According to tech blogger Michael Arrington, The Department of Homeland Security seized his boat for what he says is a dumb clerical reason.
So in a follow-up post today on TechCrunch, Arrington declares that America is the MySpace of the world, and that if it were a startup he would just quit.
He says that our bureaucracy is out of control and that our leaders are evil.
There are two big problems here.
The first problem is very obvious: Where is better?
Does Arrington think he’d have better luck dealing with the government in China?
Maybe he’d like to come to where I am right now, to Italy, where it’s commonplace for lawsuits to take 10 years and where there’s a feeling that you just can’t make it in many professions if you’re not connected to the government.
But there’s a much deeper problem here, which is the idea of equating the U.S. with a company, and the government as its corporate management.
This kind of thinking seems to run rampant in Silicon Valley, with its anti-government techno utopianism. It’s very similar to the kind of analysis that Mary Meeker (who is normally very good) does when she tries to analyse the U.S. through the lens of USA Inc. and then focuses purely on public finances to talk about how bad we’re doing.
The U.S. is a lot more than its government, and the economy can’t be measured by looking at the debt and revenue of the U.S. government.
Several months ago we put together a feature that Michael Arrington should read called 10 Great Things About The American Economy That Everyone Should Be Proud Of.
Among the areas where we’re badass:
- Great innovation.
- Strong enforcement of contracts.
- Very little corruption.
- Relative political stability (really).
- Great investor protections.
- Nice-looking demographics.
And there’s plenty more.
Nobody likes dealing with bureaucracy (everyone has a DMV story) but America is still awesome.
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