The past three years have been among the most trying and dispiriting for business in American history. The numbers recently have turned murky again, arousing fears of a double dip recession, permanent high levels of unemployment, and the passing of the American baton of entrepreneurial and economic pre-eminence to China, India and Brazil, where the passion for success and growth seem to have blossomed while ours has waned. According to Robert Schiller, Yale’s famous and most visible economist, things will not get materially and emotionally better until “animal spirits” return to the market. We all know exactly what Schiller means.
The trouble is that animal spirits cannot be arbitrarily conjured into existence. Unlike dogs who merely need a nice day to spontaneously experience their own animal spirits, we humans need reasons to feel enthusiastic and to then commit to plans and actions. The current administration may have saved the economic system from its own worst excesses and self-delusions–the infinite expandability of leverage–but in many ways it has acted in inhibitory, controlling and arbitrary ways when it comes to a return to growth, employment and consequently, optimistic actions.
One could argue that the government in Washington has used this financial crisis to “socialize” as many sectors of American life as possible. That means more control, more regulation and a consequent reduction in entrepreneurial options. That depresses those responsible for turning their desires into action. People like me.
It is essential that small businesses look to the future as a time of renewed, worthwhile endeavors and not submit in anger and frustration to the current anti-business atmosphere. Acceptance is defeat.
Tim Askew has expressed the desire to periodically invite fellow entrepreneurs and small business colleagues to contribute to this weekly blog. This week’s guest blogger is Robert Millman. Robert is the owner of Wine Executive Seminars. He tastes and rates over 5000 wines per year. In addition to his successful small business, he is also a professor of philosophy at Pace University.