Building roads and bridges will give our economy a short-term boost—but we need to look farther into America’s future on the global stage, writes Thomas Friedman in the New York Times. That means investing to make sure the next Microsofts and Googles are home-grown. How? For a start, let’s cut teachers’ taxes, raise their salaries, and offer people $5,000 to head back to school.
“Even before the current financial crisis, we were already in a deep competitive hole—a long period in which too many people were making money from money, or money from flipping houses or hamburgers,” Friedman writes. We need people cashing in by “making new stuff,” becoming the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. “Perhaps more bridges can bail us out of a depression, but only more Bills and Steves can bail us into prosperity.”