When it comes to solutions to the current economic mess, Robert Johnson is a legendary entrepreneur who deserves listening to. Johnson is the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), which he sold to Viacom in 2000 for $3 billion, and current chairman of Urban Trust Bank. I saw an interview with him recently and made some notes.
Regarding the current economic situation, Johnson said the following (from my notes):
It’s always good to help people who are in a financial crisis…. The problem you’ve got is this:
Be careful not to create an entitlement;
Be careful that you don’t say to the people who sacrificed that they are being sapped;
You’ve got to worry about the long-term impact on the free market – the dislocation that intervention in an entitlement way does to the free market; and
You’ve got to remember – Tilt toward the free market.