I read this article today and really didn't agree with much of what he said. As a business owners, my husband and I have owned a retail business since 1994. We used to be brick and mortar, but switched it all online about 12 years ago due to increased costs across of owning a walk in business. It was great online for awhile, but overhead has been steadily creeping up, even as we make cuts. Profits are down due to mostly the cost of shipping. Shipping charges through the USPS and UPS over the years have increased to such a high amount, it's almost not worth it anymore. Many packages we only break even. Last year both shipping methods went up 18%, again. Amazon gets huge shipping discounts, which makes it impossible to compete. A 3 pound package would cost me $35-45 to ship two day air.
We still do run our, now tiny, online business, but only make a fraction of what we used to. My husband has another full time job. Five years ago, he got a job mostly for insurance, now we need it for income. Insurance coverage is the second reason Mom and Pops just can't make it anymore. Our last private insurance quote was $2500 a month for a family of four through Blue Cross. None of us have major or minor health problems, but I had a breast cancer scare. Now those companies want an arm and a leg to insure me. So our only choice is for one of us to have a job through a company that offers insurance benefits.
I believe this is the same for lots of business owners! The health insurance industry in this country has really killed the spirit of opening up your own business, especially for people in their 40's and 50's.
I don't think people are lazy and don't want to open businesses. It's just not very lucrative in this day and age. Retail is almost dead for the small business owner. All those stores of the past (book stores, art galleries, gift shops, card shops, clothing stores, frame shops) just can't make a comfortable living anymore. There is way too much competition from the big box stores and Amazon. I remember when everyone was fighting to save small book sellers from Borders and Barnes and Nobel. Now we are just hoping Barnes and Nobel will make it!
The author also talks about productively being down, but I had read that it is way up. Most people now do the same workload that 2.5 Americans did 30 years ago. I saw this is a couple of jobs I had over the last five years. The companies kept labor costs lower, by always keeping a labor shortage. The same work load that 3 people had done previously was done by just one person to increase per person productively. Companies started using software like Dayforce and schedule employees by how much money those employees make per hour (all by sales per hour). Of course it doesn't take into account the work that has to be to stock the stores during non-business hours.