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What They’re Thinking: Gary Shapiro

CEA's president and CEO on his new book and restoring innovation

December 22, 2010 By Gary Shapiro, as told to Janet Pinkerton
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Gary Shapiro's new book, "The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream," contends that America should return innovation to the heart of its economic policy. Billed as "a blueprint for America's success in the new century," the book will be available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Why did I write the book? I'm passionate and believe in this country and its greatness and want to preserve it. I can't stand to sit by passively while a great country is being destroyed.

Second, as a relatively new father... I look at my son, and I think 'My God, what kind of world he will inherit, and what have we done?'

The third is combined with what is best for the consumer electronics industry: the United States' need for a healthy economy. I have an economics degree, and almost anyone with an economics degree agrees with me: Our country is going the wrong direction.

The United States is becoming a slow growth economy or even negative growth economy for many reasons, some structural, some imposed by our own government. We (Shapiro and the CEA board) figured out that the only thing that will save us is to advocate pro growth, pro innovation governmental actions and to stand up on this issue.

Basically the job of the government is to encourage innovation- not by subsidizing it in any way but by creating the factors necessary for innovation.

One is attracting the best and the brightest in the world, which we used to do until September 11th when we totally reversed policy and we shut our doors and we scare people away. We don't let the brightest college students stay here after they get degrees. We don't encourage the best entrepreneurs to come here the way we used to.

A second way is to encourage free trade. In the last four years, we have not finalized one free trade agreement, yet the rest of the world- Asia, Europe, Canada, Latin America-are all furiously signing free trade agreements, and we're not entering them. Because we're just standing still, we're essentially putting up barricades to trade with the United States.

The third is our educational system. We've obviously falling behind. I think both presidents have tried some good things, but there seems to be less of a national commitment to education than there should be.
 

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Most Recent Comments:
Vicki Wiederkehr - Posted on March 04, 2011
Being an entrepreneurship author (Cardinal Rules), and educator I was impressed to find entrepreneurship as a vital link to reforming education .. I totally agree and am a part of a push to bring this missing link of leadership, empowerment and awareness to the high school administration, parents and communities. Vicki Wiederkehr; www.cyea.info
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Archived Comments:
Vicki Wiederkehr - Posted on March 04, 2011
Being an entrepreneurship author (Cardinal Rules), and educator I was impressed to find entrepreneurship as a vital link to reforming education .. I totally agree and am a part of a push to bring this missing link of leadership, empowerment and awareness to the high school administration, parents and communities. Vicki Wiederkehr; www.cyea.info