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Lost generation of entrepreneurs

In the view of the American left, we should strive for the much more desirable system of socialism. You know, a type of socialism that has never worked, anywhere in the world. But the kind that only they can oversee.

To achieve this, they espouse the virtues of socialism over capitalism. That tone of lazy economic ignorance and lack of new entrepreneurs will foretell problems for our country.

Years of the influence of Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, AOC and the populist left-wing media have left today’s youngsters thinking that socialism is a utopia of wonderful things for which no one has to pay.

They think socialism’s great offerings are free education, free health care and free housing. Yet they are not taught history’s clear lesson: Socialism’s three great failures always end up being breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I hope this current generation can reverse this mindset. Statistics show that the percentage of adults under age 30 who own a business is the lowest in 30 years. Today, fewer than 4 percent own a stake in a private company, compared with 6.1 percent in 2010. Even more troubling, this number was just under 11 percent in 1989.

The trend toward a lost generation of entrepreneurs has profound implications for the growth of our economy.

We have raised kids who are averse to risk and hard work. And more Americans want a government job or a disability check. When they think of “free markets,” they think they are free because government pays for them — and should. Gumption atrophies in a generation expecting participation trophies and stay at home COVID checks.

Maybe this generation has been raised in bubble wrap. No bike riding (certainly not without a helmet and shin guards), no dodge ball in school, no playing outside in the neighborhood, no drinking from garden hoses and no talking to strangers. We give ribbons for ninth place, and everyone gets to play. Forty years ago, we rode dirt bikes and bumper cars. Today, the most popular rides are those motorized shopping carts at Walmart.

If we have something to fear, it is that we fear too much. Risk is good. Risk teaches lessons. Risk provides good things. Failure is necessary; it’s a byproduct of risk and should not be ridiculed. What deserves ridicule is not trying.

The massive student loan debt carried by kids coming out of liberal colleges might also impede their risk taking. They are told that capitalism is evil and that, somehow, “making a difference in the world” involves some lame government bureaucracy job.

We had been importing many entrepreneurs who value the opportunity our country once represented. A comedian said his immigrant father came to America from India 10 years ago with only $35 in his pocket. Then he paused and said, “He had $4.6 million in stocks and bonds, so I guess what I am saying is that he was not big on carrying cash.”

Obama and other liberals presuppose the evils of capitalism and capitalists to sell their statist/socialist agenda. But the facts are clear: Free-market capitalism is a far more virtuous system than government and has done far more to improve the lot of mankind wherever it is allowed to flourish.

To see the abundance that our historically free enterprise system has bestowed on us, compare the U.S. to the rest of the world. Travel to any Third-world country with a strong central government and a stranglehold on business, and witness the poverty, crime and misery spawned in places like Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba.

Capitalism did not strap us with $30 trillion – and growing — in national debt, borrowed from future generations, to advance destructive dependency political agendas and buy votes. Is that “moral and just?” Businesses hire people, help provide health insurance and other benefits, pay taxes, advertise, support local charities and build the character of a community. Look to see who sponsors your town’s Little League teams; those are your town’s heroes.

How, then, is government more moral than business? Government takes money by force from people who are productive and redistributes it to its allies. Government adds no value and produces no product.

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author, and TV/radio commentator; you can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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