Week twenty-six

I’m sure most of you had as much interest in last Tuesday’s election as I did. And, being a registered Republican, I suffered some disappointments. The Iraq war clearly tipped the scales. This election turned the old maxim “All politics is local” upside down. It appears to me that things are going to be more interesting than when I discussed this topic before. My more personal concerns are that I would hope that the legislators don’t slow the growth of high technology in the United States or impact employee ownership or entrepreneurship in a negative sense. Do you have any interesting or unusual predictions for the future as a result of this election? I would be interested in hearing them.

Click on the comments link to share your thoughts.

- Bob

4 Responses to “Week twenty-six”

  1. 1 David Binns

    Dr. Beyster,

    With respect to employee ownership, several prominent Congressional supporters of ESOPs lost their races. Since much of the legislative debates involving employee ownership revolve around ESOPs that may be some cause for concern. But EO is inextricably tied to technology companies as well as per the debate on stock option expensing where tech companies were at the vanguard of efforts to protect equity incentives for employees.

    It’s interesting to note that in recent years many more of the prominent supporters of employee ownership in Congress have been Republicans who think of EO in terms of the “opportunity society”. Yet historically, dating back to Senator Russell Long from Louisiana, many of the early supporters were Democrats. That’s one of the real appeals of EO from a public policy perspective — it addresses pro-business, growth oriented programs as well as encouraging broader participation in the benefits of capital ownership.

    With Democrats in control of Congress, economic fairness will be a major platform and it appears unlikely that the President’s tax cuts will be extended. There may be an effort to promote investments in technologies to help wean the U.S. economy from its dependence on oil. Maybe there’s an opportunity to tie growth-oriented incentives to broad-based ownership participation as a condition for qualifying for any such incentives.

    David Binns

  2. 2 Donna Cunningham

    I seem to remember a lot of doom and gloom in the hallways after Clinton was elected and those years were ones of growth and success for SAIC. I believe those who step up to find innovative solutions to challenges will prosper in the coming years as well.

  3. 3 Sam Smith

    The old maxim is “Republicans Study the Problems, Democrats buy things” I think the reality is the trend is towards more technology in warfighting and less of the individual soldier/sailor/airman being exposed to the threat. Advanced Command, Control and Communications, distributed sensors, stand-off weapons – all of these will gain popularity. These have been traditional areas of SAI’s strength. I think SAI will do very well in future budget decisions.

  4. 4 Kathleen Connell

    As a space professional and new resident of La Jolla, I am aware of SAIC. I was amazed to discover that it has been “employee owned” all of these years. I look forward to Dr. Beyster’s new book on the topic.

    I think it should be clear by now that the old truisms-R’s are pro-technology, and D’s are behind the curve, is simply outdated. Certainly that is not the case in CA, where many house reps preside over savvy hi-tech constituents. Al Gore and many others in the Democratic Party have emerged as technology policy leaders over the last 15 years or so.

    The question may be-what technology investments will be favored? Does the current investment in DoD large systems meet the challenges presented by terrorists? Is alternative energy both good policy and a good investment?

    Technology is here to stay, and I hope SAIC and other process-innovative firms can move towards encouraging public sector investments
    that address 21st century challenges, rather than hanging on to 20th century revenue streams, which don’t meet the current challenges. As a Democrat, that is what I will encouraging our representatives to do.

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