Thursday, October 21, 2010

“In the Tank” = Unacceptable Flat Growth

On the economy, U.S. News & World Report’s Mort Zuckerman accentuates the negative. His fellow publisher, Rich Karlgaard at Forbes, is more upbeat. Karlgaard points out that in the Great Recession, the GDP in 2008, 2009 and (projected) 2010, was (and is), $14.3 trillion, $14.2 trillion and $14.6 trillion. That’s not growth, but it’s not recession either—it’s just staying flat. The problem is that with a growing population, America needs growth; Karlgaard says 3.3% a year, the post-World War II historical average. We can’t settle for Europe’s 2% annual growth, and certainly not for less than that.

But how do we sustain an annual GDP growth rate of 3.3%? Karlgaard quotes Carl Schramm, head of the Kauffman Foundation, who says:
The single most important contributor to a nation’s economic growth is the number of startups that grow to a billion dollars in revenue within 20 years.

The “X-factor” is startups that get big. And Schramm says the large U.S. economy needs to spawn around 100 eventual billion-dollar companies per year to keep annual GDP growth at 3.3%.

So how do we spawn that many “billion dollar babies”? Karlgaard says begin by removing the tax and regulatory barriers we place in the path of startups that have the potential to scale. And then, in words that are absolute music to my ears—every word as written, word for word—Karlgaard says:
any immigrant who graduates from a U.S. university should get a green card along with his/her diploma. So should any immigrant who starts a business that grows to more than 5 people on the payroll. Ambitious immigrants, disproportionately, create growth companies.

Yes! We can!

No comments: