Thursday, February 07, 2013

Is a consensus developing on aspects of a U.S. innovation policy?

I quote from an article that argues for innovation and against excessive government regulation:
(A) bipartisan consensus that innovation is part of America’s identity is leading to emerging areas of agreement. For example, political leaders agree that U.S. policies should encourage the best and brightest from around the world to come here and stay once they get their degrees, particularly highly trained STEM students. Politicians also agree that startup businesses are good and Americans should be allowed to fund the entrepreneurs who present the best ideas. That’s why both parties supported the 2012 JOBS Act which eased rules on crowd funding and the restraints of Sarbanes-Oxley.
 The article cites some sexy new business models.

I am glad to hear that the consensus is developing on at least some elements of an innovation policy.

It seems self evident to me that certain kinds of education, certain kinds of physical and institutional infrastructure, and certain kinds of government support for R&D stimulate innovation. Perhaps a consensus will emerge on at least part of that agenda.

I doubt that teaching modern dance, expanding the legal institutions dealing with tortes, or doing research on public opinion will contribute to innovation, and maybe we can get some consensus on what not to fund in the name of innovation (such a Congressional pork).

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