From Publishers Weekly
As head of the Consumer Electronics Association, first time author Shapiro might be described as a high-tech lobbyist, but readers hoping to learn about the latest innovations in the tech world are in for a disappointment. This is a book about policy, not technology, from an unabashed proponent of the conservative agenda. Shapiro begins with a fascinating personal anecdote from July 2008. He was in Qingdao, China when his Chinese counterpart, circumventing the tedious translation process, used a thumbs up-thumbs down gesture and said, in English, "China going up...U.S. going down." After initial outrage, Shapiro has come to agree. His prescription for success includes tried-and-true Republican remedies like curtailing the power of government and lowering corporate taxes. He opposes unemployment payments extension, subsidies of state liabilities, and "every increase in public pensions, Medicare, Social Security, and prescription drug and health-care coverage." Not only does he advocate raising the age of Social Security eligibility, but also instituting a means test. While his reflections on the introduction of digital technology are interesting, for the rest: caveat emptor. (Feb.)
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Like a losing coach on "Friday Night Lights," [Gary Shapiro] sets out to create a playbook for restoring the U.S. to economic pre-eminence. Mr. Shapiro focuses on innovation, which he argues is the nation's great competitive advantage, the source of American exceptionalism. It is easy to think of innovation as something that just happens, but it is in fact embedded in a social and political matrix. In "The Comeback" he details the policies that, he believes, will allow innovation to flourish. His recipe is a familiar one but not yet familiar enough to engage the preoccupied minds of warring political parties in Washington. Why is it that less government is the right answer in the U.S. while government is a critical driver of China's economic success? Perhaps he should make that the subject of his next book.
- Alan Murray, The Wall Street Journal