Today the Washington Post ran an op-ed suggesting that politicians have been ignoring technology. Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, argues that the incredible potential offered by technology has been ignored by politicians, and suggests that the government should take an active interventionist approach to technology.
Mr. Saylor is certainly no stranger to the opportunities of the digital economy. His company, MicroStrategy, has more than a decade of experience in helping businesses take advantage of technology. In that time, email has moved from a “…function for nerds” to a primary means of communications for millions of Americans. The World Wide Web has gone from an academic tool to a “dot com” phenomenon.
Contrary to Mr. Saylor’s assertion, presidential candidates have been talking about technology. Throughout the primaries Citizens for a Sound Economy activists have encouraged the candidates to allow the remarkable growth of the high-tech community to continue unfettered by government intervention. On more than 200 occasions, CSE activists have quizzed presidential candidates on a range of issues. From antitrust lawsuits in the high tech sector and government restrictions on the telecommunications marketplace to Internet taxation and the digital divide, we’ve asked for answers.
As Mr. Saylor suggests, technology does indeed promise “safer neighborhoods, freer education” and a plethora of benefits from lowering interest rates to saving lives. However, the fastest way to give consumers the full benefits of high technology is to eliminate government barriers to competition and innovation. Unfortunately, many big government advocates echo Mr. Saylor’s assertion that the high tech economy needs more government intervention. Government intervention promises to raise costs for consumers and to slow innovation in this dynamic marketplace.