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Εντρεπρενέρ με τα λεφτά του μπαμπά

Ο μύθος του νεαρού, ασυμβίβαστου και ριψοκίνδυνου επιχειρηματία που γνωρίζει την επιτυχία χάρη στη σκληρή δουλειά και (ίσως) κάποια γενετική προδιάθεση στην ανάληψη ρίσκου, κατέρρευσε και επισήμως στο τέλος του 2017. Αν γεννηθείς φτωχός θα πεθάνεις πιθανότατα φτωχός. Και αν γεννηθείς πλούσιος θα κάνεις ό,τι θέλεις.

του Άρη Χατζηστεφάνου

Ο Φίλιπ Αλστον συγκέντρωσε φρικτές εικόνες από το ταξίδι του στις ΗΠΑ. Είδε ανθρώπους με σαπισμένα δόντια, που δεν μπορούσαν να επισκεφθούν έναν οδοντίατρο. Είδε άστεγους και πολίτες που πέθαιναν από ιάσιμες ασθένειες ή απλώς… από τη μόλυνση του περιβάλλοντος.

Ως ειδικός εισηγητής του ΟΗΕ για την Ακραία Φτώχεια και τα Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα είχε καθήκον να καταγράψει ότι τουλάχιστον ένας στους οκτώ κατοίκους της πλουσιότερης χώρας του κόσμου ζει κάτω από το όριο της φτώχειας και να παρουσιάσει μερικά παραδείγματα, που θα έκαναν την έκθεσή του λίγο πιο «θελκτική» για τα διεθνή μέσα ενημέρωσης.

Ο Αλστον όμως συμπεριέλαβε και μια φράση που αποτελεί τη χαριστική βολή για το ημιθανές σώμα του αμερικανικού ονείρου: «Αν θέλετε να μιλήσετε για το αμερικανικό όνειρο», είπε, θα πρέπει να γνωρίζετε ότι «ένα παιδί που γεννιέται φτωχό στις ΗΠΑ δεν έχει στατιστικά σχεδόν καμία πιθανότητα να ξεφύγει από τη φτώχεια».

Το συμπέρασμά του αμφισβητούσε τον πυρήνα του μύθου της αριστείας, που υποστηρίζει ότι η σκληρή δουλειά είναι το μόνο που απαιτείται για να εξασφαλίσει κάποιος την επιτυχία στη φιλελεύθερη Αμερική… ή ακόμη και στη μνημονιακή Ελλάδα.

Ερχεται μάλιστα να συμπληρώσει πρόσφατη έρευνα, που δημοσιεύθηκε στην επιστημονική επιθεώρηση Child Development και αναφέρει ότι τα φτωχά παιδιά, που πιστεύουν σε έννοιες όπως η «αξιοκρατία», η «αριστεία» και η «κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη», καταλήγουν να απογοητεύονται και οδηγούνται συχνά σε επικίνδυνες και αυτοκαταστροφικές συμπεριφορές «καθώς αρχίζουν να αμφισβητούν τον εαυτό τους, για προβλήματα τα οποία δεν θα μπορούσαν να ελέγξουν».

Αντίθετα, εξηγούσε η επικεφαλής της έρευνας Εριν Γκόντφρεϊ, «όταν ανήκεις σε προνομιούχα στρώματα και πιστεύεις ότι το σύστημα είναι δίκαιο και συνεπώς θα πας μπροστά αν προσπαθήσεις αρκετά σκληρά, δεν δημιουργούνται εσωτερικές συγκρούσεις… απλώς αισθάνεσαι ικανοποιημένος με τον εαυτό σου που τα κατάφερε».

Οι παρατηρήσεις του Αλστον και της Γκόντφρεϊ καταρρίπτουν όμως και ακόμη έναν μύθο που τα τελευταία χρόνια εξαπλώνεται σαν μυστικιστική αίρεση στην καρδιά του σύγχρονου καπιταλισμού: ότι οι περίφημοι entrepreneurs (τα χείλη πρέπει να σχηματίζουν κύκλο στο τέλος της λέξης για να σας καταλαβαίνουν στο Κολωνάκι και την Εκάλη) οφείλουν συχνά την επιτυχία τους όχι μόνο στην αριστεία αλλά και σε μια γενετική προδιάθεση.

Σύμφωνα με τη σχετική θεωρία, η ανάληψη ρίσκου από τους νεαρούς επιχειρηματίες, που ξεκινούν τις δικές τους εταιρείες, αποτελεί κληρονομικό χάρισμα. Προφανώς, επειδή το συγκεκριμένο επιχείρημα έρχεται σε σύγκρουση ακόμη και με τις αρχές του καπιταλισμού και μας φέρνει πίσω στα χρόνια της πεφωτισμένης αριστοκρατίας, οι θιασώτες του τονίζουν ότι δεν αρκεί να έχεις το γονίδιο του εντρεπρενέρ εάν δεν το συνδυάσεις με σκληρή δουλειά που θα σε διακρίνει από τους υπόλοιπους (αριστεία).

Τα εκατοντάδες κείμενα που προωθούν τη συγκεκριμένη γενετική θεωρία έχουν μοναδική πηγή ένα βιβλίο του Σκοτ Σέιν, ο οποίος διδάσκει entrepreneurship (;) στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Case Western Reserve στις ΗΠΑ – πρόκειται δηλαδή για έναν άνθρωπο χωρίς καμία γνώση γενετικής.

Αντίθετα δεκάδες πρόσφατες επιστημονικές έρευνες αποδεικνύουν ότι η αυξημένη τάση προς την ανάληψη υψηλού ρίσκου, που (ομολογουμένως) παρουσιάζουν αρκετοί επιτυχημένοι εντρεπρενέρ, σχετίζεται συνήθως… με τα λεφτά του μπαμπά ή της μαμάς.

Ηδη από το 1998 οι ερευνητές Ντέιβιντ Μπλαντσφλάουερ και Αντριου Οσβαλντ, από το Πανεπιστήμιο του Γουόρικ, απέδειξαν ότι η ανάληψη ρίσκου είναι «κληρονομική» μόνο με την έννοια ότι οι επιτυχημένοι εντρεπρενέρ κληρονόμησαν κάποιο σημαντικό ποσό από συγγενείς τους, το οποίο χρησιμοποίησαν σαν αρχικό κεφάλαιο στην επιχείρησή τους. Σε έρευνα του 2013 οι οικονομολόγοι Ρος Λέβιν και Ρόνα Ρούμπινσταϊν, από το Πανεπιστήμιο του Μπέρκλεϊ στην Καλιφόρνια, ανέφεραν ότι «εάν κάποιος δεν διαθέτει χρήματα από την οικογένειά του οι πιθανότητες να ανοίξει τη δική του επιχείρηση μειώνονται».

Οι ερευνητές συνήθως δεν επιχειρούν να αποδείξουν ότι οι εντρεπρενέρ χρησιμοποιούν τα λεφτά του μπαμπά για να ανοίξουν την επιχείρησή τους (αν και συνήθως αυτό συμβαίνει), αλλά ότι η οικογενειακή περιουσία αποτελεί ένα αόρατο δίχτυ ασφαλείας που τους επιτρέπει να λαμβάνουν πιο ριψοκίνδυνες επιχειρηματικές αποφάσεις.

Αυτό που κληρονόμησαν δηλαδή δεν είναι κάποιο γονίδιο, αλλά η άνεση να «φάνε τα μούτρα» τους με ασφάλεια και (στην περίπτωση που η επένδυση αποδώσει καρπούς) το θράσος να παρουσιάζονται σαν ριψοκίνδυνοι, επιτυχημένοι επιχειρηματίες.

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