Innovation Will Set America Back on Track
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to mudslides, flooding, and more. We can allow our science and education system continue to slide. We can cease to be the beacon in the world for the best ideas and people. We can accidentally suppress our innovation machine with over-regulation and bureaucracy. We can try to protect what we have instead of embracing the challenges of a global economy.
If we slip off the trail, the America we each have been blessed enough to grow up in, will die. Our productivity will fall… foreign powers will dominate our economy.
But now we have a window of opportunity to implement energy independence, protect our homeland, and create better health care. This is the moment in time to use our strengths to solve our own problems. Let’s harness innovation to solve the world’s woes, create jobs and stay competitive.
For energy alone, we need a real replacement for oil that is non-polluting and does not put other vital resources, like food, at risk. Let’s create that energy here at home, so we can depend on ourselves. In fact, in a small San Diego company, scientists from disparate disciplines, have invented “Green Crude.” It’s domestically made gasoline from algae, created with sunlight and water. Others are re-inventing the electric car, and the solar cell, and the vaccine.
President-elect Obama has it right. Stabilize the financial markets and economy, and then focus on solving the energy emergency. Get our best and brightest to focus and dream big. Then move to disease detection and prevention, and to the fundamentals of education and research. He is standing at the crest of the trail, ready to guide us. Here are some key tenets he may consider from the start:
1. Lead from the Top. President-elect Obama must rally the American innovation culture and must define the challenge. He must harness the patriotic spirit and get Americans to ask themselves how they can help, just like how John F. Kennedy articulated a vision to reach into space.
2. Depend on Ourselves for Energy. It must be a national priority to develop our own clean and domestic energy sources. Enlist the best scientists and entrepreneurs. Give government managers and universities freedom and incentives to take risks, and to provide access to funds for scale up of disruptive technology. Enlist the private sector to help set the goals and execute the plan.
3. Implement Zero Capital Gains on Start-ups: President-elect Obama has proposed it to unleash entrepreneurs to create the next great ideas. It’s the right incentive to create true breakthroughs, and it needs to be broadened to reward long-term investors in technology and to penalize short-term flippers.
4. Double Basic Science Funding: President-elect Obama’s plan to double research funding will enhance America’s competitive advantage for decades. We can’t predict which innovations will change the world, … Next Page »