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The Bush in The Valley

The President is making a tour of the West Coast -- Silicon Valley, to be specific -- touting the administration's competitiveness plan.

The SJMN is playing it that this is an indication that The Valley matters.

The competitiveness plan that President Bush is touting today in San Jose was largely the brainchild of Silicon Valley leaders. So, when he talks to 250 high-tech leaders and workers at Cisco Systems this afternoon, it's more than a presidential visit -- it's recognition that Silicon Valley has gained more influence than ever in his administration.

OK -- I was raised in the Bay Area. My mother and step-father still live there. My step-father has been involved in high-tech -- and start-up companies -- for most of his career. But these kinds of stories always make me laugh a bit. It seems to me that if you have to say how influential you are, then you are not really that influential. The Silicon Valley has always had something of a chip on its shoulder (hmmm, a pun?) -- and the relationship between The Valley and The Government has never been a very positive one. And that is too bad. Unfortunately, many companies in the Valley only noticed that feds were a big IT buyer when the rest of the market crashed. And the government -- from a policy perspective -- has not paid nearly enough attention to the important issue of competitiveness. And many small businesses are still terrified of trying to do business with federal agencies – probably with good reason.

I hope all of this is changing. Perhaps Silicon Valley leaders are now more influential then they were. And, it seems to me that the administration's competitiveness agenda is a good start on what is a very important issue.

But the story still made me chuckle.

Anyway, a SJMN editorial supports the Bush plan – shock!

The seeds of America's prosperity over the past few decades were planted in the late 1950s, when the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union prodded President Eisenhower to call for massive investments in education, infrastructure and research. The time to secure our children's prosperity is now.

The President also spoke about the administration's plan earlier this week.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Apr 21, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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