Economic Freedom and Independence
The foundations of economic freedom and independence are personal choice, voluntary exchange, and open markets. The impact on economic freedom depends on what we learn from this economic downturn. The route that is chosen matters because higher levels of economic freedom are strongly related to greater prosperity and human well-being. Individualism and independence within a society must be achieved, protected and perpetuated through a free enterprise system and the active encouragement of entrepreneurship. A major goal of the American economic system is to maintain economic freedom. Individuals are free to engage in free enterprise and competition. That is, they are free to choose where they will work, to open their own business, if they so desire, and to choose the type and quantity of goods or services they will produce.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to lead the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours”. – Henry David Thoreau
Each generation builds on the achievements of the past. Therefore, the greatest progress is yet to be made. Belief in the future is perhaps the most important value for a free society. If we think that nothing can improve or if we think that the world is coming to an end, we don’t work hard for a better and more civilized future. And we will all be miserable.
History has repeatedly demonstrated that new companies and entrepreneurship are the way to bolster a flagging economy. It’s clear that the landscape has changed. Instead of sitting by and watching their futures grow bleaker; companies are harnessing impressive changes in business culture and technology to create a grass-roots economy.
The accomplishments of entrepreneurs in our modern world have been possible because of a climate of individual freedom that is so rare in human history. The society that does not honor entrepreneurial accomplishment will find fewer people engaged in wealth creation. History has shown time and again that economies that appreciate the benefits created by entrepreneurs flourish, while those that devise laws and regulations aimed at seizing the entrepreneurs’ rewards flounder. To flourish, entrepreneurs need an economic environment that encourages free markets. Promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing the entrepreneurial dynamic should be an integral element of any government’s commitment to boosting economic wellbeing.
The only way out to improve our economy is through the growth of small business. We are the ones who create jobs in this country. I have been an entrepreneur and small business owner for over 25 years and have the scars to prove it. It would be a great idea if the powers that be wake up and see that we can put America back to work. Let the entrepreneurs do what they do best, circulate the flow of money, create jobs and get the economy flowing again. Americans are looking to business leaders instead of government, by a two-to-one margin, to lead the way out of the economic mess we are in.
Supporting development of a vibrant private sector has become an essential component to boost the growth and stability of economies. We encourage a sound business climate for investment; enhance productivity and competitiveness and support entrepreneurship .Entrepreneurs, like everyone else, respond to incentives. In a free market economy, one of the strongest incentives that drive entrepreneurs is to please customers and thereby earn a profit.
The expansion of the private sector, notably, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a powerful engine of economic growth and the main source of job creation. Entrepreneurs are like the spark in an engine, igniting new ideas and discoveries that move the economy forward. They seek ways to improve current products, processes and services and they are willing to take risks to make things better.
A free market economy allows for competition among producers of goods or services. Competition provides another incentive for entrepreneurs to be creative. Entrepreneurs flourish in an environment that rewards them for their success and keeps them looking around the corner for competitors who may be gaining on them. When customers have a wide array of choices available to them, there is a greater burden on entrepreneurs to constantly find new and better ways of doing things.
A set of social and cultural values that encourages new enterprise is a prerequisite of entrepreneurial activity and a defining feature of an entrepreneurial society and the growth of our economy. Yes, there are winners and losers in a free market environment. The winners are those who are honest, industrious, thoughtful, prudent, frugal, responsible, disciplined, and efficient. The losers are those who are shiftless, lazy, imprudent, extravagant, negligent, impractical, and inefficient.
A movement that has been slowly building in the business world is finally taking hold: We’re seeing the beginnings of the entrepreneurial economy, a system built on nimble, low-overhead, oftentimes small companies with fluid workforces, rather than the massive conglomerates that have upheld the economy for decades. The rise of the entrepreneur economy isn’t just an experiment or political buzzword, a growing number of companies have used small and agile management techniques to produce breakout success. The characteristics of the entrepreneur are unlimited drive, initiative, insight, energy, daring creativity, optimism and ingenuity. The entrepreneur is one who sees in every field a potential garden, in every seed an apple. Wealth starts with ideas in people’s heads.
The one thing that the entrepreneur values over all others is freedom, the freedom to experiment, invent and produce. The one thing that the entrepreneur dreads is government intervention. Government taxation and regulation are the means by which social planners punish and restrict the man or woman of ideas. A market system in which individuals, not the government makes decisions about how to use most of the economy’s resources and provides entrepreneurs one of the best environments in which to flourish. In a free market, the potential to make a profit supplies a huge incentive for entrepreneurs to come up with new and better ideas.
Being entrepreneurial means charging down a new path, staying alert to opportunity and taking risks to seize the opportunity. It means having energy, vision, optimism and daring to try something new. Unleashing these innovators and job creators are the best way to assure a sustained recovery and to assure that the state of our union is strong. Government and public policy officials and opinion leaders from all spheres have a key role to play in creating a culture that validates and promotes entrepreneurship throughout society.
The bottom line is that while limited government is necessary and consistent with an essentially free economy, there are limits to how large the size and scope of government can grow without killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP
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