Top CEOs Fix America

What if we were able to sit with down a dozen or so of the nation’s top CEOs and ask them how to fix the American financial crisis? They started successful businesses. They run huge corporations; dealing with thousands of people and millions of dollars. They should have an idea of what we need to do, right?

Luckily for us, was able to talk with a few of America’s brightest businessmen and weigh in on their opinion. They provide clear insight on how a large corporation approaches a problem. Though different, all of their ideas are creative and well justified. It is interesting to note how the different solutions reflect their respective company.

Here are five suggestions on how to “fix” American:

Steve Ballmer | CEO, Microsoft

His Fix: Here are three: (1) Increase exports by freeing up the backlog of free-trade agreements with South Korea and parts of Latin America. (2) Improve education in the sciences to make our grads more competitive. (3) Permanent corporate-tax reform.

Howard Stringer | CEO, Sony

His Fix: A bipartisan effort to bolster confidence, which in turn will spur consumer spending. Politicians should focus on stimulating the mood to create an environment in which people are beginning to feel comfortable and are willing to spend.

Jason Fried | CEO, 37SIGNALS

His Fix: At the local level, provide citizens with a menu of improvements and associated costs for their neighborhood. Allow people to pitch in toward the goal. If enough money is raised, the project is staffed and it begins. If not, the citizens get their money back.

Thomas J. Donahue | President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

His Fix: Create as many as 1.3 million jobs by making it easier for tourists and business travelers to get to our shores. Safely reduce the visa, airport, and other hassles driving away potential visitors, and vigorously promote the U.S. as a global destination.

Cheryl Dorsey | President, Echoing Green

Her Fix: Every day I see thousands of young people around the country stepping up—a veritable “solutions corps” working on behalf of the problems they believe they will solve over time. Invest in them and get out of their way: that’s how we fix it.

Read the rest of the suggestions on
All illustrations by Andy Friedman.