I don't know if anyone with influence in Washington is listening, but the September 7th issue of Business Week had one of the best critiques of what has gone wrong in America (and what needs to be fixed) with its leadership in research and innovation.
Points made in "How Science Can Create Millions of New Jobs:"
- America needs good jobs, soon. We need 6.7 million just to replace losses from the current recession, then another 10 million to spark demand over the next decade.
- Bell Labs had 30,000 employees as recently as 2001; today (owned by Alcatel-Lucent) it has 1,000.
- We have been outsourcing jobs for decades, but we have always bounced back with a new industry—a blockbuster industry.
- Of the roughly 130 million jobs in the U.S., only 20% (26 million) pay more than $60,000 a year. The other 80% pay an average of $33,000. That ratio is not a good foundation for a strong middle class and a prosperous society. Rather than a demand engine, it's a decay curve.