CAMBRIDGE, MA—According to a promising new economic report published Wednesday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a steadily growing number of Americans have become delusional enough to open their own businesses.

The report, which described its findings as “highly encouraging for near-term economic growth,” confirmed that over 200,000 small businesses were founded in 2013 by entrepreneurial Americans who have completely and utterly lost their grip on reality, and noted that the number of bold and frankly insane Americans applying for new business permits had risen markedly over the past year.

“The recession of 2008 devastated small businesses throughout the country, but thankfully, recent data have shown a sizable increase in the percentage of Americans who have completely fooled themselves into believing that starting an independently run business is not only a viable option, but one that actually makes sense in the current economic climate,” said James Hemley, an economist at MIT and lead author of the report. “Every day, we’re seeing more entrepreneurs who are deluded to such a degree that they are confidently investing their entire life savings in new and unquestionably ill-fated restaurants, storefronts, and online businesses.”

“What’s remarkable is that these completely deranged people have such an ill-placed faith in the long-term stability of the small business landscape that they’re somehow optimistic about their financial future,” Hemley continued. “And that utter detachment from the real world is great news for the economy.”

Hemley explained to reporters that in spite of the litany of clear indications that the global economy remained highly unsettled and hazardous, a bright new wave of Americans are currently forging ahead under the fundamentally flawed and entirely irrational belief that their new businesses will attract wealthy investors and establish a loyal consumer base. The promising trend has also reportedly led thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to conclude that securing large bank loans at high interest rates—which will almost certainly lead to insolvency and personal financial ruin—is a good idea.

“The most encouraging sign we’re seeing is that many new entrepreneurs are living in such a far-fetched, dreamlike stupor that they’re actually making significant investments in infrastructure and payroll,” Hemley said. “These entirely nonsensical investments will certainly have a positive impact on the job market, as these new ventures create thousands of new jobs for several months until these doomed companies can no longer keep their doors open and inevitably collapse into bankruptcy.”

According to the encouraging report, 67 percent of self-identified new entrepreneurs are deranged to such an extent that they’ve convinced themselves the U.S. economy has rebounded to the point that a small business can not only turn a profit, but thrive and eventually expand. The study also found that 78 percent are so severely demented that they believed a tiny, independently run business could compete with the far larger and more powerful national corporate hierarchy.

Furthermore, the report confirmed that nine in 10 new entrepreneurs had bought into such an illusory fantasy world that they genuinely believed opening a small business would ensure a steady paycheck, a comfortable life for their families, and a good education for their children, rather than accepting the future of devastation and hardship that certainly awaited them within the next 18 months once their businesses were gone and they were left with nothing.

“According to our projections, the number of totally senseless entrepreneurs will only continue to grow over the next several quarters, and as they invest more and more money—money that they will never, ever get back—into their businesses, their local economies will benefit,” Hemley said. “It just goes to show that in spite of everything—even the most basic and plainly apparent common sense—the great American entrepreneurial spirit will never die.”

“As long as these people continue to be out of their goddamn minds, our economic future appears bright,” Hemley added.