Here’s a new framework for competitiveness: What if the law were biased, not toward the oil and gas industry or the cotton farmers, but to the creative, the self-employed, and the entrepreneurs?
“If it’s the economy, stupid, then it’s the jobs stupid,” Steve Case, the founder of AOL and the CEO of Revolution, recently told me at his Washington, D.C., office. “And if it’s the jobs, stupid, then it’s the entrepreneurs, stupid.”
What would a government built around “It’s the entrepreneurs, stupid” look like? Two weeks ago, the president sent to Congress an agenda, prepared by Case’s group Startup America, which proposed expanding visas for immigrants, doubling deductions for small companies, and many more worthy ideas targeted to the problem of entrepreneurship.
Good ideas. We need to think even bigger. The broadest debate in Washington, and on the primary trail, is about whether government needs to step up to create jobs or step back to allow the market to work by itself. But what if we need both: A stronger safety net to lessen risk for wannabe-startups and purer free market approach for established corporations?
That’s the big idea, but let’s begin with a smaller story.