Where Science Meets Muse

Invention the Mother of Economic Recovery

Posted by Plish on June 28, 2009


Great Op-Ed piece over at the New York times.

Thomas Friedman, inspired by a conference he recently attended,  waxes about ways of getting out of the current economic crisis.  He paints an interesting picture of Russia as a one-trick pony, economically speaking – in essence, oil is Russia’s only business and when oil prices are low, they’re in trouble.

He ends with this great quote:

Lately, there has been way too much talk about minting dollars and too little about minting our next Thomas Edison, Bob Noyce, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Vint Cerf, Jerry Yang, Marc Andreessen, Sergey Brin, Bill Joy and Larry Page. Adding to that list is the only stimulus that matters. Otherwise, we’re just Russia with a printing press.

Humans are inherently creative-they want to create and express themselves in some way.  One of the best countries (if not the best) for people to express their creativity and make a living from it is the United States of America.

Seems to me that with the right environment, an environment empowering people instead of rewarding colossal failure,  recovery would be on the way.

What do you think about these perspectives?


2 Responses to “Invention the Mother of Economic Recovery”

  1. Marie said

    I agree that rewarding colossal failure is a deterrent to recovery.

    However, think for a moment about Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, et al. They did not invent in an environment that was artificially created to “empower people.”

    When the government tries to pick a winner, it usually fails. The reason the United States has been a powerhouse has been that little has stood in the way of an entrepreneur or an inventor from doing what he does best, often with little money or resources.

    Having too much money or access to resources can perversely be an obstacle to innovation.

    A country with fair laws, sound money and prudent, limited government is the best thing we could possibly do for future innovation.

  2. Plish said

    Marie, thanks for saying perfectly what I said poorly 😉

    I totally agree with you.

    When I mentioned an environment that’s empowering I meant an environment in which, as you said, “little has stood in the way of an entrepreneur or an inventor from doing what he does best, often with little money or resources.” As I point out on my GROW! page, an empowering environment is one in which egos get out of the way, obstacles are removed, risk taking rewarded and people work hard.

    Thanks again for your insights!

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