Americans, with good reason, increasingly distrust the big, impersonal forces that loom over their lives: Wall Street, federal bureaucracy, Congress and big corporations. But the one thing they still trust is that most basic expression of our mammalian essence: the family.
Family ties dominate our economic life far more than commonly believed. Despite the power of public companies, family businesses control roughly 50% of the country’s gross domestic product, according to the research firm Gaebler.com. Some 35% of the Fortune 500 are family businesses, but so too are the vast majority of smaller firms. Family companies represent 60% of the nation’s employment and almost 80% of all new jobs.