Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Bad Sign for the Government Dependency Pimps

According to the Census, more than 10 million Americans are self-employed, up from about 8 million in 1980. Even more telling, the number of "non-employer firms" -- businesses with no payroll -- recently topped 20 million, up from 15 million in the late 1990s. A lot of people with jobs also have businesses on the side they hope will become big enough to support them.

And so the term "boss" today applies to a lot more of us than ever before. If you have 6 million bosses in companies across the country, and 10 million self-employed, then out of 145 million people working, roughly one in 10 can be said to be the boss. No wonder Michael Scott of "The Office" -- who at least is the boss of his own domain -- is the center of workplace satire today, rather than lunch-bucket stiffs like Archie Bunker or Mary Tyler Moore. As bosses, we are the chief executives of billions of dollars of value, even if it's just a sideline, a startup or not yet fully formed.