Opinions: Is Europe holding back global innovation?

Justin Marinelli, Senior Writer

Recent court rulings in Europe against Google and Uber have led many to wonder if European laws are stifling innovation. Some people also question whether or not we should do something about the actions of certain tech companies in this country. This is a fine example of how people will always find a way to ask the wrong questions.

Do extraneous laws stifle innovation? Of course. More restrictions on what you can do suggest fewer new ways of doing things. That this needs to be debated shows that “cause and effect” is not a concept that everyone is capable of grasping.

Should we do something about tech companies? Wrong question. How are we supposed to “do something” about them if we don’t know what they are doing? Sp, what are tech companies doing?

The short answer is that they are embodying the last truly innovative economic sector in the country. The tech sector is the last bastion of true creativity and unexpected ideas currently functioning in the United States (consider the cries of certain tech moguls for parts of southern California to secede from the rest of the country as a manifestation of their propensity to dream up ideas most people could never imagine).

Every other industry is just slightly tweaking (if that) the same scripts they’ve been running for decades. Silicon Valley, Calif. is perhaps the only place in this country still experimenting with new ways of getting things done.

Healthcare? We’re paying more for the same types of services while getting unhealthier by the year. Education? The quality of education seems to be declining relative to the rest of the world, even while quantity is skyrocketing. Manufacturing? It’s no longer in the United States anyway.

Now, we can certainly debate how much innovation in tech actually benefits the population at large (I know I’d certainly prefer to have a cure for cancer in lieu of a new app to find sexual partners), but the fact is, it’s happening to a far greater degree than in other industries, and we must commend the tech industry for that.

All this brings me to my final question, the one that we all should really be asking in the first place: What happened to the innovation that was once the great strength of the United States, and how worried should we be about this accumulating stagnation in an ever-changing world?

The international community should be commending and encouraging innovative ideas from the tech industry, not regulating and thwarting them before they can begin.

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