“The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an organization of 400 employers with facilities in all 50 states and almost every Congressional District, urges the Trump Administration, House and Senate to unite around the freedoms upon which our nation was founded. Our country’s greatest ideals embrace and respect people of all ethnicities, national backgrounds and faiths. Let’s build upon that tradition now and always.”
“The Leadership Group respects that our national security must remain a paramount concern of our Federal Government. We also believe our actions must be tempered by thoughtful, measured decisions that will strengthen our economy, security and moral authority.”
“Silicon Valley and much of America’s Innovation Economy has been built through the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of courageous immigrants and refugees. In fact, 40 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Whether iconic global brands or struggling entrepreneurial start-ups, innovation economy companies are created disproportionately by immigrants. In Silicon Valley, 58 percent of our engineers – the lifeblood of Silicon Valley – are foreign-born. Whether it is Intel Co-Founder Andy Grove, Yahoo! Co-Founder Jerry Yang or Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin, we are proud that so many leaders born outside of the United States moved here – often at great risk – to call our Country home.”
“Through this lens, we urge the Administration and Congress to never forget that we are a nation of immigrants, often refugees, whose diversity is the backbone of our unity. Our economy and quality of life are enhanced by waves of immigrants who continue to help build our Country.”
Here’s food for thought . . . Taxing Innovation Tempers Job Creation.
One of the most troubling elements of the Affordable Care Act, known also as Obamacare, was the tax imposed on America’s medical device companies. Since this $29 billion tax on innovation was passed in 2010, large numbers of Senate and House members, Democrats and Republicans, have spoken out against it. Sadly, unless this destructive tax is repealed, the damage remains. Allow me to count the ways:
- First, the $29 billion tax on America’s medical device companies applies to a company’s revenues – not their profits – which hurts small and entrepreneurial employers especially hard.
- Second, at 2.3 percent of revenue the amount of the tax is troubling. For every $100 in revenue, the tax is $2.30, even if the company makes no profit.
- Third, dollars are finite. The tax leaves less money for research and development, hiring employees, clinical trials and manufacturing.
- Fourth, more than 400,000 Americans are employed by our robust medical device industry. Since 80 percent of medical device companies have fewer than 50 employees, we place thousands of small, innovative employers at risk.
- Finally, the innovation derived from our medical device companies save lives, extend lives and improve the quality of our lives. Think artificial knees and hips, imaging machines, arterial stents and numerous other breakthroughs, jeopardized by a tax on innovation.
For those in Congress who have over-reached in their desire to abolish Obamacare, let it go. But for those in the House and Senate who would bypass this opportunity to abolish a damaging and destructive tax on innovation, let’s fix what should never have been enacted.
In the “great debate” as to whether the South Bay or San Francisco has become the epicenter of innovation, I would like to declare a clear winner … both!
When you step off a plane at San Francisco International Airport, signs from Mayor Ed Lee proclaim “Welcome to San Francisco, the Innovation Capitol of the World.” At Mineta San Jose International Airport, advertisements abound from high-tech companies that make it clear you have arrived in Silicon Valley.
While competition is good, and is certainly what makes our Innovation Economy the envy of the earth, it’s kind of silly to see some in the media constantly compare San Jose and San Francisco. As my friend Emmett Carson of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation recently stated at our Game Changers 2014, we should think of Silicon Valley as “Market Street to Market Street,” from Market Street in San Jose to Market Street in San Francisco. These bookends include all the incredible companies innovating in every community in between.
Is this definition of Silicon Valley too expansive for some? It was Bill Hewlett himself, co-founder of Hewlett Packard, who told the media 25 years ago that his vision of Silicon Valley was even bolder – running from Napa to Monterey.
Clearly, when a company in Santa Clara County prospers – or a start-up in San Francisco succeeds – our whole region benefits. Let’s compete, but let’s compete together against the rest of the world.