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Aneesh Chopra  (Source: AFP)
CEA President Gary Shapiro says the government is silencing innovation

The Obama administration has already had a profound impact on technology.  From charging Intel with antitrust violations to taking majority ownership of GM and Chrysler, the administration's actions have profoundly affected the tech landscape.  And as new decisions, such as the proposed ACTA treaty and Copenhagen climate promises loom, the Obama administration is a hot topic at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show.

Obama's Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra was in Las Vegas yesterday, but received a rather icy welcome from Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro, who admonished the Obama administration's approach on many topics.

He offered mild criticism of the bailout of the financial and auto sectors, which he called "panic spending".  And he stated, "When it comes to innovation, there's a lot the government can do, and there's a lot they should not do.  The government doesn't spur innovation or entrepreneurship. The government often gets in the way."

Mr. Shapiro complains that the Obama administration isn't doing enough to make sure that the U.S.'s trade policy allows our goods to compete with cheaper goods elsewhere.  He also complains that they are dragging their feet about implementing measures to allow the faster transfer of tech savvy workers from nations like China and India.

An apologetic Chopra commented, "We have to eat our own dogfood.  Gary is right about the federal deficit. We are in an economic crisis but we are going to tackle it. We have to get it right."

Mr. Chopra is a graduate of John Hopkins and worked in government and as the managing director at a health think tank before taking on the role of government CTO.  The tech industry's leadership has thus far been rather mixed in their opinions on his leadership and that of the Obama administration.

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RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By amanojaku on 1/8/2010 2:05:11 PM , Rating: 3
Like it or not this Administration, in it's FIRST YEAR, set national records in spending, debt, and government intervention into the private sector.
That kind of makes sense, seeing as how $700+ billion dollars was set aside to save these companies from failing. Oh, and since that money was set aside BEFORE Obama was in office he would have gotten into a lot of hot water if he refused to hand out those funds. Especially if refusing to rescue the companies caused the Second Depression.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By Ammohunt on 1/8/2010 3:12:52 PM , Rating: 4
Reserving funs to offer businesses loans for them to stay solvent != to nationalizing them whcih was Obamas approach not the prior administration.

This is capitalism GM should have been left to FAIL so other companies with better business sense like Ford or Toyota could come in and fill any vacuum left by GM.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By amanojaku on 1/8/2010 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
GM wasn't nationalized. It was financially backed by the government to keep it from failing. GM employs nearly 250M people worldwide; the impact of letting them go during a recession would definitely lead to a depression, and would even stop a booming economy. Unfortunately, an organization the size of GM doesn't have many options for funding other than a government. You can spout capitalist ideals all you want, but if you were one of the 250M loosing your job because the government didn't help out you'd be pissed, especially if it meant no job prospects for the next 10 years. The outlook is THAT bad in some places, with folks simply moving in with family to make ends meet.

Providing funding is not the same as providing stability, however, and the government, like any lender, is presenting terms to ensure economic viability. If the government was nationalizing companies it would simply take them over without. The government is giving these companies a choice: take my money under my terms, or go find your funding elsewhere.

By the way, the government's involvement with GM revolved mostly around liquidation of assets in accordance with section 363 of the bankruptcy code. Once GM pays off its loans, or dies trying, it regains full control of its company. Needless to say, these aren't normal failures and the measure taken aren't normal as a result.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By wookie1 on 1/8/2010 9:19:31 PM , Rating: 4
THe GM and Chrysler takeovers were simply paybacks to the union for support in the election. That's why the senior bondholders got shafted when the company was given to unions.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By Ammohunt on 1/10/2010 8:58:10 AM , Rating: 2
The government owning a 51% share of a company is the Governement Nationalizing the company. it is no different that what Hugo Chavez did to the oil industry in Venezuela.

Either way you have a very screwed up view of what the role of governemnt should be. Proping up failed business models in my opinion is not one of them.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By rcc on 1/11/2010 2:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
GM employs nearly 250M people worldwide;

I hope they abbreviate differently in your part of the world, cuz in mine you are off by 3 orders of magnitude.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By vapore0n on 1/8/2010 3:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that GM got too big to fail. Just try and think how bad the US would be if such company went under.
Not only GM but its suppliers would go under.

Ford and Toyota would have a really hard time filling in a space when no one has any money to buy their products.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By omnicronx on 1/8/2010 3:58:54 PM , Rating: 3
Do yo really think Bush would have let GM fail had it gone bankrupt a year earlier?

Republican or Democrat, one way or another, GM would have been bailed out.

While I agree these companies should have been left to fail, there surely would have been backlash before the industry rebounded(which could have taken a while), and in the world of politics where only the here and the now counts, you are kidding yourself if you think action would have not been taken.

You would be shooting your party let alone yourself in the foot for doing so..

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By KCjoker on 1/8/2010 7:15:37 PM , Rating: 2
Difference is this Bush gave LOANS while Obama gave bail outs.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By rdawise on 1/8/2010 9:32:31 PM , Rating: 1
For those with very short term memoryrs (coughKCjokercough) the bailout talks started DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. What he said is true neither Bush or Obama would have let the companies simply fail without some measure.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By Reclaimer77 on 1/8/2010 9:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
The banks already tried to pay the money back, Obama said "no you can't, you first have to pass our STRESS TEST ".

Most of that 700 billion has been paid back, and the rest of it will soon.

The problem is you are associating a one time loan with the type of massive government beauracracy that Obama is putting into place. Which YEAR AFTER YEAR will cause higher spending, bigger deficits, and which will continue to fail and cost the taxpayers more money.

This is a HUGE difference.

I'm not defending Bush at all. He broke trust with us Conservatives time and time again. But you are living in a dream world, an absolute FANTASY, if you are even comparing the spending and debt caused of those two Presidents.

I really don't think some of you understand, or care, or are educated and informed enough to see what path Obama is taking us down. Massive wealth redistribution and massive spending and deficits of a scale we've never seen before. These are facts. Even the most biased economists are painting a very grim financial future to say the least.

Oh and did I mention unemployment ?

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By thurston on 1/9/2010 12:28:16 AM , Rating: 3
You are totally missing the big picture. How can you actually believe that the shitstorm that we have today is all Obama's fault? You should be just as pissed off at W and any other politician as you are with Obama, they are all to blame. Try some independent thought, stop regurgitate whatever Rush or Glenn tell you to think. Don't let yourself be fooled by the propaganda machines, the ones on the Right or the Left.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By Reclaimer77 on 1/9/2010 1:30:30 AM , Rating: 2
You can't keep bringing up the past, like you guys love to do, and claim to see the "big picture"

The big picture is where we are heading, not where we have been. It's been two years since Bush, and frankly I'm sick and tired of hearing about him. The time for using him as an excuse and a human shield for your socialist agenda is OVER. People aren't buying it anymore.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By stubeck on 1/9/2010 8:16:14 AM , Rating: 2
Its been less than a year since Bush left office, not two years.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By zombiexl on 1/9/2010 11:31:03 AM , Rating: 2
This whole thread cracks me up. Lets look at some things we all know.

Obama has been president for almost a year (technically he started on his policies after he was elected, so slightly more than a year). He continues to blame his inherited economy. *Note* While he was in the senate the Dem's controlled congress, for those unaware congress holds the purse strings.

Bush was president for less than 8 months on sept 11, 2001 and he took a lot of crap for it. He never once blamed Clinton for the attack.

Bush completely turned into a socialist in his second term. Appointing a few judges was the only conservative thing he did.

Obama has raised taxes on tobacco more than all combined taxes since they began taxing tobacco. I don't smoke, chew, etc I just don't like BS taxes no matter who they affect.

I haven't seen one tax cut for real working people. I see a bunch of handouts for underachievers, but not much else. These could be considered a pay back for votes considering the welfare, ssi, public housing crowd voted for Obama in huge percentages.

Most people don't see a big picture they look to what can I do know.

Almost every time I hear an Obama sound bite he blames Bush. He accepted the job (some say he even bought it through the union's), and fought to win the position.

The day he took office it was HIS responsibility. It really concerns me that he wont man up and take responsibility. In any other job he would have been fired. I've never heard a CEO saying that he inherited a bad company and spending them into oblivion to fix the deficit.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By Reclaimer77 on 1/9/2010 1:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not only did Bush never blame others, but he hardly if ever defended himself from even the most wacko accusations. Because the office of the President of the United States is supposed to be above such things. And if Nixon taught us anything, it's that a Republican President is committing suicide if he goes against the media. Fortunately for Obama he doesn't have that problem. The media, aside from Fox, appears to be all too willing to go along with this sham and never ask hard questions or point anything out.

Obama has raised taxes on tobacco more than all combined taxes since they began taxing tobacco. I don't smoke, chew, etc I just don't like BS taxes no matter who they affect.

The amount of taxes gained from tobacco tax is so large that the government is literally dependent on them to run. One wonders who they will come after next once they make smoking illegal. Also in a country that sucks in exporting as much as we do, tobacco is our single largest export. Stop killing the tobacco industry for goodness sakes, I say.

I haven't seen one tax cut for real working people.

And you wont. In Obama's eyes, real working people are fat cats who stepped on others to achieve whatever lifestyle they have gained. We have to take money from them and give to others.

These could be considered a pay back for votes considering the welfare, ssi, public housing crowd voted for Obama in huge percentages.

Don't forget the millions given to Acorn from the stimulus bill. Nothing stimulates the economy more than funding people so they can commit more voter fraud and help hookers file their taxes legally.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By MrPoletski on 1/13/2010 7:12:24 AM , Rating: 2
You're insane. You're not even worth debating with, just worthy of being told you're a nutjob.

RE: You gotta be %^&* kidding me
By thurston on 1/9/2010 3:11:34 PM , Rating: 1
You are such a total shithead. Do you not realize that I am saying both parties suck? The big picture is not where we are heading we are already here. Obama and W and Clinton and H and Reagan they all fucking suck you shit for brains retard.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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