"Once I Built A Railroad, ..."
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away from that which it became, America was once known as the land of innovation. Fantastic and sometimes terrible new inventions came from there at an incredible pace, fuelled by the vast wealth of that land coupled to the incredible public educational system of the governement. And the people gained a decent measure of prosperity
But a dark cloud descended upon the land, and the forces of religious evil declaimed these creations and the education that spawned them as demonic. "Do as we say and not as we do!" they thundered. And the people gained an indecent measure of poverty.
Far fetched? Some don't think so!
Humbling losses by the U.S. men's basketball team at the Olympics last year could hint at what lies ahead for the nation when it comes to economic and technological leadership, according to a new report from a tech industry trade group.
The study, to be released Tuesday by the American Electronics Association, argues that the next wave of breakthrough technologies could be created abroad if the United States does not act now to maintain its competitive edge.
"U.S. policy-makers and industry leaders need to recognize that as we neglect our technology infrastructure--skilled labor, (research and development), and a business-friendly environment--many countries are adopting economic reforms and are directly competing with the United States for foreign talent, innovation, and technology products and services," the report states. "Unless this realization hits home, American losses will not be confined to the basketball court."
This is already happening in many fields. Bu$hCo pandering to the religious fanatics for their votes has stifled stem cell research, which from studies conducted in other countires, is proving to be a very vital and promising field. Oil company ownership of solar power patents has forced innovation to other lands, such as Canadian studies which produced a technology which could result in wearable solar cells. the list grows daily, and the effects will become onerous in time:
The study comes on top of other calls for the United States to take steps to improve its technological competitiveness vis-a-vis other parts of the world. Technology prowess is seen as critical to a nation's overall economic health, given the way advances can create new industries, high-paying jobs and a higher standard of living.
None of which are important to Bu$hCo unless you are a Topper.
U.S. federal funding of research and development (R&D) has declined over the past two decades, the report states: "It peaked in 1987 at $75 billion and still was below this peak by 2002 at $71 billion, adjusted for inflation to 1996 dollars."
The only growth industry in Bu$hCo purview is war.
AEA also argues for improving the U.S. education system, making the R&D tax credit permanent, and creating a tax credit for training workers. "Companies often lack incentives to invest in educating and retraining workers, as they risk losing that return on investment if the worker subsequently leaves the firm," the report says. "By providing human capital investment tax credits, the U.S. government can encourage companies to retrain workers by reducing or eliminating out-of-pocket costs."
We can count on a thundering silence from Bu$hCo concerning these initiatives to the extent that they do not assist with the War on Terra.
Perhaps for the wrong reasons, however, these technology types are on to a certain fact of the nation and Owwer Leedur-ship:
Besides drawing an analogy between the U.S. economy and the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team, AEA suggests that the country is like the "proverbial frog in the pot of water" when it comes to technological leadership, oblivious to a slowly building catastrophe. "In our report, we analyze a number of competitiveness factors that, when taken in isolation, as they so often are, would not necessarily constitute a crisis," AEA President William Archey said in a statement. "But the interrelationship--the cumulative effect of these trends--makes the more compelling argument that the status quo is unsustainable."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
These technology types tend to be more Republican than Democrat, more conservative than liberal, more friendly in general to the (mis)Admini$tration than most of us, and even they hare having problems with Bu$hCo mi$management. They are calling for the same sort of action - if for differing reasons - as many of us progressives.
I want you all to watch for the lack of response these people receive from Bu$hCo, for as goes the economic fortues of the innovators, so goes the nation.
Reserved seating will not be available on the lifeboats.
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