I don't have an issue with small business owners. They're often doing a ton of the work themselves, too. Side fact; even Lenin had his New Economic Policy that allowed for entrepreneurship and small business operation.
It is harder than ever to start a business and keep it running, though. Aside from the fact that most people my age don't have the capital (are even in debt thanks to student debts / whatnot), the bigger firms are doing all they can to run smaller firms out of the market. Yes, small businesses are still around half of the private sector but the trend is fairly clear. WalMart, Amazon, etc continue to do damage. WalMart has a very fun tactic of selling at a big loss, sometimes for years, until local businesses can't take it anymore and shut down, then raising prices.http://time.com/money/4192512/walmart-s ... all-towns/
A 44-year-old grocery store in North Carolina saw a 30% sales drop immediately when a nearby Walmart opened a couple of years ago, according to a Bloomberg News story. Whenever the mom-and-pop supermarket cut prices, the Walmart would match or undercut them. The store finally succumbed to the inevitable last October, closing up entirely.
Some graphs:https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/ma ... /81175914/
6% of companies make 50% of U.S. profit
If we were to get a little more granular, we could also look at specific industries and economic sectors. There is basically no real competition from new businesses in the telecomms/ISP arena and in fact most of the major ISPs have successfully lobbied to crush competition in ~21 states (last I checked). We either need to do what Europe does and have actual robust competition and sharing of lines or we declare it the natural monopoly that it is and stop letting executives extract rents from it for no good reason.
Where I live, Cox and AT&T have made a "patchwork agreement" in which they have agreed to parcel out the area into Cox and AT&T zones. I live in a Cox zone, which means I have 0 other options for internet unless I want to do some ultraslow satellite internet as if I lived out in the deserts. AT&T won't service my address. This is legal because the patchwork areas they have constructed loophole through the antitrust laws - can't have a trust/monopoly if you don't own the entire area but there's apparently no rule about just parceling it out with a competitor and agreeing not to touch the other company's zones. At least this is what AT&T told me when explaining why they couldn't switch me over from Cox.
Also where I live, the utilities are run by a private for-profit company. Again, natural monopoly, no competition, huge profits for executives/shareholders. We had a major power plant shut down a few years ago because the power company decided it didn't want to pay for repairs caused by their lack of maintenance, decommissioned it instead, and then in order to preserve revenues/profits (since they now have to pay more to import electricity vs generating locally) simply cranked the cost per KWh to compensate. I don't understand how this is a good thing in any way. People who don't even live here are profiting while the people who do live here have to pay some of the highest electricity costs in the world. A "low" bill for 1-2 people in a small apartment is $110+/mo. Not only do we have some of the highest baseline rates in the country/world, you're quickly put into "higher use" tiers which double or triple the rate. Plus surcharges for hitting those tiers, etc. Elderly during a heat wave and need the AC? Hope you're ready to pay hundreds of dollars a month even for a small apartment.
e: Oh, also 70% of the costs of the plant shut down made it onto our electric bills, also, even though it was their fault that it needed to be shut down (didn't do proper maintenance until it was an issue then just shut it down instead, meanwhile the cost of maintenance was still charged on our bills haha!). Oh, also, executive compensation went up 70% and their share price went up 9%. These people get paid millions of dollars a year. The company that owns the local one is called Sempra Energy, and they also do very well for themselves. They also want to raise rates here another 25% over the next few years.