The Death Cross Of American Business

So much for the recovery… As WaPo reports, the American economy is less entrepreneurial now than at any point in the last three decades. A rather damning new Brookings Institution report shows that US businesses are being destroyed faster than they’re being created. As the authors of the report ominously explain: If the decline persists, “it implies a continuation of slow growth for the indefinite future,” as new business creation has been cut in half since 1978.


This is the death cross of American Business!!


And the bottom line from Hathaway and Litan:

Overall, the message here is clear. Business dynamism and entrepreneurship are experiencing a troubling secular decline in the United States. Existing research and a cursory review of broad data aggregates show that the decline in dynamism hasn’t been isolated to particular industrial sectors and firm sizes.


Here we demonstrated that the decline in entrepreneurship and business dynamism has been nearly universal geographically the last three decades—reaching all fifty states and all but a few metropolitan areas.


Doing so requires a more complete knowledge about what drives dynamism, and especially entrepreneurship, than currently exists. But it is clear that these trends fit into a larger narrative of business consolidation occurring in the U.S. economy—whatever the reason, older and larger businesses are doing better relative to younger and smaller ones. Firms and individuals appear to be more risk averse too—businesses are hanging on to cash, fewer people are launching firms, and workers are less likely to switch jobs or move.

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