Although the economy is improving after the recession and credit crisis of 2008, it is doing so at a slow pace, leading many to consider what could be done to boost the US economy – and especially job creation – even more. According to many experts, innovation is one important factor that will determine how quickly the US recovers – and how much it competes on the global scale. According to LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Ro Khanna, and other experts, the key to embracing innovation is to ensure that every citizen and resident pursues innovation and entrepreneurship while also ensuring that the government does everything possible to encourage innovation. There are several ways that the government can do this:
1) Ensuring that all teachers can use technology in school and encourage innovation
2) Funding institutions such as NIH (National Institutes of Health), the Lawrence Berkeley and Livermore national laboratories, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy), the NSF (National Science Foundation), and other similar groups that conduct US-based research and offer new technology for US companies.
3) Make it easier for citizens and residents to get post-secondary education. This can mean making schooling more affordable, since many students today have a hard time funding their education and often graduate with a huge debt burden. In order to become more innovative, it is also important that both vocational training and colleges are stressed, and that education fits in well with jobs that are needed to be filled. That is, students should be able to access a quality education and after graduating should be able to use that education to find a quality job.
4) Providing tax incentives for new and innovative companies
5) Reducing the bureaucracy that can get in the way of new and innovative companies.
6) Offering a path to citizenship or permanent residency for immigrants who contribute to the economy and to US research and innovation. Some of the experts in the past who have contributed significantly to US innovations – including Andy Grove, Albert Einstein, and Sergey Brin, among others – were not born in the US. Currently, many experts feel that immigrants are a huge untapped source of innovation and economic power.
Many foreign-based students come to the US to study, for example, must return to their home countries because they cannot secure quick green cards here. Some undocumented immigrants are unable to get a great education or take part in quality jobs simply due to their status, not due to their skills or motivation. According to research, immigrants are more likely than native-born US residents to be entrepreneurs, so encouraging immigration could encourage new ideas and a new thirst for innovation and entrepreneurship.