Okay.. been thinking about some of the changes we need to consider to improve our country and innovate in ways that we've let lie too long.
1. Mass Transit. It took the gents in Detroit three decades to 'cure' lots of cities of Mass Transit. There was a concerted effort to kill trams in LA, several trolley cars were bought (and shut down) by GM. Why not reverse the trend and look for ways to spread out the traffic woes. For example, Downtown Atlanta (picked at random) could use a high speed rail system leading into the city from several of it's interstate hub/connections. It isn't something that could happen overnight but could do a lot to reintroduce jobs and industry to the country and reduced workday congestion in areas (with good planning). I figure it would take a decade or more to work up a proper plan/system to do.
2. Internet backbone. Most of the 'big ISP' groups in the US have no desire to spend more than the absolute minimum to maintain/upgrade their backbone. Comcast hasn't moved off their 250 gig/month cap, though it's put 'holes' in it for it's own service and 'preferred clients'. Find a way to encourage the US catching up with other countries.. or look into what parts are still 'owned' by the government and how they are accessed. We're falling behind. Seriously. Congress wants to regulate the internet but is twichy about installing 'new authorities' at the same time. We need need a decisive cyber-security agency with both talent and concrete directives. Split off the computer section of the NSA and roll the FBI's cyber-crime division to it. Let the NSA handle intelligence and this new division become the heart of our cyber-security forces.
3. Corporate Taxes. This is the big bugaboo.. I'm tired of the words 'not profitible' in the US. It's crap by and large. We reward big business for outsourcing, hiding cash out of the country. Want to make it profitable? Stop giving benefits that encourage 'hiding' and 'outsourcing', reduce the overall rate some (35% is rediculous and the highest in the first world.). Cut out the loop holes, and be firm about it. GE got rewarded for moving BILLIONS overseas and took a gain from their tax burden, at the same time they eliminated thousands of US jobs. Yes, the classic business model isn't going to work for the current US environment but lean management and innovation have shown that manufacturing can and does make a profit in the US. The EU and many Asian countries have locked down their markets and give breaks to their businesses, provided they stay in country why can't we?
4. Stop looking down on blue collar jobs. I'm guilty of this. My great grandfather, and great uncle, were refrigeration repair men. They worked on grocery storey refrigeration and ac systems. When my great grandfather died, his 'dinky business' was worth something in the area of 2 1/2 million dollars. My great uncle offered to train me in AC repair and bring me into the firm. Right now, the guys who bought him out at that price have contracts that pull in something in the order of that price every 2 years.. for a 10 man business that services three groceries chains in two states. I'd very likely be a rich man if I had taken him up on it. And would have work to this day. Vocational training has long been a bad word, even as folks like Rick Santorum sneers at college education. Higher education doesn't HAVE to be college.. it can be a vocational training school or apprenticeship program. If I had been smarter in the Navy I'd have gotten my A&P (Airframes and Powerplants license) and I could be working in my job skill as a tech for boeing right now. (Even though the A&P license has no bearing on my skills)
5. Encourage business to reinvest in the communities. Instead of just handing them utility bonds and such, offer them tax breaks for 'community' investment. Donate to schools for tax breaks.. look at ways of building your community up rather than simply putting the money in the bank.
I know this is pie in the sky foolishness but anyone who looks at the 'trickledown' plan can see that if you don't make our domestic market profitable businesses won't work to make it so. They'd rather be lazy. Government should be looking for ways to grow business rather than wringing their hands as they blame the other party.