The US economy is strong because it operates independently from the policies of presidential administrations, Randall Lane, the editor of Forbes magazine said in an interview with The Times of Israel.
“The beauty of America is that no matter who is president — Trump, Obama, Bush — the US economy is so fundamentally strong and independent,” Lane said last week, in the business lounge of his hotel in Tel Aviv overlooking the beach.
Government can have an influence on the economy “but ultimately it is at the margins,” he said. “America Inc., long term, is strong and will be for the foreseeable future. Policies make a difference but at the end of the day it is its entrepreneurship and innovation that is driving the American economy more than government policy. That is a fact. ”
Lane said it is early days still for the administration of US President Donald Trump. “It is a wait-and-see approach. We are only a month in,” he said. But immigration policies and a potential change to the way work visas for foreign workers are issued “will be closely watched” by the tech community globally, he said.
The high-tech community in the US has expressed concern that Trump’s policies aimed at barring immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries will hurt its technological edge. His administration has also drafted an executive order that would change the way H-1B work visas are issued for foreign workers, Bloomberg reported in January. And tech companies depend on these to hire thousands of employees each year.
“A lot of the boom in the tech industry and the Silicon Valley has been driven by the fact that the US universities attract the best and the brightest from around the world and a lot of them stay,” Lane said. “They wind up creating businesses that create jobs and that is what the tech community wants to see continue.”
The H-1B visa policy is “highly important to the tech community,” he said.
Lane was in Israel last week to announce Forbes’ second annual Israel 30 Under 30 List, which comprises the top young innovators from across Israel who are bringing disruptive and game-changing shifts to business, technology, media, government, sports, culture and more. The innovators on the 30 Under 30 List were chosen by Forbes Israel for their “trailblazing ideas and activities.”
Each candidate on the list has made his or her mark “in Israel, and the world beyond,” the statement announcing the list said.
Candidates were chosen based on their contributions in one of six categories: entrepreneurship and technology; management and finance; social entrepreneurship; governance and law; communication and media; and culture and sport.
The list was compiled after lengthy research that included consultations with local industry leaders and institutions in Israel, including Tel Aviv University, Israel Institute of Technology, IDC Center Herzliya, investment banks, VC funds, tech accelerators and others.
Among the list’s honorees are Nadav Shoval, co-founder and CEO at Spot.im, a system that enables every site to manage its own community without depending on external social mediums; Rachel Krauss, a business development manager at Palantir, a big data company whose products, according to intelligence agencies, are said to have helped identify the location of Osama bin Laden; and Hasan Abo-Shally, the founder of Hasoub, an NGO seeking economic and social change through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, where he helped engage over 25,000 people in over 200 activities and a dozen online communities.
In April Forbes will hold its Under 30 Summit EMEA in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and is expected to bring together more than 600 young entrepreneurial game changers from the US, Europe, Africa and Israel, as well as legendary mentors.
“We are bringing the best young entrepreneurs to Israel in April because this is an entrepreneurial capital,” Lane said. “This is a summit that celebrates entrepreneurship and this is one of the great entrepreneurial regions in the world and it is a very natural place to talk about starting things and innovation and technology and big ideas. And the food is good and the beach is nice.”
The alliances and friendships created by the event’s participants, from the US, Europe and the Middle East and Africa, will establish partnerships “that could last for 50 years and affect the world in ways we cannot even imagine,” he said.