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Can Obama's 'Startup America' project create jobs?
The administration is teaming up with big tech firms to encourage entrepreneurs to launch new companies. Could this really start a hiring boom?
 
Obama, seen here visiting Orion Energy Systems in Wisconsin last week, hopes to promote new jobs in clean energy, technology, and other growth sectors.
Obama, seen here visiting Orion Energy Systems in Wisconsin last week, hopes to promote new jobs in clean energy, technology, and other growth sectors.
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President Obama is trying to create jobs through an initiative called the Startup America Partnership, led by AOL founder Steve Case. The plan is to fund entrepreneurs in high-growth, job-creating industries such as clean energy, medicine, and technology. Intel is committing $200 million in added startup investment, and IBM is pledging $150 million for mentoring programs. Will this really help reduce unemployment, or is it just good PR? (Watch an introduction to Startup America)

This is mostly about polishing Obama's image: It can't hurt to give "a million or so dollars" to a handful of new companies, says Mike Taylor in the New York Observer. "There's always the off chance that the government will help a small-time firm become the next Google or Facebook." But such a tiny effort is less likely to ignite "a new American bull economy" than to earn Obama some friendly press by showing he's doing something about unemployment.
"Startup America stands no chance against the Great Recession"

Obama is on the right track: Training and mentoring programs certainly won't hurt, says David Dayen at Firedoglake, "but the big news here is a huge tax break for startup companies." These days, it looks like tax cuts are the only job-creation option left for the administration, and startups "appear to hire at an accelerated rate," compared to established businesses big and small.
"'Startup America' initiative includes large tax break for entrepreneurs"

Too bad most of us will be left out: This is terrific news, provided you're an unemployed computer whiz, says Larry Dignan at CNET News, but "what about the rest of the country?" Most Americans don't work for a "tech darling," and would not qualify for all these jobs President Obama is hoping to create. How about starting up something "for the rest of us"?
"Startup America needs to look beyond tech"

 

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