Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff is a Sideshow: It's the Economy, Not the Budget, Stupid

By Carl Schramm

Recently, using the comforting, measured and boring tones perfected by Alan Greenspan, Chairman Bernanke in a speech to the New York Economic Club observed that the best of the policy options open to us might lead us back to our economic potential by 2018. Apart from the idea that we can’t have our economy back for maybe six more years, at least three things in his speech are cause for profound worry no matter how analgesic the language is meant to sound.

The presidential campaign drove the first and most serious point home. No one seems to have any sense of urgency regarding growth. The "guild" economists who advised both sides focused more on blaming various actors for why the recession won’t end rather than showing any sense of the profound costs of what a lost decade of growth means to America. President Obama’s "George did it" narrative met Mitt Romney’s mantra of "Obama doesn’t know anything about business." Romney’s feint at growth sure sounded more like "I can manage better." [more...]

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Three Big Lessons For America

It is hard to believe that it was only five years ago that the first Global Entrepreneurship Week was held. Last week gives evidence of the tremendous enthusiasm for the idea that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and I kicked off in 2007 with 38 countries participating. One hundred thirty nations sponsored an enormous array of events all aimed at helping young men and women around the world consider their future as potential creators of new businesses, and as contributors to the economic well-being of their countrymen.

The success of the week can be measured in many ways. It is estimated that over 15 million youngsters participated in tens of thousands of events and competitions. The Web site provides a marvelous sense of the scope of activities. Many young people had their first glimpse of a possible new future for themselves, others had their first conversation with an aspiring entrepreneur in another country, and still others visited a company, indeed, a start-up company for the first time.

Global Entrepreneurship Week holds important lessons for Americans in particular. The first is simple but is worth reflecting on. Just a few years ago GEW was nothing more than an idea. It grew from a conversation between two people who were passionate about helping their countries see the importance of entrepreneurs to their respective nation’s economic growth. [more...]