Attitudes toward self employment
You may be familiar with Google Alerts. This is a free service where you tell Google that you'd like to
be notified of any new search results that match keywords you enter. I
have alerts for a number of subjects, and one of them is "self employment".
Alerts on that subject arrive almost every day, and are usually
reports of government programs encouraging or helping people to start
small businesses. These come from all over the world, but notably very, very
few come from the United States.
Small businesses are the very life blood of the U.S. economy. I
was listening to a recent radio show about the aftermath of hurricane
Katrina, and the strongest current throughout was the lack of small
businesses. The mega-corps can of course roll back into New Orleans
whenever they wish, but the Mom and Pop stores and services have
a much harder time recovering from disasters like this. But
it is these small businesses that are what is important, not
the large corporations.
Is there a negative attitude toward self employment in the U.S.? Does
the rarity of Google alerts referencing U.S. news on self employment
This might just be a matter of terminology: reports of similar programs in
the U.S. may use terms like "small business" rather than "self employment",
but even if that is the main reason, I think it points out an attitude
that is pro-business but not favorable to self employment. The U.S.
seems to be strongly in favor of "business" and "employees", but
has negative attitudes toward "self employed".
Government programs to help the unemployed are common in
the U.S. and most countries, but the U.S. seems to steer people toward
looking for a job rather than looking for income. This
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors' Attitudes Toward Self-Employment
In vocational rehabilitation, for example, even though self-employment
is a legitimate option, supervisors may convey or staff may develop the
attitude that competitive employment in existing jobs is preferred or
that the use of self-employment as an option is discouraged.
On the other hand, the European Commission's Directorate General Enterprise and Industry
conducts a regular survey examining attitudes toward self employment. The results indicate that Europeans are more likely to be
afraid of self employment, while Americans have more positive attitudes.
Those are contradictory indications. It may be that the programs
of other countries exist and are reported more because those
countries realize they need to encourage small business and self employment:
perhaps the U.S. has less governmental support because Americans don't
need much encouragement to be self employed?
I think there is evidence of both: American government may have bias
toward larger corporations, but American workers are less enamored
of that environment. The situation seems to be the opposite in
the rest of the world, perhaps because non U.S. politicians are more
aware of how important small independent businesses are.
Got something to add? Send me email.
Increase ad revenue 50-250% with Ezoic
More Articles by Tony Lawrence
Find me on Google+
© 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence