THE GREAT DEPRESSION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, AND CITY TRAFFIC

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Ever wonder why the Great Depression was so Great?  It wasn’t just the Mild Blues or Mediocre Melancholy.  According to Robert Higgs, the Great Depression lasted so long and hit so hard because everyone freaked out.  The government started all these taxes and programs and businesses weren’t having it so they just froze for a decade or so.  It wasn’t until stability was restored that people could move on.

If you aren’t one of the 17 Austrian economists out there, you might have your own theory about the country’s worst economic downturn.  But I see the regime of uncertainty taking dominion everywhere.  It explains why someone on the highway sees an empty egg carton on the side of the road and suddenly the eight-lane freeway stops to a dead halt for .25 miles. It explains why life after college seems SO SCARY and I find myself wishing for those “worry-free” days of 24/7 studying.

A co-worker recently told me that an entrepreneur is someone who can live in ambiguity.  Actually live.  Not just do the same rote routine everyday and turn into bed each night shell-shocked from the uncertainty that is everywhere.  But someone who sees opportunities in the uncertainty and is willing to find that clarity, brush the dirt off, and polish it up so everyone can see it shine.

I think artists have this knack too.  Their world is always full of motion and they understand better than most that beautiful things emerge from the chaos, not just from the concrete and collected.

Some days, the ambiguity seems paralyzing.  But today, I refuse to sink into a Great Depression.  Today I am an entrepreneur and an artist and tomorrow, I’ll be putting my diamonds on display.


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