The key in keeping America an economic world power can be summed up in one word for Burt Folsom: entrepreneurship.
Folsom, senior fellow of economic education at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan, addressed business and government leaders from around the state Tuesday at the Sutherland Institute's business leaders luncheon. He explained how he believes government policies affect, for better or worse, the entrpreneurial spirit and drive of the economy."What we want people to understand is how the revival of the entrepreneurial spirit will make America competitive in a global market," Folsom said.
Folsom gave historical examples from the early 1800s of how the government has been subsidizing and sometimes operating businesses instead of opening up markets to competition.
Folsom said history has shown that if the government would give the entrepreneur a chance to give larger companies more competition the economy would be in better shape.
The Mackinac Center and the Sutherland Institute are considered to be "think tanks" of public policy. The members of these think tanks look at policies that have been put in place by the government and offer suggestions on how programs can be improved.
"The mission of the Sutherland Institue is to disseminate workable ideas to the important decision makers in our state and to the general public," said institute president David Salisbury. "Utah needs a think tank because state and local politicians need a source of objective information and good ideas."
The Sutherland Institute has a network of scholars at almost every public and private university in Utah who collaborate on research and writing reports on special governmental issues. Their objective in doing this research is to offer policy solutions to state legislators.
Through the research of these scholars, Salisbury said he hopes people will realize that good competition between businesses is vital to the economy. He also said he finds it interesting how the media focus on how small businesses fail, instead of covering failures of government.
"It's amazing to me how we always hear how the private sector fails," Salisbury said.