Chapter 9 

Technological innovation doesn't just happen by accident: Men and women dedicate time and often considerable resources to developing and deploying new technologies. These investments can be safely made because innovators trust that they will be able to bring those technologies to market, recoup the investments that they have made, and return a profit to investors. Yet government should consider how the policy environment can strengthen those protections and encourage more investment in greater innovation.

For such innovation to continue, government needs to prevent the abuse of intellectual property rights through piracy and counterfeiting. There are real ramifications to that kind of theft, just as there is with the theft of physical goods: It drains resources from legal businesses and discourages creativity and the development of new products and content.

There's an old adage that if you want less of something, then tax it. Americans want more, not less, of these life-enhancing technological breakthroughs. Government officials, from Washington, D.C., to the state capitols to the mayors' offices throughout the country, should roll back punitive taxes on these technologies so that more Americans can enjoy the benefits that they bring.