I agree with Tom Hayes and Michael Malone in their belief that “Entrepreneurs Can Lead Us Out of the Crisis.” Why? Because entrepreneurs have the agility, flexibility, and grit to make change happen. Innovation is the chief tool of the entrepreneur. Hayes and Malone outline about a half dozen ways the new administration can help them. And those ways are by and large subtractive, a key element of elegance.
1. Kill Sarbanes-Oxley. It’s massive, expensive, and sucks needed capital.
2. Remove the shackles on tax-free retirement money, or remove taxes on accounts intended to fund new ventures. (like a 529)
3. Eliminate payroll taxes. It’s a burden, and stops the creation of new jobs.
4. Lower capital gains taxes on venture capital investments in early stage startups.
5. Help big business think small to return to an entrepreneurial mindset by providing an incentive to take risk and create new jobs. There’s none of that in the stimulus package for large companies.
6. Seduce entrepreneurs. How? A presidential summit like Reagan’s in 1982. Obama holds sway…he needs to aim it at small business.
Matthew E. May is the author of “IN PURSUIT OF ELEGANCE: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing.” He is constantly searching for creative ideas and innovative solutions that are ‘elegant’ – a unique and elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power.