Eric Wieffering has covered Minnesota's economy and business community for more than two decades. His column appears two to three times a week, including Sunday.

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Job killing health care costs

Posted by: Eric Wieffering under Business trends, Health care Updated: October 31, 2011 - 1:23 PM

 Over at the Washington Post, Brad Blumer writes about something I've noted here frequently in the past: That new businesses, not small businesses, are the true job creation engine in the U.S.

So how does this country do on new business formation?

Not so good. Bumer cites a study that says we rank 23rd among developed countries, behind the likes of  "countries like New Zealand, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden and Norway. But we're also, a little unexpectedly, lagging behind countries like Hungary and Slovenia."

How could this be?

After all, many erstwhile U.S. startups — Google, Apple, Boeing, FedEx — are now the envy of the world. So why don’t we have more of them? Wimberly suggests that the thin U.S. safety net might be a factor. It’s easier, after all, to take a risk, quit your day job, and start a new business if you don’t have to worry about getting health-care coverage. One piece of evidence on this score: A 2010 RAND study found that Americans are much more likely to start new businesses as soon as they turn 65 and qualify for Medicare

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