From Swords to Ploughshares
Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Lateef Mtima
Chapter 6: Lawyers and innovation
The United States is a nation of vast inequality. Only the most fortunate have access to elite schools and high-paying jobs. Americans in middle and lower economic categories are struggling and falling further behind. Their incomes are stagnating, their educational opportunities are limited, infant mortality rates and teenage pregnancies are higher, literacy rates are lower, and they are more likely to live in single-parent homes. The potential prosperity of American children is more dependent on their parents’ success than in most other developed countries. If these social trends and conditions are permitted to persist, the burden of unproductive and unfulfilled groups and communities will inevitably diminish our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy and otherwise undermine our position as the leader of the democratic capitalist world. It behooves us as a nation, therefore, to help low income and underprivileged citizens become economically self-sufficient and successful. Just as the emergence of the industrial society presented new opportunities for class migration and equalization, the information society also offers novel means by which to close social gaps and inequities, not only to the benefit of those most directly affected but for the benefit of the nation as a whole. One proven means for socio-economic advancement of underprivileged groups and communities is entrepreneurship, including businesses founded on innovation.
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