The right to industry vs unnecessary risk taking: On land cost impeding entrepreneurship

Unless one’s business is fully digital and can work from home, the small business owner requires space for operation.

“Entrepreneurship” has taken on a badge of honour, and that persons who eventually succeed have surmounted an incredible amount of risk.

Among those risks is the exorbitant land cost, i.e. rent or mortgage, that one needs to cover even before payment of wages, cost of goods, and eventually the self.

Private ownership, state ownership and public ownership of a country’s land is best understood when referenced to examples of philanthropists donating land to the people (not the state), but that which is ultimately managed by the state. This allows for the building of critical infrastructure for industry and commerce, as well as housing for the population, cheaply.

Other methods of land acquisition by the state include persuasion, coercion, or by law.

Fast forward to the present, wherever you may be situated, there is a high likelihood that land is expensive, more so if your locality is industrialised or “first world”. And this land cost is due to the ever increasing parcels of land transferring from the state to profiteering private hands, or state monopoly of land on the other end of the spectrum. Either way, both operate in a manner that extracts wealth from businesses.

Quoting a friend who prefers to remain anonymous, a micro / small business, or a family business should just be referred to as such: a business. It should not have to come with frill associations such as the concept of “entrepreneurship”.

In essence, businesses ought to be treated as a means of livelihood and not an aspiration, and this is what I meant when I call it the people’s right to industry, as much as they have the right to housing, clean water, food etc.

There is no better institution to ensure the right to industry than the state, to provide truly* cheap space for its citizens to start their means of livelihood without over consideration of the risks. Again, I refer to past land donations as a reference. The state can allocate land in like manner to encourage entrepreneurship in meaningful ways.

I do not intend to address naysayers, including the state, in detail as they are likely to be landowners and property owners making unproductive profits off the sweats and brows of those who do actual work. The state itself, who are invariably landlords, operating assets into the billions would perhaps think of $3000.00 for a certain meaningful operating space as being cheap. But $3000.00 means the world to a small businessperson.

Finally, this post primarily seeks to inform aspiring entrepreneurs a potential consideration before taking the plunge.

Good luck.

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