Reasons for Optimism about Job Creation

August 25, 2011

There’s a lot of pessimism in Washington about the state of American enterprise. Wild market gyrations coupled with anemic economic growth have policymakers scratching their heads and worrying about the future. Yet, if there’s one person who clearly sees a brighter tomorrow it’s Silicon Valley’s Marc Andreesen. In a recent articlein The Wall Street Journal, he made the bullish case for entrepreneurial growth in America. He documented the ways in which maturing software and information technology platforms are poised to be powerful drivers of new growth and economic dynamism. Of particular interest were Andreesen’s remarks about the possibility of entrepreneurial innovation in the health care and education sectors. He noted:



"Health care and education, in my view, are next up for fundamental software-based transformation. My venture capital firm is backing aggressive start-ups in both of these gigantic and critical industries. We believe both of these industries, which historically have been highly resistant to entrepreneurial change, are primed for tipping by great new software-centric entrepreneurs.”


Part of my research lately has been on what economist Arnold Kling and I call the New Commanding Heights of the economy -- health care and education. These are two areas where consumer demand is growing rapidly and where there is great potential for job growth. Even so, both sectors have been, as Andreesen notes, overly bureaucratic and highly resistant to change. Much of that has to do with outdated government policy, at both the national and state levels. If policymakers want to unleash job creation, these are two sectors ripe for reform. If reform happens, expect a big job boom thanks to these sectors.