I gave an interview to Information Week yesterday about the effect of the financial crisis on the IT business.
“Just recapitalizing the banks is not going to revive the economy,” said Taplin. “The economy is going to have to be spurred to be a much more production-oriented economy, rather than a consumer-oriented economy. Seventy two percent of our economy is based on people going to the mall. That’s not a competitive situation when you have a Chinese economy in which 65% of the economy is based on producing real stuff.” Taplin believes that the private sector can’t solve this situation alone. He expects unemployment will reach 8% by the holidays.
Taplin expects that the recovery will be traumatic and painful. “There are going to be a lot of empty shopping malls,” he said. “But coming out of that on the other side, becoming once again the world leader in technology could be an exciting thing. We did it once before in the ’60s and ’70s when the IT revolution started, and it was the government, through DARPA, that provided the money to get it going. The Internet wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for government spending.”
“There’s certainly going to be a lot of near-term pain,” said Taplin. “But it’s my belief that long-term, both IT and what Thomas Friedman is calling ‘ET’ — energy technology — will be the only ways to get out of this.”
Obama has some pretty good ideas about this, but this community has been pretty smart about coming up with rebuilding ideas.