George Gibbs Center for Economic Prosperity

Orlando Sen⁠t⁠⁠i⁠nel — En⁠t⁠repreneurs and na⁠t⁠ure’s del⁠i⁠ca⁠t⁠e balance: My Word

By: The James Madison Institute / 2014

Orlando Sentinel
Entrepreneurs and nature’s delicate balance: My Word
November 2, 2014I’ve heard talk of wolves running about in Central Florida. I did Internet investigating and landed on a YouTube video, “How Wolves Changed Rivers.” Curiosity got the best of me; I clicked.It’s a short, beautiful and brilliant account of how the reintroduction of wolves has transformed the Yellowstone National Park.The phenomenon is called “trophic cascade” — the presence of wolves sets off a catalyzing chain of events that precipitate a positive and glorious ecological outcome. One example: Fewer deer from more wolves means more bushes, meaning more berries, meaning fatter, happier bears, breeding more readily. Scores of such outcomes are cited in the video. It’s a symphony of good news and unintended outcomes because everything in nature is connected.This stark reality reminded me of another cause-and-effect phenomenon — the connection of supply and demand with the job market.Florida’s economy is improving, but we still need a transformation not unlike Yellowstone’s ecology. Allow me to introduce the economic wolf in my analogy — the successful entrepreneur.Although scorned and scapegoated like the North American gray wolf, the entrepreneur’s opportunistic sensibilities prove crucial for the sustainability of our economic ecology. She creates jobs. Moreover, she helps to stabilize the lives of other Floridians, and as a result, they can also be positive contributors to their communities and those in their care. Precious few citizens recognize the primacy of her role in society, but we are all hinged on her success, wittingly or otherwise.Consider Richard Clarke, a Central Florida wolf, who left a corporate job to co-found Fractl, a Florida inbound digital marketing company. The company is now hiring aggressively, providing jobs that did not exist several years ago. No berries for the bear until recently; no well-paying jobs at Fractl until recently. Positive unintended consequences — a phenomenon at work here.Successful entrepreneurs — risk takers, innovators — create analogous “trophic cascades” all across our economy. Like in nature, we’d be wise to recognize the role of the entrepreneur and the delicate balance of factors that result in the creation of desperately needed jobs.So as the silliness of fans creates noise in your evaluation process of our next governor, find a wolf. Ask him which of the three candidates’ policies support his plans to grow his business, so he can hire your child or grandchild some day.Oh, and bring your cat inside.John L. Evans Jr. lives in Winter Park. Evans is a Central Florida Board of Advisory member for The James Madison Institute. Article: