Entrepreneurs or Fakes?


Link to Article



This article discusses the idea that millennials are not as motivated in creating the life that they claim would be beneficial. This article, which was posted in the Washington Post (A credible source), was written by Ana Swanson. Swanson is a reporter for Washington Post’s Wonkblog specializing in Business, economics, data visualization and China. She is a credible writer for this article due to her background in business as well as economics, seeing as this article focuses on entrepreneurship and economics for millennials. Also the dividend precise data collection and visuals found in the article add to her credibility and display her background in data visualization. Also, this is a recent article (September 22, 2016), therefore adding to the credibility of the argument in terms of relevance.

Fact Check Annotated Article:

Fact Check Page 1

Fact Check Page 2

Fact Check Page 3

Fact Check Page 4

Yellow/ Green = Claims

Blue= Evidence



Claim #1

“We often think of millennials as the “start-up generation” — apt to jump from job to job in pursuit of the next cool technology or popular idea.”

Evidence #1

“In an article published on Mic.com on Monday, Hillary Clinton called millennials ‘the most open, diverse and entrepreneurial generation in our country’s history.'”

Fact Check/ Analysis  #1

This piece of evidence is legit and was an interview that occurred on September 19th. Hillary Clinton is an extremely credible source because she is running for President of the United States who has access to fact checkers, speech writers etc. However, in terms of millennials, she may not be the best person to go to for evidence due to the fact that she has had a lot of difficulty gaining the votes and hearts of the millennials.Therefore, it is unclear if she actually means this statement or if it is a publicity stunt to gain the attention of millennials. In terms of the article and claim, however, it is a decent piece of evidence to prove that millennials are in fact entrepreneurs and motivated. One problem with this claim though is it is not backed up with statistics, only with a Clinton’s words. Later in the article it says “Steve Glickman, co-founder and executive director of EIG, says this economic dissatisfaction has meant that the millennial vote is still essentially up for grabs in the election” This just adds to the fact that Hillary Clinton is not necessarily the best person to ask about millennials because they do not have her back just yet. This overall claim though is the introduction to what a lot of people believe millennials to be and then later discredit this idea with facts and statistics.


Claim #2

“But a new nationwide poll carried out by EY,a professional services company, and the Economic Innovation Group, a policy and advocacy group, suggests that the generation of Americans who are now between the age of 18 and 34 really are not that entrepreneurial.”

(This claim can also be used as evidence for the article as a whole, but I believe that i this case it makes a better claim overall)

Evidence #2

“In fact, a plurality of the 1,200 millennials surveyed — 44 percent of them — said that they think the best way to advance in their career is to stay with one company. Twenty-five percent said moving from job to job at different companies was the best way, and 22 percent said starting your own company was the best plan. Among all racial and gender groups, black women were the only ones who thought starting a company was the best path to success.”

“Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation on record, and that has huge implications for our economy going forward,” said John Lettieri, co-founder and senior director for policy and strategy at EIG.” said John Lettieri, co-founder and senior director for policy and strategy at EIG. This claim is supported well, therefore I support that this claim is true; however, I can see where someone can come in with outside information to shut the claim down.

Fact Check/ Analysis #2

Both of the evidence for this claim check out after searching through EY and EIG websites. EIG is the Economic Innovation Group and EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Both are extremely credible sources due to their background in finances as well as companies in general. The evidence is very good for this claim because it explains that millennials of all races and genders don’t believe it is beneficial to start their own company or even to switch jobs. This aides in the overall claim that millennials aren’t motivated to go out and make a change.

 Claim #3

“Millennials might also be unaware of their own lack of entrepreneurship.”

Evidence #3

“In the poll, 72 percent of the millennials agreed that entrepreneurship and start-ups are essential to the national economy.They overwhelmingly described working for a start-up as a sign of success.They also described their generation as more entrepreneurial than previous generations —but the data suggest otherwise.”

Fact Check/ Analysis #3

This fact is once again taken from the EIG and  EY study on Millennials and Entrepreneurship. If you look at the statistics, each generation thinks that they are more entrepreneurial than the previous generation. In total as seen 55% of millennials believe that they are more entrepreneurial than the past generations, which just proves the claim to be accurate. 72% believe the startups are a good idea, but no-one wants to do it. These stats were taken from the 1,200 millennial survey, which is credible since it is such a vast sample size.  These facts/ statistics are true in the sense that they were taken straight from the study that was conducted by the EIG and EY. The claim here is extremely well supported so I can rank this claim as true.

Claim #4

If given the kind of economic climate to start a business, millennials appear to have the attitude, the education and the skills to succeed.

Evidence #4

“This generation is very hard-working. They’re willing to move to get a better job,” she says. “They have a lot of the qualities that will enable them to do what it takes when the opportunity presents itself.”

Fact Check/ Analysis #4

Both the claim and the evidence were stated by Cathy Koch, Americas tax policy leader at EY. Koch was  in the Office of Senate for the Democratic Leader Harry Reid and serves as Chief Advisor on tax and economic policy. This quotation was also found to be accurate. Koch’s credentials make her a credible source for the information as well as the claim that was made. The statistics come from the same 1,200 millennial survey as the other evidences. The overall statistics seem to be what the average American would answer when taking this survey (Including myself), therefore making it make sense to me (although I am not an expert. These facts/ statistics are true in the sense that they were taken straight from the study that was conducted by the EIG and EY. From the quote, it is easy to pick off the fact that millennials have so much education and other driving factors that allow them to “do whatever it takes when the opportunity presents itself.”The claim is a generalization that is supported by the facts and statistics; however, there could be more specific evidence to back the claim up to really solid the claim.

Claim #5

“The picture the survey gives of millennials is much more traditional than popular wisdom often suggests.”

Evidence #5

“Millennials appear to be heavily patriotic:84 percent say they are proud to be an American,with Hispanic males most likely to agree with that statement”

“They are also already deeply worried about retirement. More than 70 percent said they worried some or a lot about not having enough money to live on when they retired and about whether Social Security will exist in their older years.”

Fact Check/ Analysis #5

The inclusion of these facts, once again from the 1,2000 millennial survey of the EIG and EY study, is to wrap of the article by proving that millennials aren’t so different from past generations, but also to show just how unmotivated to pursue something that they claim to be beneficial they are. These facts/ statistics are true in the sense that they were taken straight from the study that was conducted by the EIG and EY. This claim was well supported by the evidence of the study and can be supported through other mediums and studies as well; therefore making it true, but ultimately it can be argued.

Link to EIG and EY study that was mentioned throughout this post:

EY and EIG Release National Study Examining Millennials and the Economy







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1 Response to Entrepreneurs or Fakes?

  1. Nicholas Joaquin says:

    Melissa, you’ve picked an interesting article that has been heavily backed up by facts and data from reputable sources. Whilst good, this might be a bit difficult if you were to create an editorial/opinion piece regarding millennials and the economic/business market. If I were you, I’d avoid using Claims 2-5 in an editorial, as they have already been heavily backed up with reputable sources and sufficient information. Look in different parts of the article that could possibly contribute to an argument of the “lazy millennial.”

    One thing I do want to point out is Claim 1 and Evidence 1. Whilst the claim and evidence do tie in together, your fact check falls into this problem of “Ad Hominem Fallacy.” Your idea is good (regarding using only “Clinton’s words” over proper evidence), but your initial statement of Clinton being “an extremely credible source because she is running for President of the United States … [but] not the best person to go to for evidence due to the fact that she has had a lot of difficulty gaining the votes and hearts of the millennials” falls into the trap of discounting the source due to other, external reasons. Maybe it is best if you can research another reputable source (ie a peer-reviewed journal) or some statistic that encapsulates this idea of a “start-up generation”, such as a statistic on job retention in start-up companies or the ages of people who create start-ups.

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