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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Strangling the golden goose

The US economy will continue to decline even after the credit bust because it is actively disincentivizing entrepreneurs and driving them out of the country:
The U.S. now ranks not first, not second, not third, but 12th among developed nations in terms of business startup activity. Countries such as Hungary, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Italy all have higher startup rates than America does.

We are behind in starting new firms per capita, and this is our single most serious economic problem. Yet it seems like a secret. You never see it mentioned in the media, nor hear from a politician that, for the first time in 35 years, American business deaths now outnumber business births.
Just look at my family. The USA has already have lost over 50 jobs, and based on past taxes paid, more than $100 million in state and federal taxes after jailing my father for 11 years for his failure to pay around $2 million in taxes it claimed he owed. It also lost the benefit of any new businesses he would have started in the last ten years. And it has lost whatever benefit it would have gained from several opportunities in the USA I would have pursued in the past, but instead elected to leave fallow because the regulatory and compliance headaches were too high when piled on top of the usual risks and time commitments involved. I was never as successful as my father, of course, but my business did reach a respectable size and employed a dozen people.

It's so bad these days that the USA is not only disincentivizing both its resident and expatriate entrepreneurs, but is even causing the latter to give up their citizenships in record numbers. Eduardo Saverin, one of the Facebook co-founders, is far from the only U.S. citizen to renounce his citizenship over tax-related business matters. For years, the American instinct has been to say "good riddance" to such renunciates, but the country is past the point where it can afford to do so, especially when most other countries are very actively courting the small minority of people who are capable of creating new businesses that will provide new job opportunities for their citizens. At this point, foreign entrepreneurs would have to be either stupid or very short-sighted to pursue a green card that will serve as a financial anchor for the rest of their lives.

The tragic thing is that the USA is no longer the land of opportunity for entrepreneurs. It was only 20 years ago that the young guys who started id Software moved from Wisconsin to Texas because the opportunities were better there. But the ids of tomorrow are now leaving the USA for other countries, and are increasingly starting them in places like Eastern Europe, the Nordic countries, and Israel. The last five big game startups have come out of Russia, Finland and Sweden; one of the biggest mobile game successes is in Serbia. This means that even aside from its macroeconomic problems, the USA is very unlikely to possess the long-term potential for growth it once took for granted anymore.

The effects of these negative developments concerning entrepreneurial activity are somewhat obscured by the fact that New York is still the financial capital of the world; four of the six game companies mentioned either went public in the USA or were acquired by US companies. But it doesn't change the fact that innovation is increasingly taking place outside the USA.

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120 Comments:

Blogger James Dixon January 22, 2015 7:08 AM  

The only real business growth in the US for the past several decades has been in the financial sector. And that's been both parasitical and the result of massive debt. It's not sustainable.

No matter what the eventual outcome, the upcoming 50 or so years are going to be long and difficult.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 22, 2015 7:16 AM  

How long will New York remain the financial capital of the world?

Anonymous Moranderin January 22, 2015 7:17 AM  

As long as a politician can gain a national audience -- even consideration as a serious candidate for president -- with the asinine assertion "You didn't build that," this situation will continue.

Anonymous Musashi January 22, 2015 7:35 AM  

Oh, that's OK. All these newly minted Americans crossing the Rio Grande will more than make up a few greedy malcontents leaving the country. Plus, we're getting a steady influx of Muslims and various flavors of Africans coming too, so that will help.

Just ask any of the Red or Blue traitors orchestrating this, they'll tell you there's nothing to worry about.

Anonymous PA January 22, 2015 7:36 AM  

Real estate, ie. buying a home, has always been a form of entrepreneurship for the ordinary man.

Today, with desegregation and residential demographic volatility (fueled by gov programs like Section 8), buying a house is an extremely high-risk venture.

Blogger pdwalker January 22, 2015 7:37 AM  

Come to Asia, it's the land of new opportunity.

Anonymous BB January 22, 2015 7:45 AM  

Good. From US decline we will glean a loosening of our straightjackets, and more spielraum for our militants, intellectuals and activists.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 22, 2015 7:59 AM  

I'd read the other day that one Australian company was cutting US oil shale production by 40%.

So much for that growth sector

Anonymous realmatt January 22, 2015 8:02 AM  

When is your father expected to get out? They're really making him serve the full sentence??

Anonymous realmatt January 22, 2015 8:05 AM  

Until the benefit cards stop working, after which, the zombie hordes will descend from everything north of upper manhattan. Not even bill clintons harlem office can stop the scourge

Anonymous Salt January 22, 2015 8:06 AM  

Unfriendly business environment. Yep. I cannot fathom why so many think the government should hold the #1 position in income opportunity ahead of the people from whom its income is derived. But that's how it is done these days. The parasite is drunk on the blood it sucks. It's killing the host.

Obama indicated 401(k)s are being looked at, to be taxed.

Anonymous Bottled Nixon January 22, 2015 8:13 AM  

I think he's got six years left.
The average convicted rapist only spends five years, five months in jail, and that may be a high estimate.

Anonymous Bobo January 22, 2015 8:14 AM  

I bought property, vehicles, put kids in (private) school, started a business, 2 corps in Costa Rica, all on a tourist visa.
Capital is fleeing from the US borders, getting out while the gettin's good. People have started to figure out, once you by foreign real estate, that's one asset Uncle Sugar can't confiscate and redistribute.
Most of my friend's here in Gringolandia are small business people, folks who decided to take there talents to greener pastures.
At a minimum they get a $198k foreign earned income exclusion, beyond that is the priceless bonus of being mostly unmolested by tax-feeding minions

Blogger Student in Blue January 22, 2015 8:28 AM  

@PA
Real estate, ie. buying a home, has always been a form of entrepreneurship for the ordinary man.

A home, and a piece of land, is simply an asset. You could buy anything, literally anything, make improvements on it, and sell it, or even rent it out. There's nothing special about home or land, except for all the laws and taxes that apply to it.

How do those laws and taxes make it a "form of entrepreneurship"?

@VD
[...]but instead elected to leave fallow because the regulatory and compliance headaches were too high when piled on top of the usual risks and time commitments involved.

I always had the gut feeling that this was why entrepreneurship was dying in general, as trying to mentally follow all the regulations and compliances quickly turned me off of entrepreneurial enterprises. It's hard to try and make a one-or-two person business make a profit when you practically need to hire a CPA as your first or second person.

The Gallup article linked didn't talk about a particular cause though, and the line from you quoted hinted at it, so I'd like to ask: Did you find this disincentivation of entrepreneurs to be a result of a "sum of the parts" from all the hoops you have to jump through (compliance, regulation, taxes), or does one of those parts egregiously sticks out further from the rest as needing to be redone or done away?

I mean, not counting the increased feminization of US men (and thus reducing the willingness to take risks).

Anonymous PA January 22, 2015 8:34 AM  

"How do those laws and taxes make it a "form of entrepreneurship"?"

Quit being an obtuse dork.

Anonymous Salt January 22, 2015 8:38 AM  

Answer the question, PA.

Anonymous RedJack January 22, 2015 8:45 AM  

Which is why many new "businesses" are in the gray or black market.

I know of a smith that requests payment in cash for that reason.

Anonymous Athor Pel January 22, 2015 8:50 AM  

" PA January 22, 2015 7:36 AM
Real estate, ie. buying a home, has always been a form of entrepreneurship for the ordinary man.

Today, with desegregation and residential demographic volatility (fueled by gov programs like Section 8), buying a house is an extremely high-risk venture.
"



Treating an object, with perpetual maintenance costs, as if it is an investment is not entrepreneurship.

Anonymous VD January 22, 2015 8:59 AM  

When is your father expected to get out? They're really making him serve the full sentence??

There was some talk a few months ago that he'd be released due to his age, and even some parole preparations, but then nothing happened.

Did you find this disincentivation of entrepreneurs to be a result of a "sum of the parts" from all the hoops you have to jump through (compliance, regulation, taxes), or does one of those parts egregiously sticks out further from the rest as needing to be redone or done away?

Sum of the parts, but FATCA and related laws are effectively killing off all documented activity for expats. In an increasing number of countries, now including Canada, US citizens can't even open a bank account, much less get a mortgage or a business loan. Nobody wants to deal with the US paperwork requirements.

Anonymous VD January 22, 2015 9:00 AM  

Obama indicated 401(k)s are being looked at, to be taxed.

I predicted they would be more than a decade ago. Not exactly hard to anticipate.

Anonymous joe doakes January 22, 2015 9:03 AM  

Wesley Snipes served his full time, I expect Vox's father will do the same. The government can't allow people to consider trading time for taxes lest the entire system collapse, so they make the punishment as onerous as possible 'pour encourager les autres.'

Blogger Salt January 22, 2015 9:11 AM  

Of course not, VD, but what's interesting is he (gov't) gave it voice, openly.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 9:12 AM  

buying a house is an extremely high-risk venture.

On the contrary, this is still a very good path to wealth.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 9:13 AM  

We've crossed Peak America in so many areas.

Blogger ManiaC Provost January 22, 2015 9:13 AM  

A primary home is an asset / investment because you earn rent income from yourself. If you don't own your home, you still need to live somewhere. The need for shelter is a liability. Maintenance is a liability. The home, which you can give away any time you like, is an asset. If you don't believe that, give it to someone who wants it.

A home is not necessarily a *good* investment, because they tend to create negative cash flow along with small, low risk profits.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 9:16 AM  

All of these New Americans streaming into the country are going to need to live somewhere...

Anonymous VD January 22, 2015 9:20 AM  

The government can't allow people to consider trading time for taxes lest the entire system collapse, so they make the punishment as onerous as possible 'pour encourager les autres.'

Which works right up until it reaches the point that people say "forget it, I'm out of here." That point has observably been crossed. 20 years ago, the guys who are starting companies in the Nordics and in Serbia would have moved to the USA to do it. A few still are. But for many, you literally couldn't pay them to move there.

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 9:26 AM  

All of these New Americans streaming into the country are going to need to live somewhere...

Nice place you got there esse...

Blogger RC January 22, 2015 9:30 AM  

The government-imposed risks of entrepreneurship are substantial and, once start-up hurdles are overcome, the risks increase with size. Once my business passed $10M in annual revenue, the sharks came circling. Even the small things are ludicrous, like having to pay annual taxes on assets and they insist on the value of the asset including the sales tax paid to acquire it - taxing on tax paid. Nuts. But the much bigger risks are deep-pocketed competitors dragging one into litigation and the IRS making the rounds. It's simply extortion. I know of two fellow entrepreneurs who served prison time, one for redirecting 401(k) funds to payroll to meet a short-term liquidity issue (admittedly a stupid move, but prison time?) and one who "structured" cash withdrawals. The entrepreneurs are the enemy, though their risk-taking creates jobs and feeds the beast. From my perspective, they should be getting thank you notes instead of being harassed for their drive and creativity.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis January 22, 2015 9:34 AM  

That little bit of information sort of leaves Obama's economic boasts ring a little hollow doesn't?

Anonymous Roundtine January 22, 2015 9:40 AM  

How long will New York remain the financial capital of the world?

Until China gets a real legal system.

Anonymous jonathan January 22, 2015 9:49 AM  

My old neighborhood is filled with Mexicans pushing around Churro carts. Surely this entrepreneurship will keep us going.

Blogger JartStar January 22, 2015 9:53 AM  

Obama indicated 401(k)s are being looked at, to be taxed.

Something new as the rumors have been around for years and years? Link?

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 9:53 AM  


Until China gets a real legal system


So...at least 500 years?

Blogger Positive Dennis January 22, 2015 9:57 AM  

It is now difficult to grow internally without debt. Debt raises the risk of failure.

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 10:00 AM  

Something new as the rumors have been around for years and years? Link?

I haven't seen anything about Obama's SOTU speech going there, but bills have been introduced in Congress several times that would tax, confiscate, or nationalize 401k's and IRA's to one degree or another. No such bills have had any hope of passing, so far. My prediction is that it will begin by forcing all owners individual retirement plans to put a small percentage of their plan assets into U.S. Treasuries...for their own good, of course. After that, it's easy to gradually increase that percentage. No need for outright confiscation that might cause an armed revolt, just force the people to buy increasingly worthless IOU's from the gov't.

Blogger JartStar January 22, 2015 10:07 AM  

Stilicho,

The gradual approach has always been my guess because confiscation is the nuclear option on the economy. The myRA just proposed by Obama is a logical first step.

Anonymous p-dawg January 22, 2015 10:20 AM  

It's gone from "You didn't build that" to "You can't build that." Unless you have connections, of course.

Anonymous Paul January 22, 2015 10:21 AM  

This chart merely shows that regulation is serving its purpose, which is to be anti-competitive. All regulators are essentially captured by the industries they purportedly regulate, and serve the interests of the large players in their industry.

These large players all have regulatory affairs divisions, HR divisions, etc. to deal with the myriad regulatory agencies that they must answer to. Senior people in the regulators will often come from the large players (they have 'industry experience'), or be hired by the large players as vice-presidents of regulatory affairs or somesuch.

Smaller players don't have regulatory affairs and HR departments, and compliance costs and issues are a much heavier burden on them. They don't have friends in high places, but rather are dealing with agents of their biggest competitors.

The fact that a number of those six companies Vox mentioned were acquired just goes to demonstrate this. What's missing from the chart would be a line representing market share of the largest players per industry, which in virtually every industry would demonstrate consolidation, i.e. the big getting bigger, by design.

Regulators generally like this as it makes their jobs easier as they have to deal with fewer players, and those players can make their lives easier because they're dealing with staff dedicated full-tiime to dealing with the regulator. For example, when you have essentially five companies that represent your industry, and you need to consult them for a regulatory proceeding or something, you can get your industry feedback in a week during five nice lunches from very accomadating professionals. Suppose instead you have 500 small players in your industry, most of whom hate your guts as small businessmen are wont to do, how much fun is that going to be?

In other words, regulation has mostly come to mean a few large players suppressing competition and innovation with the help of the government 'for the children'.

Blogger Salt January 22, 2015 10:30 AM  

If it's money that can be tapped, the gov't will eventually tap it. IRAs have been a slow burn, but I see them coming up on the chopping block quite soon. What's to stop Obama from utilizing executive orders? Declare a national liquidity emergency.

Blogger JartStar January 22, 2015 10:42 AM  

What's to stop Obama from utilizing executive orders?

The destruction of the US economy. Wall Street is not the economy, but destroying Wall Street means taking down the economy with it and ending equity investments for a couple of generations. Take a look at Obama's top contributors; Wall Street and those who benefit from it.

Anonymous Big Bill January 22, 2015 10:45 AM  

Id Software was in Madison? Are you sure? I thought they got their start in Shreveport, LA.

Blogger Salt January 22, 2015 10:48 AM  

But, JartStar, it's ultimately Leviathan's fascist survival that is at stake. The US economy is going to go down no matter, unless one believe the pie hasn't yet been baked. Without expanding business opportunities (entrepreneurship) can even a quasi-Capitalism survive? Will they meekly go silently into the good night?

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 10:54 AM  

Just STFU and pay the rent.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 11:04 AM  

Millennials and others who fail to buy RE are going to miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars. Big mistake.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 22, 2015 11:21 AM  

Obama indicated 401(k)s are being looked at, to be taxed.

I predicted they would be more than a decade ago. Not exactly hard to anticipate.


They are also looking at taxing, tax free college savings funds so that they can...wait for it...fund free college.

This idea brought to you by people who went to college.

Yay Kollege!!
-- Iowahawk

Blogger Josh January 22, 2015 11:29 AM  

Millennials and others who fail to buy RE are going to miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars. Big mistake.

Because housing prices never go down, right?

Blogger Kurt January 22, 2015 11:35 AM  

Who's your man in Washington?

Anonymous Tom B January 22, 2015 11:38 AM  

Another reason for this dearth of small startups is the amount of government bureaucracy and finding potential partners who know how to navigate those seas. I've though about starting a bar in Clemson, SC; there is an old abandoned triple theater that I though would make a great bar - Irish style pub in one room, sports pub in another, and dance club in the third. Not only do I not know the first step to getting a startup like that going, business mentor programs are scarce and potential investors are stowing their money away. I not only need money capital but intellectual capital to make it a success, and it ain't to be found anywhere!

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 22, 2015 11:39 AM  

Millennials and others who fail to buy RE are going to miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars. Big mistake.

Millennials can't afford real estate right now without going into 40 years of debt. No sane person would do that unless they planned on bankruptcy.

And let's not forget the massive student loan debt that many of them have, which cannot be defaulted on.

Blogger Bard January 22, 2015 11:43 AM  

We were headlong into opening a family entertainment center. Around a million dollar project. Had to have 33% up front. Then it cost another 25K just to get an SBA loan. I couldn't believe the tax implications. Literally .50c of every dollar would be gone before we even made it. After a year of time and commitment, we decided it was not worth the risk. The idea was sound and the location perfect, I was just not certain you could do it with all the money that was going to everyone else. That, and for 60 hour work weeks and all the risk, less than 100K profit was not worth it. I can make more in my current field with 40 hr weeks. In the end, opportunity cost won out. We learned a lot so I don't regret it, but I sure wish you could go to a place, do it, and keep the rewards of your hard work.

Blogger Josh January 22, 2015 11:44 AM  

I've though about starting a bar in Clemson, SC; there is an old abandoned triple theater that I though would make a great bar - Irish style pub in one room, sports pub in another, and dance club in the third. Not only do I not know the first step to getting a startup like that going, business mentor programs are scarce and potential investors are stowing their money away. I not only need money capital but intellectual capital to make it a success, and it ain't to be found anywhere!

Have you talked to the folks at Clemson's entrepreneurship center?

Blogger Bard January 22, 2015 11:46 AM  

That's the problem Tom B. You can have a great idea and the motivation, but the regulations will kill it. There are a lot of great people who will spend the time to help educate you.

OpenID cailcorishev January 22, 2015 11:47 AM  

If I were a young guy with a business idea that would require either employees or collecting sales tax, I'd have to think long and hard before going through with it. I'd have to be convinced that it would make me boatloads of money, and in a fairly short period of time before the regulations changed enough to take away my profits, or it wouldn't be worth it. Starting a conventional corporation the old brick-and-mortar way, hiring slowly and put years of sweat equity into it with the expectation that it'll grow and be profitable in time for you to put your kids through college and retire, is just foolishness now.

So they're promoting the kind of single-operator, low-capital businesses that can move out of the country more easily than others. Also flash-in-the-pan dot-com types that make heaps for their founders but disappear after a few years. Seems healthy.

Anonymous clk January 22, 2015 11:48 AM  

VD says ... "doesn't change the fact that innovation is increasingly taking place outside the USA."

The implied theory is that innovators are being driven out by tax/regulations/unfriendly businss evironment ... may or may not be true but collelation (which really hasnt been shown) does not imply causation (which also hasnt been shown)....

Have you given thought that perhaps the reason innovation is happening outside the US because it can happen outside the US now. Its seems to me to be the natural evolution of business and innovation to spread out .. Technology has made it possible for you to do your job from a small village in Italy so you can live where you want to live for any a many valid reasons... some might be taxes, but other valid reasons might be good food, culture, lifestyle etc ... 25 years ago you needed to be located in Sunnyvale, RT128 etc to do high tech ...nowadays .. you can be anywhere.



Blogger Bard January 22, 2015 11:49 AM  

We had to spend 100s of hours getting educated. SBA conferences, quick books seminars, CPA seminars, trade seminars, talking with other owners, talking with real estate lawyers, traveling across the country to visit other places. You can do it, but you will need a lot up front even with investors. And they will still want to take EVERYTHING you own as collateral.

OpenID cailcorishev January 22, 2015 11:50 AM  

Obama indicated 401(k)s are being looked at, to be taxed.

Jesse Jackson floated the idea of borrowing from retirement accounts, oh, at least a decade ago. I'm kinda surprised it hasn't happened yet, though the Boomers will scream bloody murder. There's no way those shelters will survive once they're gone, if that long.

Anonymous Millenium January 22, 2015 11:54 AM  

Millennials and others who fail to buy RE are going to miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars. Big mistake

Are you going to loan me the money because no bank will?

People like Nate wonder my generation is giving up. The would be entrepreneurs I know are so busy trying to keep up with rent and manage their dead end job that they have neither the time nor the spare cash (nor do they qualify for a loan) so what is the point?

I know a man in his forties who has his own earth moving business and wanted a loan for a piece of machinery. The bank said fuck off so he said fuck you and bought it with cash (risky since that was his reserve fund for repairs). The man has two properties, lots of assets and more work than he can handle and still he is not considered good enough for a bank loan.

What hope does your typical Millenial with a casual, dead end job, no assets, and no contacts have?

The best young men of my generation are fleeing to SE Asia.

Blogger Bard January 22, 2015 11:58 AM  

"Are you going to loan me the money because no bank will?"
Yep. I owner finance several of my properties. Saw that writing on the wall years ago. You will see more of this in the future, especially when interest rates increase.

Blogger Josh January 22, 2015 11:58 AM  

I know a man in his forties who has his own earth moving business and wanted a loan for a piece of machinery. The bank said fuck off so he said fuck you and bought it with cash (risky since that was his reserve fund for repairs). The man has two properties, lots of assets and more work than he can handle and still he is not considered good enough for a bank loan.

That's what equipment leasing companies are for.

Anonymous VD January 22, 2015 12:03 PM  

The implied theory is that innovators are being driven out by tax/regulations/unfriendly businss evironment ... may or may not be true but collelation (which really hasnt been shown) does not imply causation (which also hasnt been shown)....

You sound like the idiots at the St. Paul Pioneer Press who wrote a two-part, front of the Business Section piece about how there weren't any new companies in Minnesota that had grown up to replace the Control Datas, Honeywells, and 3Ms, and didn't even mention that Minnesota had some of the highest income taxes in the nation.

About a week later, I went to a meeting for the Minneapolis TV station on whose board I sat. Of the 13 board members, all of whom had formerly lived in Minnesota, 11 were in Florida residents. One was a resident of the Bahamas. The only board member who still lived there was the station manager, who couldn't exactly leave.

I suspect you'll still be babbling about correlation and causation when all that's left are zombies rooting through the economic ruins of the nation. It seems to have escaped your attention that this isn't a science laboratory or a courtroom.

Anonymous WaterBoy January 22, 2015 12:07 PM  

Tom B: "Not only do I not know the first step to getting a startup like that going, business mentor programs are scarce and potential investors are stowing their money away. I not only need money capital but intellectual capital to make it a success, and it ain't to be found anywhere!"

The first thing I would recommend is to find out if the zoning classification of the theater property would even allow for a bar. Rezoning is a difficult, expensive, and time-consuming process, and can greatly affect the rest of the process. A zoning variance is also a possibility and is generally less burdensome than rezoning is, but will still need to be factored into your decision-making. If it isn't already zoned for that usage, will the hassle and expense be worth the while to even begin tackling such an endeavor? I just went through this process with a prospective commercial property I am looking to purchase, and the variance was by far the easier and less expensive option. And with the cooperation of the current owner, we were able to get it done without actually purchasing the property first.

Second thing to consider would be the liquor license process. How easy is it to get, how long does it take, what does it cost. Speak to current bar owners in the area about license enforcement issues, like do they have a division of the force that sends out undercover agents to test out underage purchasing, etc. In some jurisdictions, it almost isn't worth the while if you're going to be at risk of losing your license at the drop of a hat.

As for business planning and mentoring, there is an organization called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) which can provide almost everything you are looking for, from writing a business plan to seeking out financing to active mentoring. I recommend you at least check out their website -- it contains a wealth of information for prospective small business owners.

Good luck, should you decide to go ahead with it.

Blogger Josh January 22, 2015 12:13 PM  

As for business planning and mentoring, there is an organization called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) which can provide almost everything you are looking for, from writing a business plan to seeking out financing to active mentoring. I recommend you at least check out their website -- it contains a wealth of information for prospective small business owners.

I second this.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 22, 2015 12:18 PM  

How long will New York remain the financial capital of the world?

Until China gets a real legal system.


Or the UKIP accomplishes the Reconquista of Londinistan. My money is (well, not literally - yet ) on the Brits.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 22, 2015 12:18 PM  

So they're promoting the kind of single-operator, low-capital businesses that can move out of the country more easily than others. Also flash-in-the-pan dot-com types that make heaps for their founders but disappear after a few years. Seems healthy.

Yep, with the twin dangers of predatory governments and predatory private lawsuits, it's damned foolish to have something that isn't small, mobile and a quick turnaround. Get in, get out, move on. You can't let yourself look like anything big or you'll attract attention. You can't comply with all the regulations anyway, so why try? Focus on flying under the radar.

It's a low-trust business environment, the sort of thing you expect to find in a third world hellhole, not in the United... er, ah... well...

Anonymous LeeS January 22, 2015 12:19 PM  

Phil Knight of Nike wrote the following about Oregon back in 2010 -

"'Forty-six years ago, I started a small business in Oregon. In our first year, sales totaled $8,000. I am proud that it eventually became a major employer in the state.

It has been my hope that other entrepreneurs would similarly pursue their dreams in Oregon. They won't.

The state in past years was headquarters for The First National Bank, US Bank, Pacific Power, Willamette Industries, Georgia-Pacific, Jantzen, White Stag, G.I. Joe's, Monaco Coach, Meier & Frank, among many others. They are now headquartered elsewhere, are controlled by non-Oregonians or no longer exist.

There are words to describe what Oregon is doing.

It is called a death spiral.

Blogger Subversive Saint January 22, 2015 12:27 PM  

How much effect has the massive increase in student loan debt had on the credit worthiness of likely entrepreneurs? I've read that the new debt has had an effect on the housing market since younger, potential borrowers are in serious credit crisis after college.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis January 22, 2015 12:39 PM  

The first thing I would recommend is to find out if the zoning classification of the theater property would even allow for a bar. Rezoning is a difficult, expensive, and time-consuming process, and can greatly affect the rest of the process. A zoning variance is also a possibility and is generally less burdensome than rezoning is, but will still need to be factored into your decision-making. If it isn't already zoned for that usage, will the hassle and expense be worth the while to even begin tackling such an endeavor? I just went through this process with a prospective commercial property I am looking to purchase, and the variance was by far the easier and less expensive option. And with the cooperation of the current owner, we were able to get it done without actually purchasing the property first.

Tell me about it. My old man works in Commercial RE development and has become quite successful. He said, that by far, the worst thing was dealing with the government for zoning, permitting, being hit with some obscure fine that no one has ever heard from and the complete disinterest by the government in getting anything done in any reasonable time frame. I have heard of projects that failed to get their certificate of occupancy because certain life safety items weren't green tagged because another the municipal power company, couldn't be bothered to come in and hook up the connections despite having received the request months prior.

To add insult to injury, when you see some govt official talking up a project during a ground breaking ceremony it is usually the same person who was throwing up so many road blocks that the ground breaking almost never happened.

Blogger Aquila Aquilonis January 22, 2015 12:41 PM  

What states are good for business? I know Texas is. Anyone know of other states?

Blogger Corvinus January 22, 2015 12:42 PM  

The sick thing about this is that most Americans cannot emigrate to follow the entrepreneurs. We invite in the world, but turnabout isn't fair play, apparently.

Blogger Bruce January 22, 2015 12:53 PM  

Hungary, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Italy have all got universal health care and heavily-subsidized or free tuition. If you look at the arguments made by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their books "Race Against the Machine" and "The Second Machine Age", they advocate explicitly for these two policies as a means of fostering technological innovation. Without that "cushion" of state-supported health care and education, it becomes extremely difficult to take entrepreneurial risks.

Anonymous WaterBoy January 22, 2015 12:57 PM  

Aquila Aquilonis : "What states are good for business? I know Texas is. Anyone know of other states?"

Forbes' Best States for Business list

I would add a caveat that this is for general purposes -- specific businessess might be at a disadvantage in a given state. For example, gun-related merchandise manufacturers are at a disadvantage in Colorado -- despite the #5 ranking -- if they are trying to sell HCMs, since they cannot sell them in the state where they are made.

Other businesses may be restricted in similar ways in other states, so this list is the ultimate in YMMV.

Anonymous N5 January 22, 2015 1:08 PM  

The stories are legion. A good friend of mine worked for 25 years running his own contracting business. Paid guys scale, had insurance, an accountant, a boat, a house, a deer cabin. Wasn't rich even after that, but was proud of his work. Divorce ruined him. Now he's smarter- works out of his (old) truck for $20/cash when he wants to and lives a much, much better life. For a wage slave like me that life makes me wonder how in the hell I got the message so late.

Anonymous N5 January 22, 2015 1:11 PM  

My dad worked for Control Data for 20 years. He left about the time Cray went to form his own company (early '80s) across the St Croix in Wisconsin where the taxes were much less burdensome.

Anonymous Sam the Man January 22, 2015 2:19 PM  

From my very limited exposure to the restaurant/nightclub business, if you really want to make it without a lot of cash your best bet is to start at the bottom, in your high school years working at one. Over the age from 16 to 22, work as many jobs in a few different establishments, from bus boy, though waiter, though the kitchen in some role and at the bar in some role. Fact the folks that make it in the local restaurant/nightclub business have to really understand an awful lot of things you will not learn at business seminars. The restaurant business is still one area where a good operator can make a good business, but you really have to know the area and all of the things that will cost you money before you start.

Same thing is true of a gas/convenience store or a Car repair business. Best chance entrepreneurs have of making a successful run is to work your way up in the business form age 16 on.

OpenID cailcorishev January 22, 2015 2:24 PM  

Without that "cushion" of state-supported health care and education, it becomes extremely difficult to take entrepreneurial risks.

Unless that "cushion" costs everyone so much that no one can afford to be an entrepreneur. These guys don't seriously argue that there has been more entrepreneurial innovation per-capita in countries like Hungary with socialized medicine than in the US prior to Obamacare, do they?

The Internet was basically an interesting toy for the military and some universities, until Congress opened it up to commercial traffic and the Web exploded all over everything. The profit motive is pretty darn good at driving innovation, if government will just let it.

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 2:41 PM  

Unless that "cushion" costs everyone so much that no one can afford to be an entrepreneur.

That redistributionist/statist "cushion" is being proposed to mitigate a problem created by redistributionist/statist policies in the first place. It also assumes, sans evidence, that the entrepreneurial class will be helped more than they are hurt by such policies.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 2:50 PM  

To begin with, start networking with like-minded men who are business owners. Manosphere guys, Alt-Right types who are hiring. Plumbers, electricians need apprentices. Hell, I even know 50-year old dude who recently got hired as a high-end electrician's apprentice. Think like a business owner, entrepreneur, brand yourself.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 2:54 PM  

It's an anecdote, I know, but I recently met a young 20-something guy who works at a cell phone store, who owns two small homes in (admittedly crappy) towns here in OC, and is planning to buy his third in TX. It can be done.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey January 22, 2015 2:56 PM  

Private lending, hard money... these areas are booming.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 22, 2015 3:01 PM  

Not unexpected at all. I heard over a decade ago that The Chamberpot of Commercialism was only giving Small Business Administration Loans to vibrants. You can see the payoff in the plethora of payday loansharks and cornmeal distribution grocers in the Inner Shitty.
The System has already collapsed. The only thing left is the bubbles that The Fed blew up like The Stock Market that gives the delusional morons at The Dinosaur Media something to "Hey, Squirrel!" about on Dead Air. When those burst, its Turkey Day. The World's Biggest Turkey Shoot is about to begin. Get those guns of the wall and load 'em to bear, its about to get Real Good for Hunting. Let's all hunt some rabbits while we're shooting turkeys to give Vox something to smile about in Europastan...

Blogger Bruce January 22, 2015 3:02 PM  

Ah right. Here come the reactionary comments that attempt to contradict the research of the MIT economists Brynjolfsson and McAfee. So, ummm, have any of you guys been to an engineering research conference? You're probably not smart enough. You do realize that when guys from, say, Sweden, talk about their start up they are operating under the assumption of a paid-for health care plan and an educated workforce who has no student debt. Hence vast cost outlays that hamper starting a new business have been eliminated thus allowing for greater risks to be taken. Yes, high taxes are paid out, but due to the cost efficiencies built into their health care and education system those taxes are more than made up for with protection from ruination due to out-of-pocket health care and education costs.

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 3:21 PM  

Hence vast cost outlays that hamper starting a new business have been eliminated

By creating more cost outlays. Alternatively, one could eliminate the main source of those "vast cost outlays" that discourage entrepreneurs.

By the way, "entrepreneur" is not synonymous with "youth with a college degree". Nor do the young and healthy see much need for expensive health care plans.

Here come the reactionary comments that attempt to contradict the research of the MIT economists Brynjolfsson and McAfee. So, ummm, have any of you guys been to an engineering research conference? You're probably not smart enough.

Do you even lift, bro? Keep on appealing to authority. Because MIT! Alternatively, you could try making your case with facts, logic, etc. Or not.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 22, 2015 3:27 PM  

If entrepreneurial activity is viewed as a subset of genius (which I generally do), then Bruce Charlton's essay explains the systemic hostility to geniuses of this sort.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 22, 2015 3:29 PM  

>Yes, high taxes are paid out, but due to the cost efficiencies built into their health care and education system those taxes are more than made up for with protection from ruination due to out-of-pocket health care and education costs.

Ooh, potential for great profit without risk. Where do I sign up?

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 3:37 PM  

Ooh, potential for great profit without risk. Where do I sign up?

Nancy Pelosi has already enrolled you in the program: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/pelosi-obamacare-allows-you-quit-your-job-and-become-whatever

Anonymous Sam the Man January 22, 2015 3:38 PM  

Too stupid to go to an Engineering conference? I suppose that is true if you ignore the many folks here with advanced degrees and published conference papers . Fact is a lot of the folks here have just such backgrounds or even a wee bit more.

Check your liberal privilege and before you spout off here buddy.

Sam the Man, BSEE, MSEE, published papers at PESC 97, IPC97, PCPE 2000.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 22, 2015 3:54 PM  

When's the last time anyone around here saw a kid with a lemonade stand? Technically they're illegal in most places, although any cop who tries to enforce this law against an eight-year-old will be tried and hanged by the local media.

Even so, I haven't seen a lemonade stand in two decades. I blame the combination of increased school hours, increased homework hours, and increased emphasis on extracurricular school activities.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 22, 2015 3:58 PM  

>Nancy Pelosi has already enrolled you in the program: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/pelosi-obamacare-allows-you-quit-your-job-and-become-whatever

Reminds me, I've been meaning to start up my second identity as Jose Ramirez, migrant worker trying to break into the software industry...

Oh, and I'll probably be transgendered too. My ID will say Jose but I only answer to Eva.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 22, 2015 4:14 PM  

Last one, pinky swear.

The phenomenon described by Charlton is, in turn, explained by M0. I currently believe this is also the mechanism by which empires self-destruct.

Blogger Cederq January 22, 2015 4:18 PM  

Gosh, I am in rare company, I only have a ASEE and own a small business designing and installing custom wiring and retrofitting commercial vehicles. I am a small entrepreneur and the regs and compliance and tax costs are putting me out of business.
I had two employees until 2 years ago, can't afford now. Anybody who argues that .gov is a boon for small business has their head planted firmly where colonscopies are afraid to go...

Blogger Bruce January 22, 2015 4:29 PM  

Well, I have a PhD in electrical engineering. My specialty is in robotic path-planning. There's this pretty cool website called google where if you type in the terms "photon mapping", "IEEE" and my name you just might find me if you don't believe in my credentials. Of course I am presenting you with evidence. And since it doesn't conform to what you've been conditioned to believe, it will be discarded. Naturally, if I mention how lowering the barrier to higher education and health care would be beneficial to small businesses, and cite research from scholars who have studied the problem rigorously, that too will be dismissed. So, I give up. Evidence-based reality is obviously lost on this thread.

Blogger RC January 22, 2015 4:39 PM  

The point is not that you don't possess credentials Bruce, it's that credentials don't mean beans at this particular outpost. Absolutely zero.

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 4:49 PM  

Naturally, if I mention how lowering the barrier to higher education and health care would be beneficial to small businesses, and cite research from scholars who have studied the problem rigorously, that too will be dismissed.

No, you are obviously too short for this ride because you simply cannot understand that commenters here agree that health care costs are too high and agree that college tuition is too high, and that student loans are a millstone around the neck of many people, but reject your proposed solution of MOAR socialist intervention when socialist intervention causes health care costs to be too high and college tuition to be too high in the first place. Your proposed solution would ameliorate financial burdens on some people (in the short term at least) by shifting the cost to other people without being able to distinguish the entrepreneurs you wish to help.

you just might find me if you don't believe in my credentials

1) No one here gives a rat's ass what your credentials are. Ideas must stand or fall on their own merit. Your appeal to credentials only raises suspicions that you don't know what you're talking about.

2) Why on earth do you think an engineering degree qualifies you to make ex cathedra pronouncements about economics? Put up or shut up.

3) Merely linking or referring to others' work isn't an argument. If you want to make an argument, you have to actually, you know, make an argument. If you wish to be taken seriously, present your points, quote the research you claim supports your argument, address criticisms of same. It's not particularly complicated.

Blogger RC January 22, 2015 4:49 PM  

I know it's hard to believe that credentials don't matter here given how many strokes are passed out by the universities, but it's true. My IQ is almost 2SD over the average engineering PhD student and not a single regular around here would give a tinker of a damn. And my IQ is lower than many that hang around these parts. It just doesn't matter. Just show what you've got. Your case will survive or fail on its perceived merits, nothing else.

Anonymous RJ January 22, 2015 4:54 PM  

They aren't just going to tax IRAs and 401ks. They are going to outright confiscate them.

Links:

Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (click on the link for Teresa Ghilarducci)

From Human Events

Blogger Bruce January 22, 2015 4:57 PM  

Now eating popcorn as I gaze upon the furious typing by people who think they're better than they really are. Oops. Feels got hurt??? Awww ...

Anonymous DrTorch January 22, 2015 4:57 PM  

The answer is...

IMMIGRATION

http://www.inc.com/magazine/201502/adam-bluestein/the-most-entrepreneurial-group-in-america-wasnt-born-in-america.html

by Adam Bluestein. Hmmm

Anonymous Stilicho January 22, 2015 5:04 PM  

"It's always easy to spot the new midwits showing up on the blog as they come in with pseudo-intellectual swagger, appeal to authority and credentialism, the inability to admit they are wrong on anything, and unfounded belief in their own intelligence."

Now who does that remind you of?

Anonymous RJ January 22, 2015 5:05 PM  

When's the last time anyone around here saw a kid with a lemonade stand? Technically they're illegal in most places, although any cop who tries to enforce this law against an eight-year-old will be tried and hanged by the local media.

Even so, I haven't seen a lemonade stand in two decades. I blame the combination of increased school hours, increased homework hours, and increased emphasis on extracurricular school activities.


Last time I saw one was years ago in Boulder. That is, until a local government busybody staked out the corner and cited the 11 year old girl running it for 1) not having a business license and 2) a health code violation. See, she had ice in her drinks and regulations state that if you have ice, you must have a sink to wash your hands.

Once the story broke, what do you think happened? Instead of raking the city government over the coals, people got together and donated money to pay the fines and buy the girl a business license.

That's ok. the War on Lemonade Stands will be won!

Blogger automatthew January 22, 2015 5:15 PM  

G'day, Bruce!

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 22, 2015 5:27 PM  

Oh, you can't hurt Bruce's feelings, he's a doctor of Sociology from CIP. He has a sheepskin made from recycled cardboard made from the toilet paper that Socialist run out of after they plan the economy.
I have a double degree from Wossamotta U., the Alma Mater of Bullwinkle the Moose and Rocky the Flying Squirrel that shows my aptitude to be a Brain Surgeon and Double-Naught Spy. Its written on cardboard so it must be true...

Anonymous cheddarman January 22, 2015 5:34 PM  

I will kick anyone's ass when it comes to knowledge of cheddar cheese flavor. I have a blackbelt in cheese science. i am calling you out, Bruce. Are you man, or cheese mold?

Blogger Josh January 22, 2015 5:35 PM  

I like cheese

Anonymous Cheddarman January 22, 2015 5:38 PM  

where is that pussy Bruce? I name him "cheese bitch" forthwith.

Blogger Student in Blue January 22, 2015 5:44 PM  

@PA
Quit being an obtuse dork.

Charming.

Hey, if you don't want me pointing out how you don't know the difference between entrepreneurship and real estate, then don't be blatantly wrong in the first place.

And at least man up and admit you screwed up.

Anonymous MendoScot January 22, 2015 6:21 PM  

People keep asking me why I stay in Argentina. The reason is that the rest of the world is becoming Argentina.

Anonymous Sam thre Man January 22, 2015 6:50 PM  

Bruce,

People,( myself included) did not like your post because of your insertion of an insult and an attempt to disqualify folks based on credentials. That is seen as a classically liberal technique that does not work on this site. Further your assumption that folks here are slope heads is equally unfounded. Some time ago the was a posting asking how many folks were employed in a technical capacity and if so what there background was. The response showed plenty of folks with advanced degrees in all sorts of technical areas ( EE is my area). So you comment of folks not being able to go to conferences was not nor comprehend these weighty matters was quite off.

Now were you intellectually honest you might have pulled back and checked your assumptions. Instead you used another classically liberal response; you referred to your superior credentials again. Again an attempt to disqualify folks opinions, rather than listen to their arguments. Further you have not really put forward your supposed studies, just indicated you read them and expect folks to accept these authorities. Another liberal method of attempting to avoid having to actually address an argument.

Now as an Engineer, surely you are aware that one can address an argument form first principles and need not rely on authorities alone, as very often academic studies are very flawed, given the rarified environment one finds in such places. So unless you want to declare yourself the winner and leave (another liberal techniques that does not get a passing grade here) come back and make a coherent argument, with references to specific studies on why your position is right and V.D’ s position is in error. Deal with the points raised by commentators, such as the issue of health care and education debt are recognized, but these issues have been exacerbated by US government’s previous attempts to help, so folks here very much doubt that the government will help in any way.

Do that and wind draw or lose, folks will be very willing to listen and debate you.

Regards

Blogger James Dixon January 22, 2015 7:47 PM  

> Treating an object, with perpetual maintenance costs, as if it is an investment is not entrepreneurship.

While I agree that owning a home/land doesn't make you an entrepreneur, it definitely is an investment. And like any other investment, has its pros and cons.

> My prediction is that it will begin by forcing all owners individual retirement plans to put a small percentage of their plan assets into U.S. Treasuries...for their own good,

Since every 401K I've seen over the past several years has been pushing targeted retirement funds, I assume they're now required by government regulation. That effectively your first step right there.

> Because housing prices never go down, right?

No, Josh. Because housing is a boom/bust field, and we're in the midst of one of the bust periods.

> Without that "cushion" of state-supported health care and education, it becomes extremely difficult to take entrepreneurial risks.

Funny, the US seemed to do fine for abut 200 years or so. But what do I know, it's not like I'm credentialed or anything, right?

Anonymous clk January 22, 2015 7:56 PM  

Vd says "I suspect you'll still be babbling about correlation and causation when all that's left are zombies rooting through the economic ruins of the nation. It seems to have escaped your attention that this isn't a science laboratory or a courtroom."

Well I hope thd zombies show up soon as I been stocking up on hot sauce....

Really.. as funny as you response...we can use your example your prove your point ...tell me... why did move to Italy ? Was it purely the business environment ? Since only you know the answer I guess you can say anything you prove your point maybe it eill informative anyway...

Anonymous VD January 22, 2015 9:12 PM  

Well, I have a PhD in electrical engineering.

Big fucking deal. So does my father. From MIT. And I've seen him get plenty of things wrong... he's the one in prison, as a matter of fact. You clearly don't know jack shit about business and it's not something that you learn about while getting a PhD in electrical engineering.

Also, I work with three Nordic startups and previously consulted for a large Nordic publicly traded company. So I know considerably more about Scandinavian business conditions than you do. You don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

cite research from scholars

(laughs) Yes, when I want to know about business, I talk to SCHOLARS. People who live off government handouts and have never worked in the private sector.

why did move to Italy ?

Quality of life.

Anonymous RedJack January 22, 2015 9:24 PM  

My grandfather, long passed on, screamed at me the day I got a 401K. He said that it wasn't my money, but controlled by the government and the company. It was at least as risky as a pension, but with the added risk of having some decisions be made by me.

He then sat me down and gave me a lecture about the various schemes in the 1920's that were similar, and how FDR (and he hated FDR more than the Prussians) just started seizing things he didn't like. In short, he taught me to put nothing into a government account that I wasn't prepared to lose.

Blogger James Dixon January 22, 2015 9:54 PM  

> My grandfather, long passed on, screamed at me the day I got a 401K. He said that it wasn't my money, but controlled by the government and the company.

He was largely correct. That doesn't mean it can't work to your advantage.

One technique for minimizing that risk? Put your money in after taxes. Let the company match vest. Pull your money out.

Blogger James Dixon January 22, 2015 10:11 PM  

With respect tor retirement savings, I expect 401K's to be hit first, then Roth IRA's, then traditional IRA's. I don't think the government will feel secure enough to take them all at once. I still wonder why anyone believes Roth IRA's will be safe, given the number of government lies in the past.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 22, 2015 11:12 PM  

Well, I was going to tell Bruce what I - after three-plus decades in engineering - thought of engineering PhDs, but I can't really top Vox's reply.

Anonymous Discard January 23, 2015 12:02 AM  

I've read here and there that Scandinavian-style socialism works much better with Scandinavians than with Vibrants, of which we have got a whole lot in this country. Free medical for the young and innovative means they have to wait in line behind Ahmeed, Analopius, Sucrecha and her five vibes, Quang Ho's parents, and Maria Villadiaria and all her tias and tios. Free college means that it is vital that we fully fund all transgender studies programs before pissing away money on engineering.
In short, spending money on ten useless people for every useful one is a poor investment.

Anonymous Keck January 23, 2015 12:17 AM  

"There are words to describe what Oregon is doing. It is called a death spiral."

And then...

"The state (OR) unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in six years after months of stagnation, with the December unemployment rate falling to 6.7 percent.

The driving force behind the decrease was rapid job growth that persisted through the last three months of 2014.

New businesses are bringing new jobs to the Beaver State. According to Secretary of State Kate Brown, a total of 58,960 new businesses registered in Oregon last year.

That makes for the fifth consecutive year in which Oregon's business population grew. Plus, the growth is accelerating: Approximately 2,000 more businesses registered in 2014 than did in 2013."
http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2015/01/21/oregon-economy-finished-record-pace-growth/22140135/

Ouch!

Anonymous Frozone January 23, 2015 12:02 PM  

@Keck

Interesting article. David Cooke, an economist with the Oregon Employment Department is quoted, but this is also added towards the bottom:

However, as the unemployment rate drops and job growth accelerates, not all Oregonians are enjoying the level of employment they'd like.

"There's still a large number of Oregonians working part-time that would like to work full-time, but they can't due to the economy not being as good as it was 10 years ago," Cooke said. "It's come down substantially, but it's still higher than it was pre-recession."

In 2009, at its peak, the number of Oregonians working part-time was more than 160,000. It's now come down to 113,000 — which is good, Cooke said.
But in 2004, before the recession, it was closer to 90,000.

"We still have a ways to go before the number of people part-time returns to a level that would be consistent with full-time employment," Cooke said.

Seems to be an example of more part-time jobs created rather than full-time which does not seem to be a great trend for Oregon or the rest of the country.

Blogger James Dixon January 23, 2015 9:08 PM  

> Seems to be an example of more part-time jobs created rather than full-time which does not seem to be a great trend for Oregon or the rest of the country.

Thank you, Obamacare. :(

Anonymous Discard January 23, 2015 9:53 PM  

Frozone: Depending on your circumstances, part-time work can be an opportunity. Don't spend the extra 20 hours a week of free time on amusing oneself if what you need is new skills. I was stuck in a part time job for several years and saw plenty of people complaining about not having enough money, but very few going to the local vocational training center.
I doubt that many people here need to be told this, but a lot of other people do.

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