Friedman: “More (Steve) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”
Thomas Friedman had an excellent piece this past weekend on New York Times titled “More (Steve) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” where he called for a more entrepreneur-friendly environment. I recommend that you read the entire op-ed, but here are a few excerpts that drive the point home:
Obama should launch his own moon shot. What the country needs most now is not more government stimulus, but more stimulation. We need to get millions of American kids, not just the geniuses, excited about innovation and entrepreneurship again. We need to make 2010 what Obama should have made 2009: the year of innovation, the year of making our pie bigger, the year of “Start-Up America.”
Obama should make the centerpiece of his presidency mobilizing a million new start-up companies that won’t just give us temporary highway jobs, but lasting good jobs that keep America on the cutting edge. The best way to counter the Tea Party movement, which is all about stopping things, is with an Innovation Movement, which is all about starting things. Without inventing more new products and services that make people more productive, healthier or entertained — that we can sell around the world — we’ll never be able to afford the health care our people need, let alone pay off our debts.
Obama should bring together the country’s leading innovators and ask them: “What legislation, what tax incentives, do we need right now to replicate you all a million times over” — and make that his No. 1 priority. Inspiring, reviving and empowering Start-up America is his moon shot.
… The president should also vow to bring the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, or NFTE, to every low-income neighborhood in America. NFTE works with middle- and high-school teachers to help them teach entrepreneurship. The centerpiece of its program is a national contest for start-ups with 24,000 kids participating. Each student has to invent a product or service, write up a business plan and then do it.
Just a few days earlier, Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, delivered "The State of Entrepreneurship" address in which he called on policymakers to promote entrepreneurship to spur job creation and speed recovery. He proposed the following ideas to do so:
- Reform immigration policy, granting citizenship for foreign students graduating from American universities and other immigrants who want to start new companies and create jobs.
- Revise Sarbanes-Oxley regulations to allow company shareholders to choose whether their companies must fulfill some of the most onerous reporting requirements if they think the costs of compliance outweigh the benefits.
- Provide a temporary payroll tax holiday to companies less than five years old.
- Give academic entrepreneurs the choice of multiple avenues to commercialize their research so their innovations can reach consumers more quickly.
- Offer fellowships for doctoral graduates in scientific fields to educate them about how to start companies.
- Provide entrepreneurship education and training to students in high school and college.
Read more about these recommendations in this week’s featured Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship article: “Real Support for Entrepreneurs: What Are We Waiting for?”