U.S. Economy

How to Spread Silicon Valley's Wealth and Talent

Representative Ro Khanna has ideas for helping people who live in areas where industries are dying.

More training, more jobs.

Photographer: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

I recently sat down with Representative Ro Khanna of California to talk about technology, jobs and economic lessons from his perspective as Silicon Valley's congressman. Khanna, who is serving his first term, is vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and previously taught economics at Stanford University, law at Santa Clara University, and American jurisprudence at San Francisco State University. Here are some highlights of our conversation:

On regional development: "This is the big issue of our time: The geographical divide in economic opportunity," Khanna says.

If Congress could pass one piece of legislation to help the Rust Belt economy, what would it be? Apprenticeships.

Innovation hubs are one idea to help spread the wealth of Silicon Valley throughout the country, but what will the effect be on areas outside those hubs? 

I'd expand the earned income tax credit, but Khanna wants to expand it even more. Here's what that might mean for a family and the broader society.

Facebook is facing more criticism than ever before, with some accusing it of being a media monopoly. Are there legislative answers? Khanna thinks stronger privacy protections are needed. 

The national sentiment has turned somewhat against immigration. Regional visas might be one way to better distribute the benefits of immigration throughout the country.

Manufacturing employment: Will it ever go up in the U.S. again? A better question is whether it will stay about the same.

What the biggest surprise in coming to Washington? Believe it or not, it's the partisanship. The most ignored issue? Finding the right mix of jobs.

 

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Tyler Cowen at tcowen2@bloomberg.net

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    Stacey Shick at sshick@bloomberg.net

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