Although I believe my guest poster is sadly mistaken, amongst the misconceptions regarding employment versus self-employment (i.e. the entrepreneur) I do believe that he has a point about developing an "entrepreneur mindset."
One of the Orthonomic issues I have noted through discussions, community involvement, and reading is that there is a quasi-socialist view on wealth production. Some examples might include the expectation that an employee of the kehilla or working for a frum-owned business be given a pay raise upon the birth of a baby. Afterall, the family now has higher expenses, right? Another item of note would be the workings of the Beis Medrash where marriage equals release from tuition as the bochur becomes a yungerman. And, I don't think there is anyone in the frum world who hasn't been approached with requests to give ploni a job.
Additionally, I don't know anyone who hasn't been informed of their (not so clear cut) "obligation" to support Jewish/frum-owned businesses. There are halachot that address when one is to patronize a Jewish owned business and when one does not have to do so. But the halacha clearly does NOT obligate us to hyper-consume. As the economy took a turn for the worse, many people made sure to remind us of our obligation to support frum-owned businesses in order to keep them afloat. And, certainly many of us have gone out of our way to patronize small-businesses in the community. But, you can't force someone to buy something they don't want, which is why it is very clear that we understand how wealth is produced.
One thing is certain, you cannot legislate the production of wealth, although you can certainly hinder the production of wealth, cripple the desire to produce income, even price workers out of the market. Sustainable, long-term wealth is not produced by giving people jobs, ordering that they be paid higher wages, or artificially bolstering markets. The Rambam certainly recognized this as he outlines the levels of tzedakah with the highest level of tzedakah being one of strengthening the one in need and making that person ultimately becomes self-sufficient.
Individuals (through the vehicle of a business entity) produce income by moving a product that has value to the consumer. They identify markets and delivers to those markets. Or sometimes they create markets from the ground up (incredible how a solid marketing campaign can create a need you didn't even know you had!). They understands basic economic concepts like supply and demand. They understand the importance of gaining and maintaining market share.
There is a classic work titled "Ideas Have Consequences." This is the phase that comes to mind when I see the constant and unrelenting marketing of certain philosophies within certain kehillot that the guest poster pushes. Ironically, the places where I have heard certain philosophies ***marketed*** with the most zeal generally are communities where income levels are lower.
Let's address a few of these philosophies:
1. "Employees only get rich on IPOs, stock options": We do ourselves and our children no favors when we create class warfare. "Working for the man" is a fantastic way to learn the ins and outs of an industry, develop marketable skills, make important contacts within the industry, develop the proper social skills for the business, and (yes) even earn an income. Ultimately, we are all entrepreneurs because we are selling our skills in the free market. No one is going to take an interest in "giving" us a job unless they believe that we can produce. And once we are in the door, if we don't take a certain level of initiative, create a niche for ourselves, and make ourselves indispensable, we won't last very long or increase income. Employees who figure out how to help their business cut cuts and increase income are routinely rewarded.
2. They are now saying the rules have changed - the formula of "get good education/grades = get a good job = get a good salary = good lifestyle & retire" is "old school"
I don't know who "they" is. But, there is a very clear correlation between education and income. Yes, there are success stories of kids who couldn't score high enough on the SAT to play college hoops going straight into the NBA, but they, like the (likely mythical) chassid who makes millions of dollars a year while signing X on the dotted line because he is illiterate, are outliers on a statistical analysis. We don't change our behavior based on miracles. And, let's not forget, the professional athlete has a very valuable education and has developed a skill set that falls nicely on the supply and demand chart.
Yes, a solid education and the development of marketable skills, combined with initiative and work ethic pays off!
And, pray tell, how many businesses are out there for which you can just open up shop with a limited education? Normally, having a developed skill set is a prereq. Oftentimes, you need a college education and a strong resume. One does need something to sell!
3. math & english can easily be made up for as an adult: I can't think of a more dangerous idea that is promoted in the frum world. Recently there was a story celebrating public funding being granted to yeshivot for remedial education. I'm not cheering. My own research on education shows that there are periods in time where a child is most ready to absorb certain skills. I think it behooves us all as parents to make sure that our children are getting a solid education in the basics early on. I'd run the other way from any educator that thinks spelling shouldn't be emphasized early on, or that a calculator can take the place of math drills. The capacity for developing a strong base in proper language and math skills is developed early on. And if you read the comments at YWN and VIN, you can see the horrendous results that follow.
And, on that note, quite frankly I'm not sure that a "Torah only" education is resulting in children who know how to think as you insinuate ("frum education teaches the linear & critical thinking skills necessary for entrepreneurship"). Perhaps the product isn't being delivered correctly,
4. "maybe rich?" There are a lot of reasons to go into business for oneself. But, getting rich isn't one of them. You have a better chance of going broke. You also mentioned work/life balance. This is also a fallacy. If you want to succeed, you won't do so working 3 hours a week. You might not have to work set hours, but there are a lot of demands and those demands will most likely control you, especially from the get go.
That said, there are a lot of reasons to go into business for yourself! But getting rich isn't one of them.