Engineering the Future Economy

Posted on September 17, 2006  Comments (11)

Today most nations, that have their act together, realize high tech jobs and a highly educated workforce are a huge key to economic success and they (governments often, but also companies, rich individuals and foundations) are taking action to position their country to do well. Anyone that is serious about this should read about How to cultivate Your Own Silicon Valley.

Related: The World’s Best Research UniversitiesScience and Engineering in Global EconomicsGlobal Share of Engineering WorkU.S. Slipping on ScienceChinese Engineering Innovation PlanWorldwide Science and Engineering Doctoral Degree Data

Where’d The Whiz Kids Go? by Nick Perry:

Seattle could become the new Detroit.

A once-proud hub of innovation left to languish as brilliant people, new ideas and dazzling products bubble up elsewhere. An urban wasteland that’s left wondering — as Detroit was with cars — how it lost its mojo with software and the Internet.

That’s the dire message Microsoft’s top executives are sending to legislators, educators and anyone else who will listen.

Here is some interesting data:

Three years ago, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said he was stunned to discover that just 8 percent of the company’s workforce was educated in Washington.

Since then, despite Ballmer’s fist pounding, that figure has likely worsened. Among the 33,000 Microsofties working in Puget Sound, at least 11,000 are foreign-born.

With other states and countries — think India and China — leaping ahead in the technology race, Seattle may find it harder to continue luring top talent here

I believe one of the things happening now is that many other countries are creating environments where leading scientists and engineers can more readily find rewarding (financially and professionally) careers. This is a good thing for the world. It means the United States risks losing the economic benefits that science, engineering and technology centers of employments provide as more world class scientists find opportunities elsewhere.

The costs of not making the right decisions today to support and develop a science and engineering economy will be great. I still believe, the USA is in the best position going forward and I also believe:

Will the United States be in as good a relative position as it was 20 years ago. I would say there is very little chance of that. The debate about what the future holds is really over how slowly we can lose the positive gap we currently possess or over how close we can stay to the new leader whether that be Europe, Japan, China, India or somewhere else.

It does seem the USA has less focus on this issue than other countries. An interesting note from, A Technocrat Riding a Wild Tiger as quoted in China’s Economic Science Experiment:

When China’s leaders meet with Hu each week in Beijing’s government district, Zhongnanhai, they could spend hours discussing cables, switches, tool-making machines and control devices. That’s because every one of them has a degree in engineering. The president himself, the son of a tea merchant from Jiangsu Province, trained to build hydroelectric power stations, while the others hold degrees in electrical engineering, metallurgy and geology.

11 Responses to “Engineering the Future Economy”

  1. Harvard Plans Life Sciences Campus
    January 15th, 2007 @ 12:09 am

    […] “During the first 20 years of the expansion, Harvard would build 4 million to 5 million square feet of buildings and create at least 5,000 jobs” […]

  2. Asia: Rising Stars of Science and Engineering
    January 22nd, 2007 @ 12:27 am

    Excellent reading, the report is full of useful information…

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » The Importance of Science Education
    October 28th, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

    At the macro-economic level investing heavily to create science and engineering centers of excellence is very wise (the USA, Europe, China, India, Japan… are going to benefit based on how well they do that). Creating the right economic climate is also important and the USA is in the strongest position in this area…

  4. CuriousCat: USA Science Losing Ground
    May 21st, 2008 @ 10:25 am

    Science and engineering centers of excellence have been a very important factor in the economic success of the USA…

  5. CuriousCat: Expectations
    June 1st, 2008 @ 10:20 am

    I do, however, think many in the USA today seem to think that it is their right to be rich. This can lead to behavior that is detrimental in the long term…

  6. P.M. Shah
    July 26th, 2008 @ 1:16 am

    I completely agree…Growing with the world.
    India is creating environments where leading scientists and engineers can more readily find rewarding (Both – financially and professionally) careers. This is a good thing for the world.

  7. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Symptom of America’s Decline in Particle Physics
    September 11th, 2008 @ 8:38 am

    The economic benefits of investing in science are real…

  8. Anonymous
    November 1st, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

    I think that science can help us to create more jobs and advnaces in the world. But when it comes to making money i think that teachers, cops, and firefighters should be making more of the money. They acctually save lives and educate. if we paid them higher salaries more people would want to pursue that career and would enjoy it.

  9. USA Manufacturing Output Continues to Increase at Curious Cat Economics Blog
    December 2nd, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

    “When looking at the long term data, USA manufacturing output continues to increase. For decades people have been repeating the claim that the manufacturing base is eroding. It has not been true…”

  10. Gerad
    January 28th, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

    This is a very thought provoking article. I agree that our rank on the global ladder is based on our technological and scientific prowess. However, as you have stated a lot of our talent are foreign born. Once the countries these talented individuals are coming from increase the benefits to stay and not come to the US will definitely be impacted. I think we should be focusing more on developing talented individuals in our own country in the science and technology fields. We are alreday seeing this with the push for girls to move into sciene and tech (commercials/programs). But I think we need to do more. I went to a magnet school specifically for tech and it helped me greatly. It allowed me to strictly focus my learning and specialize myself. I would love to see more magnet schools like this throughout the country for multiple industries. It will be interesting to see what the new administration will do. Great Article.

  11. The USA Doesn’t Understand that the 1950s and 1960s are Not a Reasonable Basis for Setting Expectations at Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog
    August 26th, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

    […] Consequences Flow from Failing to Follow Real Capitalist Model and Living Beyond Our Means – Engineering the Future Economy – Best Research University […]

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