Per capita spending on R&D is a pointless statistic and is easily manipulated. Since certain research requires a minimum of capital to develop and sustain, the per capita figure is somwhat useless. It’s actual capital that matters and when and how it is applied in the development process. Further, what are the benefits to the research and what drives it in the first place? Does the innovation or development matter?
The US has had a commanding lead on technological innovation and development. Europe really has not since WW2. Japan briefly had a lead in innovation in the 70’s and 80’s, in certain industries. The US recently completed an enormous amount of innovation in technological development
during the 90’s and early 2000’s. The impact is still being felt. Major developments are still happening.
The US economy has transitioned to a service and knowledge based economy but still maintains an industrial capacity that is enormous and dwarfs most nations and regions. That capacity is efficient and able to innovate at blinding speeds, compared to most. Europe will often tweak a development, so will China and Japan. The original idea does not occur to them. That’s a result of the stifling effects of Socialism and Social Democracy as well as tax policy. If you have a good idea, you better bring it to the US because it’s worth a lot more, particularly after tax. Additionally a poor immigrant with the right idea can find funding in the US. That same person wouldn’t be granted a meeting at a European bank simply because of his status. That hasn’t changed much over the years. European banks prefer to lend money in the US, when they can…just ask them. I’ve been offered credit lines by Scottish banks in my business…I don’t think Chase is lending money in Scotland to such a degree?
Innovation has as much to do with culture and spirit. The US technological markets have always been volatile. I applaud Denmark for breaking out of the EU shackles. Let’s see what they do with it? Want to bet against the US developing the next big innovation in energy that relieves the world of it’s reliance on fossil fuels.
A free market is the best innovator of new ideas and the markets in the US are the most open in the world. Corruption is nil and capital is freely available.
Unfortunately demographics are not working in the EU’s or China’s favor. Declining birthrates will create a caretaker economy at best. The influx of immigrants, many of who are non productive consumers of social services, will only drain the economy further. Add the fact that many come from closed societies that do not value scientific inquiry…or inquiry of any kind and openly discriminate against 1/2 of their population and you wind up with Eurabia…somewhere around 2035.