The technology community is eager to exploit its entrepreneurial spirit, and Bradford Brown says the president must lead the way.
It's not lost on anyone in Washington power circles that "Happy Days Are Here Again" makes a better campaign theme than "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" On that note, the entire Bush administration economic team was recently replaced. Insiders thought former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was a lousy communicator, and as a result it appeared the administration, while highly engaged in the war on terrorism, wasn't focused enough on economic issues.
The administration, in fact, isn't ignoring the economy, but the war on terrorism is creating an emotional climate that regularly tests our confidence in ourselves and, ultimately, in our president. Things will get better. The political question is, how long will it take? The truth is, monetary policy alone won't be enough to jump-start this economy, and the Bush tax cut that's being implemented over time needs to be accelerated and supplemented with an additional stimulus package. The administration has proposed such a plan, and O'Neill's proposed replacement, John Snow, the former CEO of rail operator CSX, will be one of the people responsible for selling it, assuming he's confirmed by the Senate.
President Bush has been reassuring about our national and economic security, but that can only go so far politically--reassurance is about the present, elections are about the future. The technology community embraces the future with a focus on economic growth, grounded in the very essence of the free market: create, invest, build, market, sell, prosper. That entrepreneurial spirit has created a lot of jobs and a lot of wealth.
There's entrepreneurial capital sitting on the sideline waiting for the right economic climate to emerge. The challenge for the new Bush economic team will be to convince the financial community that the administration understands the problem, has a proposal that makes sense, and is prepared to do what it takes to get that proposal implemented.
The president is a strong and trustworthy leader, and in times of crisis Americans will stand by him. But when we move beyond the crisis, we'll want to hear the good news. And if there isn't any, we'll want to know why.
Bradford Brown is chairman of the National Center for Technology & Law at George Mason University School of Law. During the administration of George H.W. Bush, Brown served as the chief counsel for technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce. (Any opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the George Mason University School of Law.)
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.