Volume 4, Number 4 - December 2007
Welcome to the latest edition of EntreWorks Insights, a new quarterly newsletter that will report on business trends, policy developments, and other issues impacting the business of economic development. You’re receiving this note because you’ve asked to subscribe or because you have some previous interest in the work of EntreWorks or the National Commission on Entrepreneurship, where I used to serve as Policy Director. If you wish to subscribe or be removed from this list, please send an email to info(at)entreworks.net. If you’re interested in the newsletter, please read on. Please feel free to share with friends, family, colleagues, and other loved ones. Comments and constructive criticism (and praise) are also welcome. Thanks for your interest.
Erik R. Pages
|The Candidates Speak|
If you’re like us and you don’t live in Iowa or New Hampshire, you’re probably not yet fully engaged in the 2008 Presidential campaign. It just seems too early to heavily delve into the candidate’s position papers and views on myriad issues. Well, things are going to heat up in 2008 so it’s probably time to start getting a little more focused. After all, this is a consequential election and it would be good to know where the candidate’s stand on issues other than the cost of John Edwards’ haircuts, Hillary’s clothing choices or whether or not Fred Thompson is lazy. We’re trying to help in this issue of EntreWorks Insights. We’ve dug through the various candidate’s web sites and position papers and tried to give a sense of how they might govern in issue areas such as regional economic development, science and technology, innovation, and the like. It’s still a little early for extremely detailed policy proposals, but you can get a sense of how candidates might govern if elected to our nation’s highest office.
You can find our results below. We’ve tried to briefly present where each of the major Democratic and Republican candidates stand on these issues. We’ve focused on the most prominent contenders (sorry Kucinich or Paul supporters!) and have tried our best to tell the straight story. These write-ups should not be construed as endorsements or support for any of the candidates as EntreWorks Consulting is a strictly non-partisan operation. We welcome your feedback and opinions.
Hillary Clinton (www.hillaryclinton.com)
As a Senator, Clinton was rightly lauded for her commitment to rural economic development. She has long championed development in upstate New York, and she introduced several bills seeking to expand Federal investments in rural development. The Rural Investments to Strengthen our Economy (Rural RISE) Act of 2007 exemplifies her approach. It would create a new National Board on Rural America that would oversee rural development planning and investments. It would also create new programs to support small business owners and entrepreneurs located in rural regions.
John Edwards (www.johnedwards.com)
Edwards has also presented a plan for supporting American manufacturing that includes an expansion of skills-based training programs (Training Works), new investments (up to $1 billion) in energy research, expanded benefits for displaced workers, and aggressive efforts to fight offshoring. Like other Democratic candidates, Edwards’ rightly notes that his plans to expand health insurance coverage can also help improve American manufacturers’ competitive position.
Like Senator Clinton, Edwards has also proposed a big push to support rural development. His Rural Recovery Act would provide new investment in rural equity capital sources, rural broadband development, as well as efforts to support rural schools and health care institutions.
Barack Obama (www.barackobama.com)
Obama also supports new investments in training (up to $1 billion for a new career pathways program), an expansion of SBA’s capital access programs, and new efforts to spur STEM education, especially for underserved minority students. Finally, he has called for a national network of business incubators, to be backed with $250 million of Federal money that will be located in disadvantaged communities across the US.
Bill Richardson (www.richardsonforpresident.com)
Rudy Giuliani (www.joinrudy2008.com)
While Giuliani has not staked out formal economic development positions as part of his current platform, he was an aggressive development advocate while serving as New York’s Mayor. He is best known for his work in reducing crime as means to improve city life. Indeed, he is on record stating that the number one principle of economic development is controlling crime. At the same time, he was a strong advocate for efforts to retain key financial industries in Manhattan, and to attract other sectors (such as film) to the City.
Mike Huckabee (www.mikehuckabee.com)
Huckabee’s economic platform differs from that of other Republicans. Like them, Huckabee supports efforts to reduce the size of government and to promote free trade and open markets. But, many of his specific proposals are unique when compared to those of his competitors. Huckabee’s most far-reaching program calls for a complete elimination of the current tax regime to be replaced by a consumption-based FairTax. He contends that the new FairTax will reduce administrative burdens and also provide a strong competitive stimulus to American business. On the education front, Huckabee is a strong advocate for music and arts education as a means to nurture creativity and innovation among American youth.
John McCain (www.johnmccain.com)
Like most Republican candidates, McCain supports tax cuts and efforts to rein in government spending. But McCain has expressed support for new efforts to help train and support displaced workers, through community colleges and other support vehicles. McCain is also something of a Republican outlier on immigration issues. Unlike his competitors, he has supported efforts—including the 2007 McCain-Kennedy immigration plan---that seeks to support immigration as part of a pro-growth economic strategy.
Mitt Romney (www.mittromney.com)
In his broad economic platform, he points to tax cuts and reduced regulations as primary tools for stimulating the economy. In particular, Romney has been a strong advocate for “pro-growth” tax policies. For example, as Massachusetts Governor, he fought a tough battle oppose capital gain tax increases proposed by the State Legislature. Romney also expects to bring his consulting expertise to improving the business of government, and he has specifically mentioned Federal economic development programs as one area worthy of reform and streamlining.
Fred Thompson (www.fred08.com)