Thursday, August 15, 2013

Troubled Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs

From the Wall Street Journal, courtesy of a facebook friend:

The economists find that self-employed workers with incorporated businesses were almost three times more likely to engage in illicit and risky activities as youth than were salaried workers. These behaviors include but aren’t limited to shoplifting, marijuana use, playing hooky at school, drug dealing and assault. In addition, the self-employed with incorporated businesses exhibited greater self-esteem, scored higher on learning aptitude tests, were more educated and were more likely to come from high-earning, two-parent families than other employment types. “Of course, you have to be smart,” says Mr. Levine. “But it’s a unique combination of breaking rules and being smart that helps you become an entrepreneur.”

These qualities also have a downside. Risk-taking tendencies in combination with high self-esteem make successful entrepreneurs prone to dangerous lapses in judgement, the Wall Street Journal reported in June, finding that many financial advisers have to keep their entrepreneur clients in check.


The economists note that entrepreneurs come from wealthier families, which may give them an advantage with raising capital. The Journal recently reported that growing student loan burdens have been killing startup dreams for many young people.

More here.

A couple of observations.

First, this kind of makes sense in an intuitive way: capitalism requires dehumanizing, exploitative, oppressive behavior. Who's most likely to be successful under such circumstances? Why, sociopaths, of course.  Note that the study includes people who have committed assault, theft, and who have dealt drugs.  That's some pretty serious shit.  And these are people from well-to-do families, no pathology of poverty to inspire their actions.  All that happens, apparently, is that these little assholes grow up to become big assholes, thieving and beating in ways that are not illegal, and generally recognized as good for the economy.  

We really are lorded over by morally retarded people.

Second, this also makes sense in another way.  Kids who follow the rules, especially in school, are situated within a context that does its damnedest to make followers out of all of us.  That is, the school system is hyper-concerned with indoctrinating children into the culture of obedience and authority, mostly obedience.  It is no surprise, then, that kids who resist such indoctrination are bound to end up as leaders, rather than followers, much to our misfortune.  In short, we have a system that virtually guarantees the country is run by oppressive assholes.

As Linda Ellerbee would used to end her columns, "and so it goes."