The feet, they vote too

Intel CEO reminds Washington that capital is mobile. Especially human capital:

Otellini’s remarks during dinner at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum here amounted to a warning to the administration officials and assorted Capitol Hill aides in the audience: Unless government policies are altered, he predicted, “the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here.”

The U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business, Otellini said, that there is likely to be “an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we’re seeing today in Europe–this is the bitter truth.”

I think he is dead on target here. My father was a pioneer in the computer graphics industry and he’s certainly not creating any new technologies or jobs in prison. I was one of the leaders in bringing graphics hardware to the computer game industry – no one believes this but you can look it up in the Computer Gaming World archives – and have invented a few things from a next-gen sound card to the world’s most advanced mouse and an AI system. I left the country more than a decade ago because I saw signs on the horizon of what Otellini is now pointing out. Furthermore, I run into Americans moving abroad to set up businesses on a regular basis, not every day, but a lot more often than I did 10 years ago. Between the high corporate taxes, the inflexible bureaucracy, the insane amount of regulations and paperwork required, and the global reach of the Internet, it simply doesn’t make much sense to start any business that isn’t a location-tied service one in the USA anymore.

As Schumpeter explained, no entrepeneurs means no economic growth, which means declining societal wealth and eventually grass hut city time. Unfortunately, most people are demanding even more government and they’re getting what they vote for while John Galt votes with his feet.