An entrepreneur who starts with nothing and builds a successful small company is far more of a winner than someone who inherits a large company and leaves it no bigger or better than when he or she assumed control. It is much harder to create something from nothing than it is to grow a small company, and once a company becomes large it seems to assume a momentum of its own. Really giant companies, like General Motors for instance, can become so politically important that they are not allowed to fail, no matter how ineptly they may be run. This was shown to great effect in the financial crisis of 2008-9, when a whole host of huge companies had to be rescued by the government after the inept managements ran them into insolvency. Car companies GM and Chrysler, banks Citigroup and Bank of America, insurance giant AIG, and a whole host of other companies received billions in taxpayer bailouts. The CEOs of these companies made not just millions of dollars in salaries, but often ten millions, and sometimes hundreds of millions in stock options. Yet, in each industry, like lemmings following each other off a cliff, it turns out that they had all followed the same wrong headed policies, whether that was investing in mortgage backed securites, making overly generous deals with unions, or taking on far more debt than they could manage. starting something new always takes a far greater effort than merely assuming control of an existing institution.


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