T Nation

US 'No Longer Technology King'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6502725.stm

The US has lost its position as the world’s primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

The US is now ranked seventh in the body’s league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations.

A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall, the report said.

The top spot went for the first time to Denmark

Yeah this sucks. When the U.S. began to lose its industrial base everyone said oh well at least we are still leaders in innovation, well now WTF are they gonna say?

Judging by last year’s results, the ranking system seems to be more of a snapshot ranking of 2006 rather than a ranking of overall “Technology Innovation”.

I don’t suppose the top six built some serious infrastructure and invented some really bang-up stuff (that I conveniently have not heard about) in that last year that surpasses the U.S. all-time.

DEN-MARK! DEN-MARK! DEN-MARK! WWOOWWOOWWOOOOHOOOO!!! YEAH!!!

[quote]florin wrote:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6502725.stm

The US has lost its position as the world’s primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

The US is now ranked seventh in the body’s league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations.

A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall, the report said.

The top spot went for the first time to Denmark[/quote]

We really need to get our shit together.
I grew up in what is now a post-industrial rust belt. The steel and manufacturing plants are all shut down and gone and lower income and retired people are all that hang around there now, because they have to.

At the same time, most of the fields are fallow and the small farmers have all been replaced with a few giant companies.

Now this too…It almost seems that more and more we are over-relying on a certain critical mass that we’ve built up in past. Perhaps this is just part and parcel to the evolution of a State and World Power in a globalizing context? Or have we lost the initiative?

Funny thing is, I don’t see this - quite the opposite actually.

But then, I live in the Silicon Valley. :slight_smile:

On the broader scale thou’, the article may hold some truth.

[quote]florin wrote:
Funny thing is, I don’t see this - quite the opposite actually.

But then, I live in the Silicon Valley. :slight_smile:

On the broader scale thou’, the article may hold some truth.[/quote]

The rest of the country is dragging us down.

[quote]tGunslinger wrote:
I don’t suppose the top six built some serious infrastructure and invented some really bang-up stuff (that I conveniently have not heard about) in that last year that surpasses the U.S. all-time.[/quote]

Where I am, people are doing some very impressive things with polymers. As far as I know, Sweden spends more money on R&D than the US proportionally to their GDPs. In my department, we have two Americans (out of 20 people) that were disillusioned by Dubya and decided to make their lives elsewhere. MIT and Cornell graduates nonetheless…
The US spends boatloads of cash on the military and subsidaries for some agricultural or industrial groups. This might not look as a bad thing in the long term as most worthy tech innovations came out of Pentagon projects, but in today’s highly competitve world and given the slubby efficiency of the US military at turning green into tech products, it sure looks like the bad road to be on for Americans.

If I was from the US, I’d support an “introspective” government that cares about the people of the country rather than the half-century old tradition of meddling in other people’s business. But that’s just me…

It is about god-damned time the rest of the world has climbed off their sorry asses and started to contribute.

In the past 50 plus years all the foreign scientists had to come to the US to get a chance to innovate.

Now much of the world is following Americas example.

It is expected that certain small countries will be able to invest more per capta than a large country like the US.

This is not bad news, but of course we do not want the US to drop way down the list.

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.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
In the past 50 plus years all the foreign scientists had to come to the US to get a chance to innovate.
[/quote]

They still do but now they go home when they become tired of American politics and special corporate interest. Since many of them come here specifically to learn when they find out they can go back home and make money they often do.

As far as being innovators in the first place we have always been good at getting others to do our dirty work–that is to say we have always relied on help from the international community. Now the US need to learn to become self sufficient. This will require massive and sweeping changes in education, including its funding.

[quote]hedo wrote:
…[/quote]

Dude, relax on the chest-beating, you sound a little defensive. :wink:

Holy crap! The US’s waning world popularity is spilling over into worldwide popularity contests!

I can’t believe Bono would dis us like that.

Our Gov’t has been letting big business sell us down the drain since the 80’s.Unfortunately people will keep lying to themselves until its to late.

Wait… How come Iran is not on that list? Here’s a country that’s coming from a goats and camel industry to working hard to enter the Nuclear Age.

How about North Korea? The people have barely enough rice to eat but because of their sacrifice, they can now bomb-diggity anyone!

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

They still do but now they go home when they become tired of American politics and special corporate interest. Since many of them come here specifically to learn when they find out they can go back home and make money they often do.[/quote]

If this were a dominating factor, one would expected China to climb enormously, or at the very least climb.

No, I think there’s a reason why Denmark Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands compose 6 of the new top seven and I think it has little to do with biggest and newest technology, to steal the term from the fitness industry they’re leaders in ‘functional technology’.

This is both anti-American and centrist drivel. The US has been a nation of free thought and individualism and has attracted and retained great minds and free thinkers because of that. To mutate that into ‘getting others to do our dirty work’ is degrading to the people that actually did the work and the essence of the free-market that tempted them in the first place. And to say that ‘now the US has to become self-sufficient’, in addition to the above, demonstrates that you’ve entirely dismissed the amount of homegrown brain power our nation actually generates.

I’m in favor of education reform and if I were a socialist on any issue it would be education. But if this is an issue, it’s a convergence of several underlying symptoms, one of which is education.

According to the National Science Foundation, we are goat-fucked: Most scientists and engineers are older and retiring. That’s why the pay is so high for new grads. The Chinese and Indians graduate more, both relatively and absolutely, than we do. Long term, we’re screwed.

A nation of undereducated video-game players…sad…

Hmm…That’s weird. I own a lot of cutting edge technology and none of it is from Denmark. I have some furniture from Denmark though.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
According to the National Science Foundation, we are goat-fucked: Most scientists and engineers are older and retiring. That’s why the pay is so high for new grads. The Chinese and Indians graduate more, both relatively and absolutely, than we do. Long term, we’re screwed.

A nation of undereducated video-game players…sad…[/quote]

That would be all the corporate execs farming out all the jobs to india causing a decrease in demand. It is cheaper, but working in that environment I can tell you we are getting what we pay for, Crap.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
As far as being innovators in the first place we have always been good at getting others to do our dirty work–that is to say we have always relied on help from the international community. Now the US need to learn to become self sufficient.

This is both anti-American and centrist drivel. The US has been a nation of free thought and individualism and has attracted and retained great minds and free thinkers because of that. To mutate that into ‘getting others to do our dirty work’ is degrading to the people that actually did the work and the essence of the free-market that tempted them in the first place. And to say that ‘now the US has to become self-sufficient’, in addition to the above, demonstrates that you’ve entirely dismissed the amount of homegrown brain power our nation actually generates.

[/quote]
No, its not anti-American. It is the truth. People have been coming here to learn since at least WWII…how is that anti-American? We have always accepted the international community with open arms to help further our own efforts.

You should realize in technology there are very few innovators. Many “new” innovations are nothing more than an old technology with with a few enhancements. And in the academic world virtually all knowledge is shared amongst colleagues so it usually isn’t credited to just one individual but rather the organization who publishes first.