“The time and importance of entrepreneurism in America is over.” Carl Schramm, CEO of the Kauffman Foundation was quoting the words of the renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith from his 1967 book The New Industrial State. At the time, Japan was on ascendancy. The USA was struggling with high unemployment and low growth. Galbraith and others thought that the country needed centralized planning just like the Japanese.
It was a time of BIG! There was Big Government, Big Business and Big Unions. These three worked together, setting out a plan for the country. This was a time of “What is good for General Motors is good for the U. S.”
How wrong they were. As Schramm pointed out the U. S. has moved from a Big to Better Society, with the growth of entrepreneurs rather than big business driving our economy. A number of changes speeded the transformation with changes in pension laws; development of Venture Capital; deregulation; and the winning of the cold war all encouraged a more entrepreneurial approach in our country.
Schramm’s prediction is that “we will move from being an ownership society to becoming the entrepreneurial society.” I couldn’t agree with him more.