The best economic development strategy is to create
an environment that is nourishing to entrepreneurs, said John
Naisbitt, author of bestsellers "Megatrends" and "Reinventing
the Corporation," was in Oklahoma City Thursday as primary speaker
for an Express Services client appreciation dinner.
"The nation's economy is in really good shape," Naisbitt said.
This is the end of the sixth year of growth, which is the longest in
the history of the United States in peacetime.
Naisbitt expects the momentum to continue into the 1990s.
"What we have to do is not do anything," Naisbitt said. In a
shifting global economy, the government should stand aside," he
The secret of President Ronald Reagan's success is that he has
done very little, which has been entirely appropriate, Naisbitt
During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Naisbitt was
special assistant to Health, Education and Welfare Secretary John W.
Gardner. He also has served as assistant to the U.S. commissioner
of education and to the chairman of the commission of presidential
The economy is changing from an industrial to information base
and it is becoming global, he said, which is an extremely
The economy is undergoing a restructuring of a collection of 160
to 200 economies to one global economy, he said. The new economy is
not cyclical like the old industrial economy of the last 150 years,
In the new economy, there are no heights and valleys or cyclical
periods, he said. In a global economy, the larger playing field
tends to iron those things out.
The new economy is created by entrepreneurs, including the
750,000 new companies founded last year, not the Fortune 500, said
Naisbitt. The Fortune 500 companies have been losing employees for
17 years, he said, while the new companies provide almost 90 percent
of the new jobs.
The definition of an entrepreneur is someone who creates
something that wasn't there before, Naisbitt said. This is the new
hero of society.
The corporate mergers and takeovers are the last gasp of the old
economy, he said.
"The leveraged buyouts are good to a point because they
transform the managers into entrepreneurs, who want to make the
company lean, mean and profitable."
"Attracting new industry is a dumb idea," Naisbitt said. "This
does not create jobs anymore."
"There is a shift from the importance of the infrastructure to
the quality of life, with the new economy," he said.
In an industrial economy, water, natural resources and
transportation are important, but with an information economy, a
company can be located anywhere, he said.
In this case, good schools, a low crime rate and cultural
opportunities become important, he said.
The only booming economy in Europe is Italy due to the
entrepreneurial startups, he said.
The other economies are hostile to entrepreneurs. In some
countries, like England and France, it is more honorable to inherit
wealth than create it, he said. …