a white woman, a non-asian-minority man and a non-asian-minority woman who cannot do their jobs, someone else has to do it for them, if for no other reason to ensure the revenue that the three AA hires were supposed to generate actually gets generated.

This means that they have to hire a non-AA candidate who can do not just his job and create the revenue attached to that job, but do the jobs of the other 3 and generate that revenue as well for the salary of doing one job.

Now the math in reality is not quite that simple. The AA hires may be doing 70% of the work needed, so the non AA hires have to pick up the extra 30%.

The result, however, is that there are not as many jobs for non-AA candidates, because too much salary is being sucked up by non-productive AA candidates. The non-AA candidates who do get hired get overworked.

liberranter said...

Because a man with a mortgage, kids, a car loan, and a wife can rarely become an entrepreneur.  The man with such familial and financial liabilities is damned to a fate worse than the forced entrepreneur.  He gets to suck it up, suffer the psychological torture and the unreliability of American employers.

Dunno about that. Once said man is cast out of his corporate thrall collar in a routine round of downsizing, and if he is in that cursed age range (basically over 40) where his chances of becoming "re-enthralled" are dismal to nonexistent, then he'll have essentially nothing to lose by finding his "inner entrepreneur."

elmer said...

My son Shemp is squarely in this demographic and having to consider entrepreneurship. Older generations were not confronted with this challenge and guys like Shemp really have a tough time trying to make it work rather than just being able to get a half-decent job to survive on.

Glen Filthie said...

Boys n girls - if you find yourself in a job with an adversarial setting - QUIT. Don't fuck around - don't make a fuss or be unprofessional - just get out!
You will know within weeks whether the company is worth working for or not. Listen to your gut. If you think you are getting screwed - you most certainly are. There ARE good jobs out there but you have to be available when they present themselves. Do not waste loyalty on employers that don't appreciate it.

TJ said...

Yup, this is spot on. I recently left an engineering position after I realized that I was getting screwed by the Sales guys. In particular, my boss told me I was going to have to get on the phone in the middle of the night to talk to HQ. I told him to stuff it and walked. He is now shitting bricks because the company will figure out he has few hard skills. Luckily I live by Bachelor economics and am already starting to generate some good freelance income to cover my minimalist lifestyle. I am also seriously thinking about doing the digital nomad thing and moving to a cheaper country.

Surya Manchikanti said...

You've hit on most points that I've been thinking for the past few weeks. Thank you so much for putting in the effort to type this out. I was beginning to think I was bonkers!

Anonymous said...

This. This is why I drive a cab, for a small rural company run by a former C programmer; and have a car in the yard torn down for paint so I can have my own cab. This when I was previously worth $150/hr doing half-assed things to bank and government computers in the city.

I won't be sending your article on to my Mum though, who has long since given up on my career and her grandkids. She voted for this crap and will take it personal.

Dare I mention I was raised on a horse farm?

Anonymous said...

Guys, what about cooperatives or partnerships?

Don T Tread said...

Here would be my advice to any young man today to short-circuit the painful process you've described accurately, Cap:
1) Don't go to college. Start working your ass off right away, save as much money as you can (you're already saving tuition).
2) Buy a small house outright with your savings.
3) Get married (this is the most difficult part, considering the state of today's women).
4) Have kids right away when you're both young and healthy.
5) Apply for as many government benefits as you can. Live like a king on minimum wage.

Ironically, the key to short-circuiting the process is having children, which as you rightly point out is declining due to the economic and employment situation. But having kids makes all kinds of benefits available. Owning your home/living rent free is the other key.

I call it Going Galt Cloward-Piven Style, the side benefit to which is it will also collapse the system if enough productive people do it.

Kristophr said...

Anon: Being raised on a horse farm is no shame, provided it is a working horse farm ... i.e., farming horse-crazy womens' husbands for cash to feed their horse addiction.

Anonymous said...

Although your post arises out of the Manosphere, I think it applies equally well to 20 something men AND women who take corporate jobs.

My daughter did her job so well at a well known corporation that she was taken for granted. After two years, she was doing the work of two and a half people and saving the company $61/hour in costs. (She knew this because the office idiots left time sheets at the copy machine.) When my daughter asked for more money, she received a $1/hour raise while her bosses received bonuses from the money my daughter saved the company.

My daughter promptly gave two weeks notice and walked out. Her bosses, surprised she was leaving, didn't know that my daughter has her own independent income and wasn't trapped in this dysfunctional situation.

So I totally agree with your post that corporate employers have become terrible places for the few who are able to land paying jobs - men and women.

My suggestion - go into a corporation with one thing in mind - exploit them. Get as much experience as you can and then get the hell out!!

Anonymous said...

Why do I get the feeling that this is code for becoming a drug dealer?