Monday, January 3, 2011

Heather Wilson On Ideas, Entrepreneurs, Educational Excellence and Research

Innovation is a magazine published bimonthly by Technology Ventures Corporation of Albuquerque. The October-November 2010 issue offered an edited version of a speech given by former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The magazine didn’t say when Wilson spoke at LANL. I have plucked a few bits from the Innovation version. For the whole thing, see
Wilson recently chaired the transition for Gov. Susana Martinez.
“…there are things America has that other countries continue to seek to emulate. We should protect these things and recognize how central they are to continued prosperity.
“1. America values open markets, the free flow of ideas and collaboration. There are some elements in American society who still believe that we can cut ourselves off from the world and prosper.
“2. We must sustain an environment that rewards and values entrepreneurs who bring the best products and the best services to the market in ways that customers value. That means predictable and low taxes compared to other countries and fair regulations. Government cannot create wealth, but it can create the conditions for businesses and entrepreneurs to invest and create jobs.
“3. America must continue the commitment to educational excellence. American universities continue to attract the best talent in the world and we need to make it easier for the best and brightest who want to stay in America to stay here. That will require a change to our immigration and visa laws…
“4. The American government must continue to invest in basic research. That would be the kind of long-term research that is unlikely to yield developable products in the near term, but will be the basis of innovations that change lives in the long term.
“Let me be clear about what I don't mean. I'm not talking about development of products and government investments and takeovers of corporations—the kind of industrial policy that makes decisions about the allocation of money and talent for applied research outside of areas like national security that is a government responsibility based not on a marketplace assessment of risk and reward. Those kinds of policies will likely misallocate resources…”

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