Public companies are the end-result of many factors that at some point start with an idea born of an entrepreneur. Nasdaq owes its very existence to these inventors and dreamers. Many factors and issues stand in the way of these companies as they start the fight towards becoming a world-class company – the least of these hurdles should be unnecessary regulatory burden. Nasdaq believes that every area of government action can be used to help or hinder the innovation and job creation prospects of the private sector. Here are some key ones that we are fighting for every day:
Access to capital: Nasdaq has blazed a trail for entrepreneurs to achieve the pinnacle of business when they take their companies public. Venture-backed and other growth phase companies face numerous challenges as they attempt to access capital. Sarbanes-Oxley, other regulations and the U.S. litigation system represent palpable costs.
Legal immigration reform: To be the best, companies need the ability to recruit the best workers. Global competition means global access to human capital. Nasdaq supports comprehensive highly skilled immigration reform. We must increase the number of H-1B visas available and reform the employment-based green card process. These issues should not be tied, in policy or debate, to the illegal immigration issue.
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World-class education system: Global competitiveness is dependent on one overriding resource, the input of well-educated and capable human capital. Nations around the world see education of its workforce as a primary area of investment akin to roads and other critical infrastructure. Public policy in the United States must come to this realization. The public and private sectors must work together to develop initiatives to improve science and math education, and increase the number of Americans attaining degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through new programs and resources that strengthen our public schools.
Legal/lawsuit reform: Nasdaq supports a fair and efficient legal system to resolve civil suits in a just and expeditious manner. However we are concerned about the ever increasing litigiousness of our society and its burden on both the small business community and the court system. Small businesses are the engine of economic growth and job creation being responsible for over 60% of all new jobs, yet lawsuits cost them $105.4 billion in 2008. Nasdaq supports common sense tort reforms that eliminates frivolous lawsuits and promotes reasonable awards. For more information, the Chamber of commerce maintains a very good website on this issue: http://www.uschamber.com/legalreform