A trip through the local strip mall might suggest that corporations are taking over America—everywhere you look, you'll see Starbucks and Walmarts; the locally owned "mom and pop" business might start to seem like a dinosaur. But, as is often the case, the statistics tell a different story. The number of sole proprietorships and partnerships (based on the number of tax returns filed) increased by more than 53% between 1990 and 2006; the net income earned by this sector of the economy increased by almost 500%. In comparison, the number of corporations increased by 57%; their net income increased by 425%.
But corporate receipts accounted from more than 80% of all dollars earned in 2006.
Does that mean that America’s small business community is growing as fast as its corporate sector? Not exactly. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations are distinct forms of business organization—and size is not really the defining feature of any of them.
Table Legend: NF = Nonfarm Proprietorships, P = Partnerships, C = Corporations
|Number of Firms (000s)||Revenue ($USD, Billions)||Net income ($USD, Billions)|
Why It Matters Today
What do corporations do for you?
- Provide employment: corporations provide the majority of American jobs
- Provide things you want and need: the vast majority of the stuff you consume is produced by corporations
Sometimes, a Song Says it Better: 9 to 5, by Dolly Parton
Dolly says better than anyone else why working 9 to 5 can be a grind….depending on the boss for a promotion.