The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Americans need a more than a pep talk about how to lift this country from the mess that it is mired in.

Best-selling author Gary Shapiro believes he has a plan that can deliver more than positive vibes.

The plan centers on a word essential to entrepreneurs and especially the high-tech and life science business sectors.


Shapiro will be in Raleigh Thursday morning to talk about “The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream” – his big-selling book and plan for the future – as part of the North Carolina Technology Association’s “Thought Leaders” series.

“America seems to be on a downward slide,” Shapiro says.

“Our government spends too much, our economy creates too little; and we aren’t preparing our children to compete in a global marketplace. It’s time for an American comeback – and it starts with innovation.”

Shapiro spells out some details in advance of his address on his website.

“Throughout its history, America’s great innovators have been the real drivers of our unsurpassed economic success,” he writes. “Innovation creates jobs, markets and new industries where none existed before. Most importantly, innovation moves us forward as a nation, pushing us to succeed and strive for a better tomorrow.

“The Comeback shows us how to return innovation to its rightful place at the center of America’s economic policy.”

Some of his key points include:

  • Encourage the world’s best and brightest to come to America with fair, strategic immigration laws.
  • Open American products to untapped markets around the world by passing present and future free-trade agreements.
  • Invest in the development of a national broadband network to help U.S. companies compete.
  • Protect U.S. companies under threat from foreign legal challenges.
  • Drastically cut government spending and restore sanity to America’s fiscal policy.
  • It is not too late to reverse America’s decline and restore the American Dream. The Comeback is a blueprint for America’s success in a new century.

Mark Cuban, a billionaire tech entrepreneur and owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, offered this endorsement of Shapiro’s thinking:

“You probably won’t agree with every one of his ideas. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, conservative or a liberal, there’s going to be something in this book that will challenge your long-held beliefs. Let it. It’s time we stop focusing on the success of one party or ideology, and start focusing on the success of our country. But this book is more than a policy memo, too. It is a plea from one American to another to remember the American Dream – the Dream that the author has lived, the Dream that I have been fortunate to live. The Dream our ancestors came to this country to live.”

It’s not too late to register for the event. Sign up here.

This should be a good talk. Hope to see you there.

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