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Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom

April 1, 2015 Comments off

Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom
Source: Mercatus Center (George Mason University)

What policy vision will govern the future of technological innovation? Will innovators be forced to constantly seek the blessing of public officials before they develop and deploy new devices and services, or will they be generally left free to experiment with new technologies and business models?

In Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom, Adam Thierer argues that if the former disposition (“the precautionary principle”) trumps the latter (“permissionless innovation”), the result will be fewer services, lower quality goods, higher prices, diminished economic growth, and a decline in the overall standard of living.

When public policy is shaped by “precautionary principle” reasoning, it poses a serious threat to technological progress, economic entrepreneurialism, and long-run prosperity. By contrast, “permissionless innovation” has been the secret sauce that fueled the success of the Internet and much of the modern tech economy in recent years, and it is set to power the next great industrial revolution—if we let it.

How Local and State Governments Can Rev Up Business Creation

March 27, 2015 Comments off

How Local and State Governments Can Rev Up Business Creation
Source: Kauffman Foundation

The paper recommends that state and local governments adopt several strategies to refocus their entrepreneurship support efforts, including:

  • Facilitate catalytic events that bring entrepreneurs together to learn and connect.
  • Reinvent existing public venture funds in ways that distribute multiple small investments and involve local entrepreneurs in award selection.
  • Reorganize existing incubators along a holistic format that integrates incubated firms, other local startups and experienced local entrepreneurs.
  • Identify and celebrate successful local entrepreneurs.
  • Reexamine professional and occupational licensing with an eye toward lowering barriers for startups.
  • Simplify tax codes and payment systems.
  • Rethink non-compete agreements.
  • Streamline zoning and approval processes.
  • Welcome immigrants, who have been nearly twice as likely as native-born Americans to start businesses.
  • Track the progress of whatever strategies are implemented.

While this may conflict with the goals of politicians seeking quick results, the paper emphasizes that all of the recommended strategies require a long-term outlook in order to work.

The Questionable History of Regulatory Reform Since the Administrative Procedure Act

March 18, 2015 Comments off

The Questionable History of Regulatory Reform Since the APA
Source: Mercatus Center (George Mason University)

The 114th Congress will likely consider many regulatory reform bills. Understanding how such bills pass is important for effective policymaking. While compromise is often key to legislative success, some kinds of compromise may undermine the future success of the intended regulatory reform. If the history of regulatory reform is any indication, the success of future reform will hinge on whether reform bills maintain the substantive intent of their sponsors or are watered down until they fulfill a merely symbolic purpose.

A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University examines the legislative histories and implementation of key regulatory reform statutes and finds that these bills passed after crucial but controversial provisions were weakened. Compromises included in the legislation to secure its passage have consistently undermined substantive reform objectives by maintaining broad agency discretion to interpret the law and by minimizing judicial review. To achieve regulatory reform objectives, legislators must be careful not to abandon core reform elements or history will continue to repeat itself.

Making Value for America: Embracing the Future of Manufacturing, Technology, and Work (2015)

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Making Value for America: Embracing the Future of Manufacturing, Technology, and Work (2015)
Source: National Academy of Engineering

Globalization, developments in technology, and new business models are transforming the way products and services are conceived, designed, made, and distributed in the U.S. and around the world. These forces present challenges – lower wages and fewer jobs for a growing fraction of middle-class workers – as well as opportunities for “makers” and aspiring entrepreneurs to create entirely new types of businesses and jobs. Making Value for America examines these challenges and opportunities and offers recommendations for collaborative actions between government, industry, and education institutions to help ensure that the U.S. thrives amid global economic changes and remains a leading environment for innovation.

Filled with real-life examples, Making Value for America presents a roadmap to enhance the nation’s capacity to pursue opportunities and adapt to transforming value chains by widespread adoption of best practices, a well-prepared and innovative workforce, local innovation networks to support startups and new products, improved flow of capital investments, and infrastructure upgrades.

Small Innovative Company Growth—Barriers, Best Practices and Big Ideas: Lessons from the 3D Printing Industry

March 11, 2015 Comments off

Small Innovative Company Growth—Barriers, Best Practices and Big Ideas: Lessons from the 3D Printing Industry
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration
From email:

Small Innovative Company Growth—Barriers, Best Practices and Big Ideas: Lessons from the 3D Printing Industry identifies 11 barriers that range from the individual level (e.g., academic debtload) to the systemic level (e.g., the reliable exchange of research advancements).

The report was written by Mark Harrison, the Office of Advocacy’s entrepreneur in residence, over a 12-month period. The report draws on input from numerous contributors and contains extensive links to news articles, research studies, and innovative programs. To plant it in the practical realm, the author examined the barriers specific to advanced manufacturing/3D printing, an emerging industry that has the potential to affect traditional economic patterns and produce breakthroughs in dozens of fields.

Statistics of Income Bulletin: Winter 2015

March 4, 2015 Comments off

SOI Bulletin: Winter 2015
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Sole Proprietorship Returns, 2012
For Tax Year 2012, taxpayers reported nonfarm sole proprietorship activity on approximately 23.6 million individual income tax returns, a 0.5-percent increase from 2011. Profits rose to $304.9 billion in 2012, a 7.9-percent improvement over the previous year. In constant dollars, total nonfarm sole proprietorship profits increased 6.0 percent in 2012. Profits as a percent of business receipts rose 1.1-percentage points to 23.4 percent, resulting in the highest level during the 25-year period, 1988 through 2012.

Foreign Recipients of U.S. Income, 2011
US.-source income paid to foreign persons, as reported on Form 1042-S, totaled $568.5 billion for Calendar Year 2011. This represents an increase of 1.9 percent from 2010. Withholding taxes on this income fell by 11.9 percent to $8.9 billion in 2011. Almost 90 percent of all U.S. source income paid to foreign persons was exempt from withholding tax. The residual U.S.-source income subject to tax was withheld at an average rate of 15 percent.

Individual Tax Returns Filed by Dependents, 1987–2011
The goal of this article is to help customers, who use individual tax data published in Statistics of Income’s annual publications, separate the data collected from tax returns filed by dependents (dependent returns) from the data collected from all individual tax returns. Prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86), all taxpayers received the benefit of taking a personal exemption, including those claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. Separating tax returns filed by dependents from all returns claiming a personal exemption would be difficult to determine for years prior to TRA86. For that reason, the figures and tables in this article include only post-1986 tax data.

Partnership Returns, 2012
The number of partnerships and partners in the United States continued to increase for Tax Year 2012. Partnerships filed more than 3 million tax returns for the year, representing more than 25 million partners. The real estate and leasing sector contained nearly half of all partnerships (49.1 percent) and just over a quarter of all partners (28.9 percent).

The Small Business Advocate — February 2015

February 22, 2015 Comments off

The Small Business Advocate — February 2015 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration
From e-mail:

The Office of Advocacy has released the February 2015 issue of The Small Business Advocate newsletter. This edition features Advocacy’s newly released Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, and includes the United States profile in full. In addition, the newsletter contains regulatory news and a summary of the Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act FY 2014.

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