May 15, 2023

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Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoe and dance.” 
-Oprah Winfrey

We’re incredibly blessed in the United States. Despite all of the flaws, our economic system of regulated capitalism is still the very finest in the world and continues to prove that – over time – we not only have created the most powerful economy in the world, but also the most innovative and resilient. The public private partnership model is at the very heart of it.

The marriage of the government and academia (public), and the private (business) come together to take risk, create markets, and generate both profit and tax base that moves our country and our local communities forward. It is also true that sometimes the public sector leads, as it did during the Great Depression and other subsequent economic crisis, and with the funding of infrastructure such as our rail and highways systems and the development of the internet.  Alternatively, the private sector leads through invention, commercialization, and scale.

In most countries, the government is the driver nearly all of the time, and the private sector is either forced to follow or is suppressed. We have the best of both worlds. For example, the market(s) that are being created in space (perhaps the ultimate frontier market), have been created through massive amounts of government spending by national governments (USA, Russia, China), and was then followed by massive private investment in telecommunications and satellite providers.

The new race is among companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin (and a host of others) to commercialize the space market for travel, medical research, etc. The private companies will almost entirely come from the U.S. because of our system, and they will do more than spur government investment or move America forward. This “dance” between our public and private actors benefits the entire world.

To make this local, there will be times when one side or the other may have to lead, and there are times when they take an equal share. The best communities think long-term, collaborate, and deftly determine who is leading on each issue—and keep dancing.

Let’s have a great week, lift each other up, and move forward together.

-Kenny McDonald