The People Speak

“How can Washington Help American Business?” That’s a loaded question. There are many Americans who believe Washington needs to do more to spur the economy and create new jobs. There are probably just as many Americans who believe policymakers should get out of the way and let business take care of itself. In fact, the federal government is deeply involved in business, regulating everything from tax rates to visas, and this is unlikely to change in the near future. Since much of the resistance to government involvement in business stems from the observation that many of those doing the meddling are politicians, Businessweek.com decided to ask non-politicians for suggestions. The people with whom we spoke come from all parts of the country. Some are in small business, others are academics. We spoke to billionaires and former cabinet secretaries, dairy farmers and chief executive officers of startups. We're impressed by how many good ideas they propose.

Read on to see them for yourself.

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