Workers as Life-entrepreneurs


  • András Tóth MTA TK

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The aim of this article is twofold. First, it questions the validity of the still-influential Marxian description of workers as victims of markets, which laments the dissolution of the ‘working class’ due to the trend towards individualization and consumerism. As an alternative, I offer a description of workers as life-entrepreneurs, who use markets for their own purposes: to better their own chances in life. Second, I propose a wider conception of entrepreneurship than mere commercial activity. This is the concept of life-entrepreneurship, as per the title of this article. This broader vision of entrepreneurship rests on the concept of personal capital based on the reconceptualization of ideas of Adam Smith and Carl Menger. One of the key insights of this paper is that consideration should be given to reducing bureaucratic red tape on companies and the tax burden on employment in order to facilitate job creation, thereby supporting the entry into the world of work ordinary life-entrepreneurs, and helping them avoid becoming welfare recipients.