No matter where they went, in their sessions with entrepreneurs they heard the same things, and those themes became chapters.
Startups can’t find employees with the right education and skills. Regulations at the federal, state and local levels are “killing” entrepreneurship, they write. The tax system is a mess; new companies can’t get capital; and Washington itself, with its stalemate and brinkmanship, is a big part of the problem, they contend.
“We’re aware of how difficult Washington is because we work here,” Dearie said. “We’ve worked very hard to be even-handed, nonpartisan.”
They recommend specific education initiatives such as a $50,000 tax credit to students who complete collegiate work in science, technology, engineering or math. They also write that employers and educators should work more closely together in crafting curricula.
The chapter on education — which blasts the U.S. K-12 system and includes plenty of negative things about college graduates even from elite universities — is immediately followed by a section on immigration in which the authors say that people from around the world clamor to attend our universities.
Dearie, in the interview, said that while U.S. universities are “generally regarded to be the best in the world” they still often do not produce job-ready graduates. And startups, unlike bigger and established firms, typically don’t have time or spare money to train new hires.
“There’s absolutely no debate that in K-12, we are not competitive and we are not getting the job done,” Dearie told CQ Roll Call. “We perhaps should have spent more time on that seeming contradiction.”
They call for an overhaul to the immigration system to allow more high-skilled and would-be entrepreneurs to set up shop in the United States legally.
One entrepreneur they quote in the book, Tim Rowe, founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center in Massachusetts, says the nation’s immigration system built on protecting U.S. jobs has it backward.
“We’re threatening the creation of new jobs by preventing these incredibly talented entrepreneurs from overseas from coming here and building their businesses here,” he said.
They also recommend a preferential regulatory and tax framework for new businesses, and they call on Congress to embrace new trade deals and to make permanent a tax credit for research and development, among other proposals.
“The analysis presented in Where the Jobs Are builds a strong case for how essential entrepreneurs are to our country’s overall economic success,” wrote Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Mark Warner, D-Va., in an afterword to the book. The lawmakers have sponsored a bill known as the Startup Act that includes some of the ideas Dearie and Geduldig propose.
The authors say they will give profits, if there are any, to an undetermined charity that helps entrepreneurs.
Dearie, who has previously had a novel published, and first-time author Geduldig said they don’t have a sequel in the works. But their publisher has already pitched some ideas for another book, Geduldig said.
Sen Mary Landrieu, D-La., poses for a selfie with LSU football fans as she campaigns at tailgate parties on the Louisiana State University campus before the LSU-Mississippi State game on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Buy photo here.