A misguided view on Freelance Economy

freelancing job

It’s possible that sometimes business experts got it all wrong. Or perhaps they are looking at the big picture that they tend to neglect the finer details. I don’t hold any MBA or doctorate degree but I can offer my educated opinion and I’m entitled to (because this is my blog).

Take for instance the article of BusinessWeek writer/Case Western Reserve University professor Scott Shane about the negative impact of the so-called Freelance Economy. Here’s the gist of this article:

“I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in what entrepreneurship in America is becoming. Over the past decade, we have been creating more non-employer businesses and fewer employer businesses per capita. (Employer businesses are companies that the Census Bureau reports have at least one employee; non-employer businesses have no employees.)…

Why am I concerned about this trend? Non-employer businesses aren’t the source of job or wealth creation that employer businesses are, which means the U.S. economy doesn’t benefit as much from them. By definition, non-employer businesses don’t create any jobs, and their sales and profits are quite low.”

I happen to believe that every business, big or small, adds value to the economy. Period. The rest is just intellectual masturbation. And I’m not alone in this argument. Here are some interesting and logical comments from other readers as well:

From Brock: So it is better for me quit self-employment and get a job, because that can be counted in job-creation statistics? That doesn’t make sense unless you work in the white house and are nervous about not having created any net jobs this year. Or is the article’s reasoning that “wealth creation” actually means “more tax revenue?” Or is the author envious because his tenured job prevents him from self-employment? I’m obviously unconvinced.

From Alora Chistiakoff: I think your analysis is a bit imbalanced: I don’t think the freelancer-to-entrepreneur comparison is faulty, and what is more accurate is the freelancer-to-employee comparison — particularly given how large a percentage of the freelancer population is rooted in displaced former-employees. You’re analysis also neglects other factors such as the difference in lifestyle (and its ripple-effects on everything from personal health, health care expenses, fuel consumption from sitting in traffic, etc.) that have secondary large-scale economic implications — many of which are also positive. I think you’re applying an Industrial Age set of standards to an Information Age issue, and it is resulting in a lot of missed nuance.

I find this article more insightful and unbiased.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Security Code: