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the entrepreneur has all the money and nothing has been resolved. Sadly, the metaphorical entrepreneur in this case is probably the devil: no one really benefits from the ludicrous behavior of our modern day Sneetches.
So, other than throwing all of our ersatz political leaders out of office, what can be done? Where is there hope? The shocking but self-evident truth is that we need to focus on creating new opportunity in the U.S., not on arguing about who is to blame or whose polar solution is the one true answer. Even if either side got its wish—the Democrats raise taxes on the wealthy to support unreformed entitlements and an expanded safety net, or the Republicans cut taxes and entitlement spending to the bone-‐-the country would not be better off.
What we need is simple—growth. We need the economy to expand. We need people to feel that they can get a job, that their children will be better off than they will be, that tomorrow will be a better day. Where does growth come from? The answer is equally simple—business, especially new business, creates jobs and prosperity.
We need to stop arguing about how to slice a shrinking pie and start working to grow the pie. We need lots of investment in research and development. We need a better-educated and trained workforce. We need hungry, talented immigrants to work their magic in the economy. We need cleverness in using existing government and private dollars to fix infrastructure and create opportunities. We need more venture capital, more entrepreneurs. We need more competent CEOs of major companies who will invest wisely to create new valued products and services.
I was always dismayed at some of the decisions that accompanied the famous stimulus bill that was intended to get us out of recession. My (least) favorite example was the plan to build sound barriers along two road systems in Massachusetts. Think about it, this kind of project does indeed employ people, but it does nothing to decrease the ultimate cost of the road system, nothing to improve economic productivity, nothing to create future opportunities. In short, it’s pork.
Imagine instead that the government had figured out a way to encourage energy-saving retrofits of existing buildings in the U.S. By most estimates the return on such investments is 10-15 percent per year. The investments yield direct savings in operating costs. They also lower oil imports, provide domestic jobs, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and entail training for new skills.
Or consider investments in new nuclear power generating equipment. One company, TerraPower, has technology that uses spent fuel rods to … Next Page »