Josh Bolinger: Can Entrepreneurs Save Us?
They don’t wear capes, but entrepreneurs can be heroes.
Sometimes it seems everywhere we look for hope, we see disappointment. The two big major forces in society, government and large corporations, sometimes seem mired in the mud of corruption and greed.
Government has become a massive bureaucracy, caught in its own partisan infighting, unable to take action. We have seen in the last few years, particularly at the national level, that our representatives in Washington are paralyzed by their own battles between one side and the other, and unable to move forward. We have seen no effective action on the major issues of the day, and even a downgrade of our national credit rating as the legislature is barely even able to agree on paying the bills they have racked up. Certainly they have done almost nothing to assist our gradual recovery from the financial crisis, and real unemployment has barely changed, despite the reported numbers ticking up slightly.
Big business, too, seems unable to move forward. Innovation and revolutionary thinking have practically vanished from the field of American competition, as a looting mentality takes over. We see business leaders focusing on minor refinements to convince us new products are being introduced, and prioritizing quarter-by-quarter profits and the big bonuses they produce over creating a foundation for genuine long-term growth.
At the same time, we also have seen top entrepreneurs using wealth to make change happen. Massive philanthropic efforts, venture capital investments in small start-ups to create jobs and new products to improve people’s lives all over the world, and even social programs to improve health, education, and freedom of expression have come from the time and money that these individuals have given to try to make the world a better place.
Certainly, it would be good to see government become effective again. And it would also be great to see the largest corporations become job factories again, and show us some real innovation. In the meantime, the independent investor, with money and vision, will have to be our hero.