Bailouts, or birthing the next big thing

John Torinus' recent column in the Milwaukee Journal reminds me....still need to read Caught in the Middle by Chicago journalist Richard Longworth.

In fact, the book is sitting in the exact same spot it was when I last blogged about it in April '08.

Friend and fellow blogger Professor Noah Hall gives it a strong review

Torinus, chairman of Serigraph, Inc, a plastics decorating firm based in West Bend, WI, seems to like it too. He says the book is light on solutions.

But he recycles several passages in his December 27, 2008 column arguing that government bailouts should strive to incentivize innovative business activity, not just recklessly throw money at problems with little forward-looking strategy or focus.

Quoting Longworth...

"Midwestern might was based, as we know, on easy access to iron and coal, on money, on new methods of mass production.

"But mostly it rested on ideas, on the minds and imaginations of a generation of entrepreneurs, dreamers, and doers, unafraid to risk all on a roll of the industrial dice.

"As in Silicon Valley now, Midwestern innovation created a new world."

Indeed, in the 20th century the Midwest pioneered premier centers of higher learning, innovative new industries, creative social programs and modern cities that set the course for America. The time is ripe, it seems, to do it all again.