Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and investor on “Shark Tank,” told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday that “capitalism is what’s going to save us” when we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Capitalism didn’t get us here. A virus did,” Cuban told Yahoo Finance in a wide-ranging interview.
“The one thing about the United States of America that’s different than every other country on the planet is that we’re a country of entrepreneurs. We look to start businesses,” he added. “When we talk about the American Dream, when we talk about rags-to-riches stories, it starts with an entrepreneur coming up with an idea and executing on that idea. We’re going to get to the other side of this. I’m positive of that.”
Striking a tone of optimism, Cuban, who’s built and backed several companies, asserts that we’ll look back on this time and see the future “world-changing” companies launched.
“That’s where capitalism really shines,” he added.
While Cuban believes capitalism will address the economy’s problems, he points out the need to be “smarter capitalists,” adding that now is a “chance for a reset.”
“We can start to learn from our mistakes and say we need to have our employees participate more so that when we build back up or when we grow, then everybody can participate,” he said. “I’m a big believer that every company — I’ve done this with my startups, every company I’ve started — and every employee should have stock and ownership in their company.”
Twenty-one years ago, Cuban sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 billion. Of the 330 employees at the time, 300 of them became millionaires.
“I think when we go forward, capitalism will lift us up from where we are,” he said. “But we have to learn from our mistakes and encourage every entrepreneur, every one of those great companies getting started right now — I don’t care if you are a 16-year-old or a 60-year-old when you are starting the company. When you start that company and you hire people, give equity to your employees.”
According to Cuban, equity for employees will alleviate the stresses of working hour-to-hour and living paycheck-to-paycheck.
“The only way you solve that is giving them appreciable assets,” he added.
“I think every entrepreneur going forward has got to show the good side of capitalism and let everybody participate, let every single employee, no matter what their job is, get equity in the company,” he said. “So if you have astronomical success, all of those employees benefit as well.”
Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.