According to a report from Eurobarometer in 2004, 46% of Americans are tempted to become self-employed, as opposed to 33% of the EU 15 and 32% of the EU 25. Why the big difference? Well, supposedly it has to do with the attitude of different countries/people in those countries towards the possible failure of the business. In my Tourism Politics & Policy class today, we discussed this and the tutor said it is the common perception that Americans feel they can pick themselves up, dust off and move on if they venture into small business ownership and fail, whereas in Europe, it is humiliating to fail and therefore, people may not want to take the risk. I’m not sure I agree with this generalization about Americans, but then again, I don’t know that I have the backgroud knowledge to make a completely informed decision. Any thoughts?
Also, during this discussion, I heard America referred to, once again as on many other occasions since I’ve moved here, as an innovator. All things start in America was a comment made by my GP the other week. I’m surprised by this. I guess it is true that we do initiate a lot of things, but we also are behind in some ways, I think, and we are such a young country in relation to the rest of the world. Can we really have that many fresh ideas? If we do, why do we? It’s an interesting concept to me.