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One of the more disappointing and persistent trends particularly since the financial crisis of 2008-2009 but actually dating to the late 70’s has been the steady erosion of America’s entrepreneurial spirit as measured by the ratio of new business starts to failures and the numbers of folks employed by startup companies less than 1-year old. Based on a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal the percentage of firms less than one-year old in 1977 was 16%, by 2014 that total had fallen by half to just 8%. Employment at startup firms has also dropped sharply from just under 6% in 1977 to just 2.1% of the total workforce today. Indeed, this diminished entrepreneurism partially explains the loss of productivity as fast growing young companies where a primary source of economic and business innovation.


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