An entrepreneur offers a vision for a new wave of American economic success.
Drawing on history, economic theory and his own experience as an immigrant, an employee and an entrepreneur, Sharma (Global Outsourcing, 2005) lays out a road map for American prosperity based on innovation and a high-tech infrastructure that allows the best and brightest to both collaborate and compete. The book begins with an overview of what the author defines as the two previous American dreams: one in an agricultural economy based on family farms in the 19th century, and the other in a broad base of homeowners subsidized by government policy in the 20th century. Sharma’s vision for the 21st century and beyond relies on a governmental policy that provides a structure for federally backed startup funding—a structure, he says, more effective than venture capitalists focused on quick profits and one that will become self-sustaining as successful businesses share equity rather than repay interest. That startup funding would be supported by a network of national and regional hubs for education and innovation, guided by the understanding that manufacturing as well as the service industry are necessary for a stable economy. The book goes into detail as to how the education, health and energy sectors would develop under this plan. It is clear that Sharma has thought through the details of his fundamental reorganization of the economy, as the book offers not only big-picture theoretical explanations for his advice, but also itemized discussions of how his proposed structures, such as a Cabinet-level innovation department and an integrated system of in-person and remote education, should be set up, funded and operated. Although the book is at times overly enthusiastic about American exceptionalism—“In any other country, if one played well and lost the game it is still applauded, but not in the United States”; “We forget that Americans, by nature, are the most competitive people on this planet”—Sharma does point out that he reached this conclusion after years of international experience.
A unique recommendation for the economic future of the United States, offering well-thought-out proposals sure to spark discussion.