Picture 26The public radio show, Marketplace provided a great lead the other day with an interview with Paul Kedrosky, the author of the first in an excellent series of five articles in the Washington Monthly entitled How Washington Can Jumpstart The Economy. In this age of blogs and tweets, the series provides some refreshingly thorough journalism on the topic of how entrepreneurship will be one of the keys to economic recovery, and how the government can help encourage this activity.

Kedrosky’s article sets the tone for the series with the observation that the answer does not lies in whether entrepreneurship or government policy will be the primary force in the recover, but rather how the two can compliment each other toward this end. Kedrosky poses some intriguing ideas for how fundamental reform in energy, banking, and health care can stimulate innovation. But the surprising addition to this list, for me, was that of immigration reform, Paul Kedrosky writes:

“Perhaps the most straightforward action government could take to boost innovation and entrepreneurship is to reform its immigration laws. Foreign-born entrepreneurs are responsible for many of the fastest-growing companies in America, from Google on outward. Studies have shown that skilled immigrants, in particular, account for a high percentage of the founders of Silicon Valley start-ups.”

He continues: “The U.S. should be doing everything it can to facilitate their arrival and permanent addition to the U.S. workforce, whether through expanded visa programs, the attachment of green cards to U.S. graduate degrees, or the outright purchase of skilled immigrant status as is the case in Canada and elsewhere. (See T. A. Frank, “Green Cards for Grads.”) It is crucial in this downturn to fight back anti-immigration sentiment, as well as the predictable xenophobia.”

In the final article of the series, A Shot In The Arm, Jonathan Gruber discusses one of my favorite topics: entrepreneurship in the health care industry.

Who’s in the Social Entrepreneurship club – and who isn’t?
In another intriguing article, Ashni Mohnot writes rather critically about her experiences in the world of social entrepreneurship in this post on the Pop!Tech blog. You would think this would be a category of the entrepreneurial world filled with the creative, the virtuous, and the idealistic, right? Not so, according to Ashni Mohnot.