We are all slowly becoming individual capitalists
DR JONATHAN M Scott and Matthew Sinclair of the Taxpayers’ Alliance this week publish “Tax and entrepreneurship – How the tax system impedes the creation of new firms and decreases employment”. Growing up in the household of an entrepreneur, and through my 12 years in the UK working with some of the best entrepreneurs of this country, I’ve seen the application of entrepreneurial talents to some of the most thorny problems in the business world as well as the social landscape.
Entrepreneurs who are successful tend to want to send the lift down to help the next batch of super motivated entrepreneurs with their visions. We are fortunate that there exists a class of people who are prepared to live abnormal lives in the bringing to life of their vision of the world, their products and services. Greatness drove them, not work-life balance. They sought excellence, profits and transparency, and made the impossible inevitable.
That is the human spirit, and it drives every entrepreneur. It is the celebration of the new, the wonderful, and yes, ego drives a lot of it, but all of society benefits.
We are all slowly becoming Individual Capitalists. Not only can the government not shoulder the burden of the bloated welfare state which it has created.
The balance sheet creaks enough already. But far more importantly, we – the little guys of the world – know what to do with our lives. We don’t need government intervention and quangos; we need more of our own money to build our own lives, businesses, and communities. Governments don’t tend to downsize, and therein lies the heart of the problem.
Society benefits when the outcomes of people’s decisions are borne by them. The trouble in the UK is that effortlessness is considered a virtue. So British society doesn’t educate itself about the work that went behind the fortunes as the whole goal is to make it look easy. Entrepreneurs instinctively shrug their shoulders when it comes to matters of government bureaucracy and tax.
Frankly, they don’t have time to try to throw off the unhelpful laws which eat at their drive.
But Scott and Sinclair’s book gets to the heart of how damaging the tie is between the current tax system and entrepreneurship. This results in lower employment.
Let’s not saddle the entrepreneur with a tax burden before, during and after their contribution to society, but recognise that without them, all of society would slow to a crawl.
Read Tax and Entrepreneurship, and let the implications run through you of how big the UK’s contribution to the world could be if its entrepreneurs were empowered through smart tax policy.
Julie Meyer is CEO of Ariadne Capital.