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For millions of Americans, the American Dream is slipping away. While globalization is creating more opportunities than ever before, new communications technologies and the integration of formerly communist countries into the world economy are dramatically changing the status quo. A tremendous pool of skilled labor in Asia and elsewhere around the world is now readily accessible through offshore outsourcing, and it is undermining the wages and job security of the American middle class. The one hope we Americans have of maintaining our standard of living is to create new jobs through innovation, but Americas ability to innovate is in peril. Research is becoming more cautious as support for breakthrough innovation fades, and the products of that research are increasingly being pirated. Risk capital is flowing overseas into emerging markets, business students are being taught to control costs rather than invest in the future, and employees are being discouraged from tapping their creative potential. Yet in a world where Chinese and Indian companies can handle manufacturing and back-office operations at a fraction of their former cost, innovation is Americas last bastion of competitive advantage. We cannot afford to lose it. How can America restore jobs and innovation competitiveness? In Rebuilding the American Dream, Robert Skandalaris explores these issues through numerous interviews with leaders in government, academia, and industry. His forthright conversations with entrepreneurs such as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, T-Mobile co-founder Alan Bender, General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner, and many others provide insight on a variety of key issues from the offshoring of research to the challenges of sparking local innovation-based economic development. By adding these insights to his own considerable experience as an entrepreneur, he has shed light on one of the most important issues facing America todaythe growing threat to the American Dream.
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Robert Skandalaris is an entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist who has founded several public and private companies, including a technology-based company that became the world's largest supplier of laser-welded blanks and structural tube parts to the automotive industry. He also founded corporate investor Quantum Ventures of Michigan, LLC, a privately held company specializing in the acquisition and development of middle-market firms, and co-founded the Private Bank, LLC. Bob is the author of The Evolution of the American Dream and Rebuilding the American Dream, both of which examine the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship to the American way of life. He strongly believes that technology and innovation are changing the way we think, learn, and live, and his books explore the way these changes will impact our future, both as a nation and as individuals. Bob is also the founder and a regular contributor to the Entrepreneurial America blog, as he considers entrepreneurship to be the single most important driver of job creation and economic growth. An active philanthropist, he helped to establish the highly regarded Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as the Skandalaris Family Foundation. Ken Harrington is the managing director of the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University. Ken has spent over thirty years in the technology industry, founding and expanding startup businesses such as The Bayberry Group, a consulting firm focused on technology startups. Currently, he serves on numerous non-profit and early stage company advisory boards, and is active in supporting the regions entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives.
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