Americans pride ourselves on being entrepreneurial, and praise for the start-up culture that created Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and other global success stories is a staple in the media. But the data paints a much different picture: when the self-employment rate is compared among the 34 wealthy countries that make up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. comes in dead-last at 6.6 percent. Germany and Japan both have self-employment rates above 11 percent.; Italy and South Korea have rates above 25 percent.Diga-se que, aparentemente, Tocqueville, quando andou pelos EUA, terá ficado com uma ideia diferente do que seria o "sonho americano", considerando que a cultura norte-americana consideraria trabalhar por uma salário mais aceitável do que na Europa [pdf]:
Last time I checked, The American Dream was not “working for someone else.”
One common way to define the middle class is in terms of self-employment and the ownership of one’s work. As Marian Kester Coombs wrote recently, “Economically, the middle classes were once proprietors, self-employed owners of property and their own labor.” In Coombs’ analysis, “Middle class is not an income level but a material relationship to society,” specifically, ownership of one’s labor and income-producing capital: “the key middle-class elements (are) independence, self-sufficiency, ownership, entrepreneurship, and real social power.”
Les serviteurs américains ne se croient pas dégradés parce qu'ils travaillent; car autour d'eux tout le monde travaille. Ils ne se sentent pas abaissés par l'idée qu'ils reçoivent un salaire; car le président des États-Unis travaille aussi pour un salaire. On le paye pour commander, aussi bien qu'eux pour servir.