Gallup: Europeans not feeling great about their business, entrepreneurship prospects

posted at 8:41 pm on March 24, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Dang. As I mentioned over the weekend, the poor prospects for would-be entrepreneurs and businesspeople in  France has young people and resourceful types fleeing their home country for better opportunities elsewhere in heightened numbers. France has an almost record-high unemployment rate at just under 11 percent at the moment, but the avalanche of red tape and business taxes that France imposes on its economy create a prohibitive environment that makes it difficult for potential start-up companies to get going and create the jobs and wealth that the country so desperately needs — and evidently, the feelings of gloom plaguing the French are hardly among the worst in Europe. Via Gallup:

032114 EU Entrepreneur

Yikes. That means that the respondents in only a handful of the area’s smaller economies feel that the government helps rather than hinders new businesses, and the heavy polarization on the question in places like Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal is not encouraging. Italy is consistently ranked within the top ten countries by GDP, and they have an unemployment rate of over 12 percent, while Spain is sitting at a whopping 26 percent — and as the survey’s authors put it, the forecast for business activity to pull them out of that economic torpor are not looking good:

Late last month, EU Commissioner Olli Rehn characterized the EU’s recovery as “gaining ground” and suggested that the “worst of the crisis may now be behind us.” But he also cautioned that the recovery is “still modest.” All EU countries, with the exception of Cyprus and Slovenia, are expected to avoid recession in 2014. However, the situation clearly remains difficult in many member states where unemployment, and particularly youth unemployment, are high and where little relief is expected. Entrepreneurship could be part of the solution to job creation in many of the countries that need the most help, but barriers to starting a business — either real or perceived — will need to first come down.


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I don’t understand: Aren’t there any rich people they can tax, to get them out of this? It seems to work so well here.

orangemtl on March 24, 2014 at 8:48 PM

They left out the “I Don’t Care, I Want More Free Stuff” category. I’m pretty sure that would have dwarfed them all.

Axeman on March 24, 2014 at 8:48 PM

I’ve seen our future, and it’s…

vnvet on March 24, 2014 at 8:55 PM

I read an article maybe a year ago now about a gentleman who was attempting to start up a hotel in Greece. It had taken him ten years and they still hadn’t broken ground. Red tape and bureaucratic games.

But that’s what the countries who go socialist end up doing…they add layer upon layer upon layer of regs to anything productive in the economy (to suck both the money and the life out of it). Processing all that red tape becomes “generating jobs” with all the high$$$ benefits and pensions attached.

Wonder how many of those young people have even been exposed to entrepreneurial activities? Make a great opportunity for someone like Donald Trump, wouldn’t it?

lineholder on March 24, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Sweden at 51% easy? They did ditch some socialism.

rbj on March 24, 2014 at 8:59 PM

A problem that higher taxation and moar government can solve.

Murphy9 on March 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Cyprus confiscated the bank accounts of its citizens to help pay the governments debt. Ukraine now wants to do the same. The US is probably not for behind if the democrats stay in power.

Confiscating peoples money is not a good way to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.

Kaffa on March 24, 2014 at 9:01 PM

I read an article maybe a year ago now about a gentleman who was attempting to start up a hotel in Greece. It had taken him ten years and they still hadn’t broken ground. Red tape and bureaucratic games.

lineholder on March 24, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I read a similar situation in San Francisco about someone who wanted to open a retail shop – ice cream? I don’t recall the details.

Kaffa on March 24, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Well, I can tell you that my business with Europe that has been really up and down for the last couple of years in currently… down.

This thing with Ukraine has got a lot of them nervous.

trigon on March 24, 2014 at 9:04 PM

I don’t understand: Aren’t there any rich people they can tax, to get them out of this? It seems to work so well here.
orangemtl on March 24, 2014 at 8:48 PM
The answer to that is even the rich can’t support a European social state in decline. Australia is going the same way but the natives delude themselves into the idea of free medicine.

sorrowen on March 24, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Sweden at 51% easy? They did ditch some socialism.

rbj on March 24, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Not entirely. They follow what is called “New Collectivism”. It’s utilizing the revenues from capitalism to pay for the social welfare programs in the country. But there are still plenty of those socialistic welfare policy programs in place.

New Collectivism

lineholder on March 24, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Sweden is also broke….they just find joy in their brokness.

sorrowen on March 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Just print trillions of Euros … it’s working for U.S. …

/Leftard

ShainS on March 24, 2014 at 9:11 PM

There are entrepreneurs in Europe? Who knew?

Consider this…

Think of all of the big name companies that were around in the US in the 60s and 70s.

Think about how many are gone and how many new big name there are now.

Now do the same with Europe. You will find far more big name companies from the 60s and 70s still around in neo-socialist Europe than in the US. You will find that few have disappeared. And you will find far fewer new big name non-American companies.

Neo-socialist Europe implements its version of socialism the fascist way — through government control, heavy regulation, and protection of big corporations. Government does not need outright ownership of the means of production when it can achieve the same results through heavy regulation and control. And by doing the big companies a favor by quashing entrepreneurship with rules, regulations, compliance costs, and taxes.

When the government can exercise ownership rights without ownership it has the best of both worlds. On the one hand it gets the control it wants and the bureaucracies it needs. On the other hand it can blame corporate failures it causes on someone else. And, the government also makes sure favored big businesses don’t fail.

Plus this crony socialism makes it easier to justify the two class society socialism inevitably creates. The privileged socialist elites move between government and big corporate upper management, and in the process make themselves wealthy and powerful. Everyone else is sentenced to what is essentially a lower middle class life. The ruling European aristocracy and pre-20th century elites never really went away. The smarter ones transformed themselves into neo-socialists.

farsighted on March 24, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Sweden is also broke….they just find joy in their brokness.

sorrowen on March 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

I don’t doubt that. They had some policies that never made any sense to me at all….like providing over 500 paid days off per year with government covering the cost. (Not a typo…that was their policy)

lineholder on March 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

I’ve had people tell me that we have yet to catch with Europe on the social and economic front. My question to them well how low can you go?? Incinerating dead babies and dead ecomonic growth??

sorrowen on March 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM

I don’t doubt that. They had some policies that never made any sense to me at all….like providing over 500 paid days off per year with government covering the cost. (Not a typo…that was their policy)
lineholder on March 24, 2014 at 9:14 PM. 500 off days that is not a recipe for economic success it’s a way to sky high debt wise I hate to say it but Europe is more in Debt then we are.

sorrowen on March 24, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Just raise taxes. Duh.

KMC1 on March 24, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Sweden is also broke….they just find joy in their brokness.

sorrowen on March 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

They are used to living with depression. Socialism kills prosperity.

crankyoldlady on March 24, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Coming soon to a country near you. Already here in blue states.

jukin3 on March 24, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Europeans not feeling great about their business, entrepreneurship prospects

go into the baby burning business…and expand that to the geriatric field!

KOOLAID2 on March 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

All they need to do is mint a few of those trillion Euro coins and everything will be solved. Duh!

307wolverine on March 24, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Sweden is also broke….they just find joy in their brokness.

sorrowen on March 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

They are used to living with depression. Socialism kills prosperity.

crankyoldlady on March 24, 2014 at 9:45 PM

I got to Sweden for business and this is absolutely true. They live a very basic and spartan lifestyle that Americans would absolutely abhor. If more Americans knew this, they’d just laugh when we are told how awesome Sweden’s socialist structure is. Swedes have no idea how bad they have it because generally they are not able to travel much to America, and can only base their opinions on what they hear from the media.

Swedish chicks are super hot though, if a bit lacking in the social skills.

KMC1 on March 24, 2014 at 10:37 PM

There are entrepreneurs in Europe? Who knew?

Consider this…Think of all of the big name companies that were around in the US in the 60s and 70s.Think about how many are gone and how many new big name there are now.Now do the same with Europe. You will find far more big name companies from the 60s and 70s still around in neo-socialist Europe than in the US. You will find that few have disappeared. And you will find far fewer new big name non-American companies.

Neo-socialist Europe implements its version of socialism the fascist way — through government control, heavy regulation, and protection of big corporations. Government does not need outright ownership of the means of production when it can achieve the same results through heavy regulation and control. And by doing the big companies a favor by quashing entrepreneurship with rules, regulations, compliance costs, and taxes.

When the government can exercise ownership rights without ownership it has the best of both worlds. On the one hand it gets the control it wants and the bureaucracies it needs. On the other hand it can blame corporate failures it causes on someone else. And, the government also makes sure favored big businesses don’t fail.

Plus this crony socialism makes it easier to justify the two class society socialism inevitably creates. The privileged socialist elites move between government and big corporate upper management, and in the process make themselves wealthy and powerful. Everyone else is sentenced to what is essentially a lower middle class life. The ruling European aristocracy and pre-20th century elites never really went away. The smarter ones transformed themselves into neo-socialists.farsighted on March 24, 2014 at 9:13 PM

You pegged it. Another good example of cronyism, there once was a “senator” who had the portfolio for tourism to Berlin. There were 3 govt employees that worked in the office. If anyone or any organization contacted them about visiting Berlin, they’d send brochures and booklets for free. They even had some cool posters for free. When the senator retired, the Berlin Government suddenly decided that maintaining the office was uneconomical and shut down the office. Bam. Three employees who loved their job didn’t have one anymore. According to one of them, a consolation job in another dept paid less and sucked but he took it. Another took unemployment instead.

90 days after the shutdown, Berlin proudly announced that there a new organization was being stood upto promote Berlin. Berlin was going to go into public/private partnership with the retired senator. This GSE would leverage the 21st century and yada yada. They set up with a chic suite of offices at a premier address.

Berlin wound up contributing triple the annual budget of the old public entity. And oh, no more free brochures, booklets or even posters. Even though the senator used to see the staff often and knew them all by name, none of them were invited to partake in his bounty. And the local tourism industry now had to pay to play in his “Berlin’s Official Tourism Bureau”. Last i checked, a few years after the transformation, folks in the industry were grumbling because they weren’t seeing a ROI commensurate with the added fees. But the senator’s powerful and had friends so what could they do about it?. Ain’t cronyism grand.

AH_C on March 24, 2014 at 11:06 PM

B$T coins.

Sherman1864 on March 24, 2014 at 11:49 PM

Sweden is quite friendly and has a good standard of living. Plus meatballs.

antisense on March 25, 2014 at 9:30 AM

I doubt the US would fare a lot better, at least among people trying to start business in certain states. Think Uber, AirBnB, and anything new that goes up against an entrenched cartel.

RickCaird on March 25, 2014 at 9:55 AM