In the last four months, more than 650 CSE activists have written to their state officials about the future of the high-tech economy and the dangerous effects of over-taxation and over-regulation. So it is no surprise to consider some of the leading news stories in the last two days:
A study released yesterday from the University of Texason the Internet and its impact on the economy shows that the Internet economy has added 650,000 jobs in the last year and increased its revenue by 62 percent in the last year.
Earlier this week, the Department of Commerce released its third annual report on the digital economy. Among its findings, technology industries account for more than a third of economic growth in the last five years. And, no surprise here, the average salary for high-tech jobs is $58,000 a year. This is approximately 85 percent higher than the average job in the private sector.
This week heavy hitters from the technology industry – Bill Gates of Microsoft, Andy Grove of Intel, John Warnock of Adobe, and Eric Schmidt of Novell – will meet Washington, D.C. government officials. Public officials on the dance card for this trip are members of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Departments of Treasury and Commerce Secretaries Larry Summers and William Daley, as well as Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard.
Two facts stand out. First, high-tech matters to consumers, workers, and the American economy. Second, while the specific statistics – this dollar figure or that growth rate – are debated and constantly updated, it is undeniable that high tech issues attract public officials like moths to a flame.
The best high tech policy for any public official is to stay out of the way. The red-hot high tech sector of our economy doesn’t need any “helpful” regulation or new taxes. Changes to the high-tech landscape occur faster than politicians and regulators can understand, and trying to regulate something that isn’t completely understood is potentially harmful and perhaps, just an exercise in futility.