The U.S. is losing it

The U.S. is losing it

Summary: That's the conclusion of a study on innovation and competition. Globally Singapore is now ranked #1 in coming up with new stuff.

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TOPICS: Emerging Tech, CXO
27

That's the conclusion of a study on innovation and competition. Globally Singapore is now ranked #1 in coming up with new stuff. The U.S. has now fallen to #6 behind Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and South Korea. Seems that public policy and government supported-research are crucial to innovation, despite what the anti-government partisans keep repeating about the supremacy of the private sector. They seem to overlook how crucial government-funded research has been to the development of innovations like nuclear energy, Internet, transistors, and space travel. You can see the whole report from the ITIF here. In the past ten years China has shown the greatest improvement in innovation says the report, followed closely by Singapore. The saddest note: among forty nations, the U.S. has shown the least improvement in the past decade. Dead last, as in brain-dead.

Topics: Emerging Tech, CXO

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  • Drop the politics. The private sector has innovated plenty as well.

    "Seems that public policy and government supported-research are crucial to innovation, despite what the anti-government partisans keep repeating about the supremacy of the private sector."

    I see plenty of innovation coming from nVidia, Intel, Microsoft, Apple, AMD, and even recently Palm. We need to start encouraging more private sector innovation, and we need to start encouraging it to happen inside our country.

    Should I call you an "anti-private partisan?" Would that make you feel better?

    Drop the idiotic politics.

    "They seem to overlook how crucial government-funded research has been to the development of innovations like nuclear energy, Internet, transistors, and space travel."

    Let's drop the politics and solve the problem. Yes, both the government and private sector can innovate. If you want to fund gov't innovation, fine. But don't leave the political sector out of it. They did, after all, give us the GUI, the mouse, the word processor, the spreadsheet, the search engine, and the "cloud."

    You want to really solve this issue? Look at what we're doing. Our youth are getting depressed because they're afraid they won't be able to get a job because you can get jobs cheaper overseas.

    Not to mention our education is more concerned with pushing political and moral viewpoints down the throats of our youth rather than teaching them basic skills. They'd rather say how [b]wrong[/b] the conservative viewpoints are than to teach the material.

    If you want to solve the problem, offer a solution. A real, practical solution. Shoving around politics is not a solution.
    CobraA1
    • Pretty much took the words...

      ...right out of my mouth.

      Additionally, to me it looks like part of the problem stems more from a sense of entitlement that people have, expecting to get whatever they want without having to work for it. Why put the effort into developing something when you can get paid for doing nothing?

      To have the government fund something, they need to get the funds from somewhere, and if the private sector is not producing, and they have to compete with government funded programs, they won't produce enough income for the government to tax.
      brble
    • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7910110.stm

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7910110.stm

      Woo hoo!!!

      The last people to wake up will be the numbnuts that make up the US of A, all naively indoctrinated with the belief that everybody can win by a few greedy people who control all that they see and hear.

      Let me say, Obama may help you, but you have to wake up yourselves. And exercise instead of filling your fat disgusting faces.
      fr0thy2
    • Not entirely true

      As important as the private sector is to innovation, the public sector is also a very important part of creating new ideas.

      It was the DoD who practically invented the internet and email, after all.

      So while innovation does often grow via the private sector (let's face it, private companies made the internet what it is today, not the government), much of it is introduced using government funding.

      I work in a University, so I see every day that private investors won't touch ANYTHING that they don't already know works. The government provides the research funding for a new project, and the private investors provide the funding to develop it further and create a business out of it.

      It's not that one is more useful than the other; it's that we need BOTH in order to be truly innovative. Right now, the bottle-neck in innovation is government funding, so with an increase in government research grants, American innovation will undoubtedly increase. Mr. Fuller isn't suggesting that the private sector is useless in innovation; he's showing that there is an interdependence between the public and private sectors, so if one doesn't perform as well as it should, it drags everything down with it.
      Caggles
  • Should anyone be surprised?

    Anytime you hear someone talk about trade policy, it it usually in conjunction with free trade so that American farmers can sell corn to some backwater country.

    Well guess what? You can't organize trade policy around agriculture. Every agrarian economy is a third-world country.

    America needs to shoot higher, protect it's intellectual property (and I don't mean DVDs), and focus on manufacturing something. Anything!
    croberts
    • "intellectual property"

      Is yesterdays news.

      Intellectual capital is what's important in the knowledge economy, but you only have a nation of self-interested fat people who feel failure because they don't own the world, even with war.

      Grow up, and join the party. We're all here together for each other, fun, love and hard work, not some lardy arsed control freak greedy numbnuts who can't even pinpoint on a map the countries (ie humans, real people who deserve a chance) which they destroy.
      fr0thy2
      • The effect of such anti-American comments

        We're down to about 10k nukes in our arsenal now.

        I suggest our government "innovate" more efficient nuke production so we can destroy all the insipid, effete countries that have never forgiven us for rebuilding the world after WWII.

        If you look at all of the "innovation" by non-American entities, you'll find it was funded by U.S. tax dollars (we still loan money to other countries in spite of our debt to China), it was based on stolen U.S. innovations, and/or created by U.S. based companies trying to escape the strangling regulations of the federal government.

        I wonder if you're thinking of Iraq, the country we 'destroyed' by giving their real people a democracy and a chance at the blessings of liberty...
        Oh, how we should destroy many other (totalitarian) countries in such a way, in spite of what it cost us.
        hiraghm@...
        • Yikes! Fascist alert...NT

          Wizzerd56
  • Zdnet, don't turn into the Harry Fuller soapbox

    While I admire Mr. Fuller's industriousness, much of what he says here is ideologically driven. Please stick to your traditional reporting.

    Oh, Mr. Fuller, I think the primary cause of our "brain-dead" society is not a lack of government funding, but rather the "brain-dead" students turned out by a public school system that cares more about teacher benefits than student achievement. For how many decades have we read about how the average student overseas scores higher on standardized tests than our best and brightest?

    Thank the enormously-powerful teacher's unions for that.
    Dorkyman
    • I have to disagree about the teacher thing

      I'm dating a teacher, and have seen firsthand the way their resources have been cut, and how much work she and others put in. She works far more hours than me, and gets paid less. She's up at 4:30 to get to school by 6:00 so she can have all prepared for the day, is frequently grading essays until 9:00 at night and on weekends, and is preparing and studying during the off summer months. This is in California, but maybe it's different other places.

      What she and I see is a total lack of discipline on the part of the parents. She frequently has parents telling her that it's her job to make sure their student passes, and that's when she's called the parents to inform them that their child is failing because they haven't turned anything in. Or they beg her to let their child make up an entire semester's worth of work in one week.

      I also see that lack of discipline everywhere I go, so it's clear that it permeates society at this point. As I stated above, I think that is more responsible for any loss of innovation -- a whole generation has been raised thinking they should get whatever they want without having to work for it.
      brble
      • Well said...

        You've pretty much hit the nail on the head.
        eMJayy
      • Agreed!!

        Teachers are often made out to be devils and that is grossly unfair. I am not a teacher and I have not been in high school for some time, but I knew things were a mess back then and students got away with all sorts of things. "Boys will be boys". That's rubbish thinking, pure and simple.

        I think most people like to work, and granted I know little about the current school system, but it's possible, thanks to the media and peer pressure from "friends" at school, that a lot of people do not want to contribute.

        Of course, if they're observing offshoring and other factors, is that scaring them off as well?
        HypnoToad
      • "Welcome to Cost Co, I love you"

        So you?re saying that Americans are not generally entitled to receive all that is good without contribution or effort? You sir are no Patriot! In fact you may be a Socialist -a god damned, no good, dirty Commie bastard - and we should probably lock you up.

        You?re girlfriend needs to learn that schools are long term day care for our young?ins. Even if they are given an opportunity to learn they will surely be ridiculed by their peers for their efforts should they be ridiculous enough to take their ?teachers? up on the offer.

        And why should they bother anyway? The best and brightest of them will be lucky to have jobs in the service industry handing over bags of processed kangaroo meat and extruded potato starches in oil to drive through customers; the rest will stand firm as part of Operation Human Meat Shield against all those haters of Democracy Inc.
        mthyer
    • Hear Hear

      The American public of today is the product of 30 years of "progressive" education (I guess in Orwell's newspeak "progressive" really means "regressive").

      Citizens of 100 years ago wouldn't have put up with what goes on in our education system.
      hiraghm@...
      • Listen, Listen

        Citizens of 30 years ago wouldn't have put up with their kids not doing the homework/studies necessary to get the grades. It's not the educational system, it's the attitude of society that (as was already said here) thinks it can get what it wants without working for it.
        mjm5
  • RE: The U.S. is losing it

    AT&T and its research arm, Bell Labs, might have something to say about your crediting their invention of the transistor to government-funded research. I?m always amused by your free and easy fabrications of information designed to support your agenda.
    mineslave@...
  • Re: Drop politics..

    Drop Politics show interests in innovation

    Cheers,
    Kathiravan Manoharan
    http://kathyravan.blogspot.com
    http://paisamechanic.blogspot.com
    mkathiravantwo
  • Americans must change their ways, fast!

    The USA has turned into a nation of greedy fat people. Innovation has gone the way of the dodo, the American Way of Life is following in its steps. If nothing is done pretty soon we will be looking at it and seeing a once mighty nation that has been relegated to a footnote in History books.
    InAction Man
  • Brain dead is right

    The transistor was developed at Bell labs without
    government funding.

    The internet took off AFTER it came out of the military and
    was commercialized.

    Nuclear Power took off AFTER it came out of the military
    and was commercialized. Until the government killed it
    with environmental policies.

    Space travel? It's a joke. The government's been running it
    for decades and it's still bloated and inefficient. Oh, yeah,
    and space shuttles break up and people die because
    governmental environmental policies forced a change in
    the foam insulation used on the shuttle main tank to a
    less safe material.

    The blog author is the epitome of brain dead. All he can
    do is repeat the same old robotic talking points without
    taking the time to actually look at facts or engage in any
    kind of critical thinking. He just keeps parroting
    "government is good, government is good, government is
    good" like a windup toy.
    frgough
    • I think you missed your own point....

      You said:"The internet took off AFTER it came out of the military and
      was commercialized.

      Nuclear Power took off AFTER it came out of the military
      and was commercialized. Until the government killed it
      with environmental policies."

      Government funded research [b] innovated [/b] the internet and
      nuclear power, and then when the heavy spending was done - by the
      government - with no thought to profit.... Then the private sector
      took the ideas and added the bells and whistles to make it
      commercially viable. In other words, without the government funding
      in the first place, there may have been no internet or nuclear power in
      the first place.

      No one is suggesting that the government take on all research, just
      that increased govt research funding leads to innovations that can
      then be leveraged into useful products by the private sector.


      snberk341