The Great Recession ended almost four years ago, in June 2009, and growth in the US economy has been an anemic 2% annually since then. The unemployment rate, now 7.8% is dropping only very slowly and millions of workers are still unemployed or underemployed. If this isn’t bad enough already, knowledgeable experts are now predicting (see the Friday January 25 Omaha World Herald) that many mid-skill, mid-pay jobs will never return largely because of the rapidly accelerating use of technology in all aspects of our lives.
Faster economic growth would not only provide more jobs but would also increase tax revenue and therefore shrink the deficit. If such traditional measures as lower tax rates, deregulation and aggressively promoting foreign trade won’t fly politically which, of course, is very disappointing, then we need to consider other measures which could gain political support. A good place to start is to enact The Startup Act of 2011 proposed by the Kauffman Foundation.
The Startup Act proposes: 1) more visas for entrepreneurs and Green cards given out with STEM degrees, 2) tax incentives for startup investments, 3) speeding up the patent process for entrepreneurs and 4) relaxing the regulatory burden on startup businesses. Such measures as these need not be expensive to undertake and could give our economy a big boost.
Our leadership role in world affairs depends on our economic, military and cultural dominance. First and foremost is our economic strength. It is vital to speed up the growth of our economy. Any and all means to accomplish this should be considered. The status quo is not acceptable!