Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Old Politics Frame The Stimulus Package--And Innovation Losses Out. President Obama Needs to Control The Conversation.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 8, 2009

In times of changes, most people revert to old frameworks to interpret problems and come up with solutions. The Stimulus Bill is a great example of that—to the detriment of the US and the global economy. President Obama lost control of the bill as it went through Congress and then lost control of the way it was framed, so it fell into the partisan quagmire of left vs. right, spending vs. tax cuts.

Instead of framing the stimulus package as a way to the future, as a vehicle to create jobs based on a Creative Economy that encompasses green tech, digital infrastructure, open source collaboration and other obvious cutting edge sources of economic growth, politicians in Washington discussed it in terms of tired old politics and policies. With the world facing another Depression and after this transformative election, shame on them for doing so.

Let’s look at what is being cut in the Senate version of the bill:

The $16 billion in school construction funds would be cut, and increases for popular programs like Head Start cut in half. New school room construction is critical for building spaces that allow students to learn in a 21st century way—digitally, collaboratively. Today, kids are more technologically advanced than their teachers and learn, work and play very differently than their parents. They need different spaces and different learning atmospheres. Boo for Congress to deny kids this.

The deal would also cut back new funds committed for expanding broadband access. I’m dumbfounded by this. Broadband is the basis of all future economic growth. The US is way behind other countries.

There are cuts to improving the electrical grid. Building a smart electric grid is critical to harnessing wind power. Everyone knows this. It’s a no-brainer.

There were also cuts to spending on boosting health information technology. Health care and education are the two industries that are creating new jobs today. They will create many more new jobs in the future. Digitalizing health care records—and guaranteeing privacy—are just important for the future.

Finally, there were cuts in the tax breaks for wind and solar firms. This makes no sense, given the economic and foreign policy imperatives of our day.

Here is a more detailed list from economist Brad DeLong.

The stimulus bill debate has been framed in terms of “saving” money, when we need to be spending as much at this time. It’s been framed in terms of “jobs now,” not in the future, when we need to use the money we spend now to build the foundation for the future.

It’s late now, but President Obama is beginning to explain this to the public. He should have done it earlier before these programs were cut.



Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!