The article is about red tape, but I think that misses the point. The fact is that around the world we don’t need vast numbers of new entrepreneurs right now. The fact is that much of what entrepreneurs can make right now is of limited social value, often uses scarce resources in wasteful fashion, and meets artificially generated wants and not fundamental needs.
The last point is, perhaps, the most important. People need healthcare, education for life, homes, flood defences, social safety nets, care and more. Candidly, they need few more phones (at least in developed countries) or many more apps, or gadgets, or even coffee shops in many parts of many cities. Entrepreneurs are, therefore, not what we want.
We need teachers, social workers, carers, librarians, builders working for local authorities to make new homes and repair existing ones, planners, and so on. It is they who are delivering the value in our society now – because they’e fulfilling need, not wants.
We are a society in poverty that the market cannot correct. The sooner we realise it and stop our fixation with market solutions and realise that it is through the community, wioth government as its agent, that most pressing wants can be met the better off we’ll be.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to stop entrepreneurs. But fixating on them is a sign of our problem, not the solution we’re seeking and realising that is important.
The problem with this is that Ritchie just doesn\’t understand what an entrepreneur is.
No, an entrepreneur is not an inventor. Nor, necessarily, a capitalist. Nor necessarily a provider of private goods. An entrepreneur is someone who organises extant productive resources into a new combination. Most of these attempts fail ludicrously. Some succeed and change the world for the better. But there\’s absolutely nothing at all that says that entrepreneurs could not or cannot deliver those things that The Murph is saying that society desires and wants.
Housing for example: the bloke who gets some land and organises to build houses on it: he\’s an entrepreneur. This is the provision of housing through entrepreneurial activity. The bird who first organises the taking of cooked meals around the houses of the elderly: she\’s an entrepreneur and this is how Meals on Wheels started.
Entrepreneurial activity is simply looking around at the world and considering whether extant resources can be used, either more efficiently to do current things, or combined in new ways to do new things. Why on earth anyone would think that we don\’t want this to happen in the provision of services is entirely beyond me.