So, one the (many) incomprehensible statements by Mitt Romney—the Silver Spoon presidential candidate—was that young people who don’t have jobs should borrow money from their parents to start a business.
Now, I’m all for entrepreneurship. However, young people who are jobless . . . . perhaps lack job skills? Perhaps are not the best to strike out on their own, mastering the art of the Business Plan, contracts, rentals and lines of credit—even if it is one’s parents. I would also point out that not everyone’s parents have the resources to lend a young person money to play around with starting a business that apparently isn’t sufficiently viable to warrant tax incentives and traditional small business credit options.
When I look at the current economy, what I wonder is, why aren’t some of the people at the other end of the spectrum—the seasoned workers with paid for houses and pensions and assets—the ones who should know where the problems and opportunities are, why aren’t the parents starting businesses?
This is not to say that I don’t think young people shouldn’t start their own businesses. But I do think it is a cop-out from a public policy standpoint in a down economy to tell a young person who is jobless, inexperienced and likely with few assets of their own that they should navigate the challenging and highly risky world of entrepreneurship while seasoned workers who’ve had their 30 years in the institutional employers continue as is.
Maybe the parents should start a business with their kid? Or maybe the parent generation should start a business and employ a kid, anyone’s kid.