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Employers across the country are increasingly concerned about the massive cuts to defense and other programs set to occur this coming January. By now, the dire consequences seem fairly well understood: an estimated 2.14 million American jobs will be lost and $215 billion slashed from U.S. GDP in 2013, dragging us back into another recession. And most costly of all – experts say that the indiscriminate cuts to our armed forces will undermine readiness and expose our troops to new dangers during time of war.
This should be reason enough to compel our elected officials to compromise their way out of this debacle, but there are other costs as well. As chairman, president and CEO of a manufacturing company that was founded on innovation and invention, I’m particularly concerned about the threat to American small businesses and our tradition of industrial innovation.
Most innovation in this country comes from the bottom up – from the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop or Bill Gates’ garage. A 2008 study commissioned by the U.S. Small Business Administration found that small businesses are awarded patents at a much higher rate per employee than large ones, and small business patents tend to be more original and economically significant.