Will The U.S. Fall Behind In Tech?

from the extrapolation dept

I remember about a decade ago all the books and news stories about how the US was going to permanently lose their technology edge to Japan (or possibly Germany). There were all sorts of reasons why things were going horribly wrong, and most of them centered on the fact that the government wasn’t doing enough to stimulate technology growth in the US. Of course, what happened over the next few years changed many opinions on that one. Now, as the US economy has gone sour again, the same arguments are popping up again. A Fortune reporter talks to the CTOs of both Intel and Microsoft who complain that the US is going to lose our technology edge to places like China. They say that the government isn’t doing enough to fund new R&D, that we don’t have enough new engineers coming out of our schools and that we’re way behind on broadband adoption. I’m not saying that these things aren’t worth being aware of, but I’m not sure we need to be worried just yet. While I would appreciate a little bit more long term thinking in how US corporations go about their business, they have shown themselves to be remarkably adaptable. They’ve also shown that being the first to adopt a technology on a widespread basis isn’t always a good thing. Learning from the mistakes of others, and/or implementing better technologies instead can often be a better long term solution.

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Comments on “Will The U.S. Fall Behind In Tech?”

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1 Comment
DV Henkel-Wallace says:

They have the problem backwards!

With all the restrictions on discussion of fair use, discussion of encryption, the gov’t potentially being forbidden from using GPL, restrictions on feotal cell research, etc, it’s really no wonder R&D innovation is moving overseas. It’s like a US tax subsidy to the software industries of India and China, for example!
The only area where the opposite holds is in genetic modification of food, which the US allows and other countries fear. Ironic, neh?

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