HIGH-TECH vs.the LOWER POLITICS in NH
Sometimes absence sends a stronger message than presence. Such was the case recently at the New Hampshire High Technology Council’s (NHHTC) “Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Recognition Banquet” at the Radisson in Manchester. The three supposedly leading candidates to represent New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District (NH CD 1), incumbent Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, former incumbent Jeb Bradley and former State HHS Commissioner John Stephen, were absent. Leading challenger, Independent Candidate Dr. Peter Bearse, was there along with Governor Lynch.
Why would any candidate for Congress overlook such an event in a world that is driven by Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (STEI)? Unless they fail to recognize the procreative powers of these key driving forces? Or unless they feel (as they are) unable to deal with them? Or unless they discount the importance of technical importance to the state’s economy – very hard to do given that it’s of such great and growing importance to the state’s GDP, job creation, employment and economic development!? It seems that ignorance and/or indifference as to the main forces forming our future are bipartisan, shared by representatives of both major parties.
Neither political party is able to help us face the future because neither understands the dynamics of the new economy being built by STEI. The dynamics are global, highly interactive and therefore, complex. Being there would have helped the other would-be Congressional Representatives who, as party animals, are only prepared to play party games. They would have heard a great story of the micro-dynamics of new enterprise formation told by one of the founding members of the firm being honored, Paula Long, V.P. of Engineering of EqualLogic.
Shea-Porter, Bradley and Stephen missed a great event. As representatives of big-money, special-interest politics, one would think that they would have been drawn to it, at least because of its roster of big, blue-ribbon company sponsors. These included Ernst and Young, Silicon Valley Bank,FairPoint Communications, Gentex Corporation, Fidelity Investments and TD Banknorth. The absentees might also have been impressed by the fact that EqualLogic has been purchased by Dell for $1.4 billion dollars.
As myself founder of a firm, I was impressed by the entrepreneurial tale told and the entrepreneurs present – representing the vision, guts, gumption, uncertainties, tough odds and hard work that, with strong doses of luck (that “favors prepared minds”), can lead to great technical-entrepreneurial success. My own small but innovative and successful economic consulting firm, Development Strategies Corporation (DSC), was founded in 1982 on the premise that innovation and entrepreneurship are the prime drivers of the new economy – long before this was recognized by others in the economic development field!
So, here’s to the NHHTC with thanks, especially to its technical-entrepreneurial members. May they continue to drive the dynamics of development in NH, with help of a Representative who understands how to nurture an “environment for enterprise.”
PETER BEARSE, Ph.D., International Consulting Economist and former Founder/ President of DSC; released by Supporters of Peter Bearse for Congress, June 13, 2008.