If, in a free and open economy, you genuinely satisfy unmet needs — you are an entrepreneur. If you use government regulation, subsidies, tariffs or other protections, you are not an entrepreneur at all. It’s time we learned the difference between the makers and the takers. It’s time to stop demonizing entrepreneurs and worrying about their wealth.
It’s also time to start identifying the takers and changing the laws that create the takers. As Douglass North reminds us in his 1993 Nobel Prize lecture:
The organizations that come into existence will reflect the opportunities provided by the institutional matrix. That is, if the institutional framework rewards piracy then piratical organizations will come into existence; and if the institutional framework rewards productive activities then organizations—firms—will come into existence to engage in productive activities.
Only when we change the rules of the game will we truly be able to filter the makers from the takers and unleash prosperity for mankind.