Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Government United States News Science

America Losing Its Edge In Innovation 757

Posted by Soulskill
from the chickens-coming-home-to-flip-burgers dept.
jaywhybee writes "Forbes has an interesting article about America losing its edge in innovation because engineers and scientists in the US are not as respected as they are in other countries, and thus fewer youths aspire to become one. Quoting: 'I’ve visited more than 100 countries in the past several years, meeting people from all walks of life, from impoverished children in India to heads of state. Almost every adult I’ve talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering. In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries. They’re not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the US, but rather as society’s leaders and innovators. In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers. In the US, almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

America Losing Its Edge In Innovation

Comments Filter:
  • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:18AM (#34972208)
    Especially among crooks^H^H^H^H^H^H politicians.
    • by Chapter80 (926879) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:55AM (#34972456)

      It seems that the article's author leaps to the conclusion that a lack of engineers and scientists in politics is a bad thing for innovation. I would like to see evidence of that.

      In fact, one can argue the opposite: that engineers and scientists focused on engineering and science, rather than politics, is a better way to insure innovation.

      But since this article was probably not written by a scientist, I suppose we're unlikely to see any scientific methods used in his argument.

      • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:11AM (#34972570)

        In fact, one can argue the opposite: that engineers and scientists focused on engineering and science, rather than politics, is a better way to insure innovation.

        I've seen what science & engineering can do to improve everyday life. I'd be willing to take the chance that they can improve politics if they'd just give it a chance.

      • by GooberToo (74388) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:21AM (#34972656)

        It seems that the article's author leaps to the conclusion that a lack of engineers and scientists in politics is a bad thing for innovation. I would like to see evidence of that.

        Then you've not bothered to look at corporate America. Nor have you bothered to look at modern politics or the state of the global economy. The former of the two have have become, "What's mine", and "Fuck the rest of you."

        In fact, one can argue the opposite: that engineers and scientists focused on engineering and science, rather than politics, is a better way to insure innovation.

        Only so long as one can independently operate of the other. But they can't. Which means science is under foot of politics. Which means any time science is in conflict with, "What's mine", or, "Fuck the rest of you", politics wins and science loses. Oddly enough, that's exactly what we see everywhere.

        Lastly, the current state of the economy and global markets is exactly what you get when greed becomes your mantra and literal sociopaths becomes the ideal corporate heads. Unless things change, such as what the article suggests, it can only lead to one end game; the destruction of America. Hardly surprising the world recently got a glance at what's just over the horizon.

      • by jepaton (662235) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:43AM (#34972810)

        I believe that it says more about politics than innovation that few engineers and scientists choose to enter politics. Perhaps engineers and scientists feel that they can't succeed with a well researched fact-based viewpoint against the slippery populist rhetoric of typical politicians. It's either that, or politicians have provided the ideal environment for engineers and scientists such that they feel there is no need to effect change through politics.

        • by nurd68 (235535) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:35AM (#34973178) Homepage

          This. As an engineer who "got my feet wet" with a stint in local politics, because it was like dealing with a bunch of children. Everyone hated everyone else, it was full of petty rivalries and such. It does show that Diplomacy is actually quite accurate, but that doesn't mean that I wanted to do it for real.

          • The thing is, if a group of engineers discusses an idea, sooner or later an idea pops up that everyone at the table agrees is the best possible solution, given the problem to be solved and the resources available to solve it. Then they go put their solution into practice. Politics isn't like this. There are always a few nimrods who will denounce even the sanest solution to any problem as "statist" or "communist" or whatever the appropriate political insult is at the moment, so the end solution is almost nev

            • by techmuse (160085) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @01:20PM (#34974518)

              The thing is, if a group of engineers discusses an idea, sooner or later an idea pops up that everyone at the table agrees is the best possible solution, given the problem to be solved and the resources available to solve it. Then they go put their solution into practice. Politics isn't like this. There are always a few nimrods who will denounce even the sanest solution to any problem as "statist" or "communist" or whatever the appropriate political insult is at the moment, so the end solution is almost never the sanest one.

              QUICK: Name the last president we had with an engineering degree.

              A: J. Carter

              He didn't work out too well, did he? :(

              Carter inherited a disastrous economy, which resulted from a prolonged war funded by future earnings. When the bill came due at the end of the decade, the economy had massive problems. Sound familiar?

              • by TheEyes (1686556)

                The irony is that Reagan gets credit for fixing the economy, when in reality he did so by following Carter's playbook. Hell, he even used the same people to do so: the Fed chief and most of his economic advisors for the first part of his presidency were the same people used by the Carter administration. It was only late first term and second term that Reagan went off on his, "tax breaks for the rich and unbounded government deficit in support of the military industrial complex will save us!" bender that thr

      • by The Snowman (116231) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:50AM (#34972858) Homepage

        In fact, one can argue the opposite: that engineers and scientists focused on engineering and science, rather than politics, is a better way to insure innovation.

        In a nation of approximately 300,000,000, we can spare a few people from each field for other purposes. For example, Steven Chu [wikipedia.org] has done a decent job as Secretary of Energy, and he is a physicist. I think science-minded people are good for representing us in government: when you elect lawyers and businessmen, that is when you engage in politics, as opposed to representation. Let most of the scientists and engineers focus on their disciplines, yes, but take a few for government as well. I would apply the same logic to plumbers, car mechanics, teachers, chefs, call center representatives... every walk of life. We need that diversity in our government if we are going to succeed at the intent of our Constitution.

        Remember, the preamble to the Constitution says "people," not "lawyers and society's elite:"

        We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

        • by nurd68 (235535)

          Point of information - right or wrong, at the time it was written, "We the people" was wealthy landowners and business-owning white men. Women and unpropertied white men weren't counted.

          (That said, I agree with your point - just because you're not an engineer doesn't mean you should be restricted from acting as a sovereign citizen and exercising control over your life.)

      • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @12:17PM (#34974024) Journal

        Any engineer or scientist who doesn't want the responsibility can easily duck it, and usually does. They know doing an honest job of it is hard work. They know leaders are targets. And there is an unending supply of loudmouthed suckers who will leap at a chance to be The Man because they think "it's good to be the king", think they'd enjoy calling the shots. They think the ones doing it now are a bunch of idiots and doing better than them will be easy. Or they don't give a damn, and just want the bigger paycheck. All the engineers have to do is be quiet, and the loudmouth will look proactive, "can do", and energetic. The higher ups or customers will fall for it almost every time. Once in a leadership position, they find it very convenient to blame problems on the "incompetent" engineers, as if they could do any better. Everyone else sees the bosses slanging the engineers, so what to they do? Pile on of course. Galling to work under someone who has no clue how hard or easy the work is, and who has caused many of the problems being blamed on the engineers. As if mere technical problems aren't plenty hard enough, have to deal with all the politicking too.

        The opinionated loudmouths are the ones who shouldn't be leading, but they end up in a disproportionate number of leadership positions. Even when the engineer wants to take on the responsibility, it's tough to compete with the flashy, smooth-talking, boot licking Man with a Plan who understands the Realities of Business. And if the quiet engineer somehow wins the job anyway, then this guy is a constant thorn in the side. He's angry, and he's looking for any chance to take the engineer down. And being the sort of fool he is, he may well do it even if that leads to disaster, and gets everyone fired or causes the company to tank.

      • by Wansu (846) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @12:31PM (#34974138)

          It seems that the article's author leaps to the conclusion that a lack of engineers and scientists in politics is a bad thing for innovation.

        That was one point he made. I agree with you that he's out to lunch on that.

        He claims that the reason young people in the US don't pursue engineering careers is because engineering isn't respected. Ummmm, no. It's because the market works. There's little market demand for engineers today. We're not using the engineers we already have and don't need more. Engineering jobs have been offshored even faster than the manufacturing jobs which preceded them. No doubt the spectacle of their peers working their butts off in engineering school for 5+ years only to graduate to diminishing job prospects was probably enough to persuade many not to follow in their footsteps.

        Next he proclaims the schools are broken, that we need to train more engineers and scientists, fund more research, etc.. No. That's what we've been doing all along and the jobs disappeared anyway.

        Former Intel Andy Grove has a much better understanding of our situation. How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late: Andy Grove [bloomberg.com]

        Andy understands that scaling up innovation is what makes innovation matter and it's the scaling up that is not taking place in America anymore. Scaling up is my specialty. I don't much care for pure research. But if you want to make a million of 'em, I'm your man. All this business has been airmailed to China to make big bonuses for corporate CEOs. And now everyone wonders why we don't make things anymore.

        I have news for Norm Augustine. Flogging ourselves about the schools is not going to bring those jobs back. Further, America is not losing it's edge in innovation. The edge he refers to disappeared almost 2 decades ago.

        • by White Flame (1074973) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:05PM (#34977168)

          There's little demand for *entry level* engineering positions. Many places here in the US are dying for senior people. Problem is, there's few paths to get from basic to expert in high-tech. People in the low end can have their jobs outsourced, and potentially get easier positions that pay more and carry less demands. Plus, with the societal focus on popularity and fame, they're not seeing tech jobs as someplace where they can hit the spotlight, but undesirable as cogs in the machine.

          Many of these factors work into draining the low end out of tech, meaning as time marches on there are fewer high-end experts in the field to keep entrepreneurship, strong technical leadership, and R&D alive in American companies. (and this probably spreads to more of the "West" than just the USA)

        • by turkeyfish (950384) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:21PM (#34977920)

          "There's little market demand for engineers today."

          Not so. Its just that the market doesn't want to pay for their services, so they get employed in India, China and elsewhere, where salaries are lower and what they do get constitutes a living wage.

          "Next he proclaims that schools are broken, that we need to train more engineers and scientists, fund more researh, etc. No. That's what we've been doing all along and the jobs are disappeared anyway".

          No so. If you look at the total cost of entire budget dedicated toward paying scientists and teachers of science, it hardly amounts to a couple of ships, a few planes, and a few trainloads of ammo. The military spends way more in a week, what would fund NSF for a year. Likewise, for the total expenditures of most US corporations. The expenditure toward R&D is a small fraction of what they pay the top 5% of their corporate managers.

          "Scaling up innovation" is what has caused the Amazon to disappear, rivers to be polluted, the earth to warm via carbon dioxide, the oceans to acidify, and biodiversity everywhere to disappear. The only thing humans will be scaling up in the next 50-100 years will likely be their extinction.

    • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:25AM (#34972690) Homepage

      The Arabic countries led by the Muslims were the most advanced scientists and engineers in the world, until they let the religious crazies take over. Just sayin', America...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by muzicman (1148101)

        You're nearly right.

        It was the Mongol invasions that destroyed Mesopotamia. One of the most significant losses was the sacking of the library of Baghdad. Eye witness accounts of this wrote that the river Tigris went black from the ink of the books that were thrown in.

        It was the religious crazies that stopped it from regaining that knowledge.

        That said, just because you aren't 100% correct about the Arabic countries doesn't mean that a nutter religious fanatic like Sarah Palin (who has said she wants creation

  • They once were (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:19AM (#34972222)
    Think back to the TV shows of the '50's and '60's. We had an Astronaut/physics guy as the main character in I dream of Jeanie, A senior marketing executive as the husband of a witch in Bewitched, and many many others. The key factor was, they were all intelligent.

    These days we have Homer Simpson and the King of queens, et al.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)

      I'm not sure that a lack of respect for science is necessarily somehow tied to the reduction of male television parts being reduced to blubbering buffoon that natters at his wife's apron strings.

      I think a better example of the changes can be seen by recalling how much astronauts were admired and their pursuits followed by every man, woman, and child in the country (and outside of it), when my mom was growing up. The names and accomplishments stick with us today. Their generation watched it live on televisio

    • TV shows? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:57AM (#34972468)

      We had an Astronaut/physics guy as the main character in I dream of Jeanie, A senior marketing executive as the husband of a witch in Bewitched, and many many others

      Well, if someone thinks a "senior marketing executive" is a position that inspires technical innovation, I think I've found why the US is losing its edge.

      In other TV shows of the time there was "Get Smart" with the most incompetent secret agent you can imagine and "Gilligan's Island" with the most incompetent sailor you can imagine. Of course, in the 1960s you also had "Hogan's Heroes" with a bunch of pretty competent fliers. Then in the 1980s there was "MacGyver" which is the epitome of technological ingenuity.

      No, I don't think you can get much information on this trend from TV shows.

    • Re:They once were (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:20AM (#34972638)

      Think back to the TV shows of the '50's and '60's. We had an Astronaut/physics guy as the main character in I dream of Jeanie, A senior marketing executive as the husband of a witch in Bewitched, and many many others. The key factor was, they were all intelligent.

      These days we have Homer Simpson and the King of queens, et al.

      That has a lot to do with man bashing. Intelligent women are permitted on prime time, just not intelligent while normal men, for purely political reasons.

      • Indeed. The Big Bang Theory, while excellent, and containing many jokes that are only understandable if you ARE intelligent, doesn't have a single male character AFAIK that you could aspire to.

        Sheldon : OCD and social inadequacy.
        Raj : Unable to talk to women. Literally.
        Howard : Shouldn't be ALLOWED to talk to women.
        Leonard : Spineless underachiever.
        Zac : Thick as two short planks.

        Actually, I'll go further and say you wouldn't want to be the majority of the characters, but especially the intelligent ones. I

      • by WCguru42 (1268530)

        That has a lot to do with man bashing. Intelligent women are permitted on prime time, just not intelligent while normal men, for purely political reasons.

        Maybe there has been a shift, but let's be honest, any character that is "normal" is most likely going to be boring. I'd say the following are quality examples of men on TV.

        Seely Booth on Bones

        Greg House in House

        Michael Weston on Burn Notice

        Cal Lightman on Lie To Me

        Dexter Morgan on Dexter

        • by NoSig (1919688)
          Dexter killed a man for taking his childrens' picture and despite how he portrays himself to himself (and hence the viewer) he generally kills at the drop of a hat based on vague feelings about how people are, in his mind, guilty. House knows he's indispensable at his work so he takes every chance to be the biggest asshole he can be. These two are highly efficacious in what they do, but their quality as human beings is very low.
    • by poity (465672) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:44AM (#34973700)

      President Barack Obama - Law
      Vice President Joe Biden - Law
      Speaker of House John Boehner - Business
      President pro tempore Daniel Inouye - Law
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - Law
      Secretary of the Treasury (Timothy Geithner) - Asian Studies/Economics
      Secretary of Defense (Robert Gates) - History
      Attorney General (Eric Holder) - Law
      Secretary of the Interior (Ken Salazar) - Law
      Secretary of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack) - Law
      Secretary of Commerce (Gary Locke) - Law
      Secretary of Labor (Hilda Solis) - Public Policy
      Secretary of Health and Human Services (Kathleen Sebelius) - Public Policy
      Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Shaun Donovan) - Public Policy
      Secretary of Transportation (Ray LaHood) - Education/Sociology
      Secretary of Energy (Steven Chu) - Physics
      Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan) - Sociology
      Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Eric Shinseki) - Science/Literature
      Secretary of Homeland Security (Janet Napolitano) - Law

      The top posts are held by those who have been educated in law, and Cabinet members mostly educated in fields related to their positions.

      You want to talk about the decay of culture and values? That's nothing new, every aging generation in every society in the history of humanity has fretted, writhed, and screamed about it.
      The fact that American media prefers a self-deprecating sense of humor doesn't mean we embody those caricatures of ourselves.

      "In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers"
      Well, those politicians, like my father, were born, raised, and educated in a system that made that decision for them - they were assigned to study engineering by the government to fulfill quotas demanded by the planned economy. It was only in the 80's when the planned economy was abolished and economic reforms were instituted that this practice came to an end. Scientists at the time were indeed looked up to for their intelligence and social contributions, but so too were they looked up to because graduating from a top science school and joining the Communist Party was the only path to political power and thus wealth in those days. Nowadays in China, people no longer have such respect for scientists because they see that even middle school drop-outs can start factories or businesses and strike immense fortunes. They have greater respect (and disgust) for those who wield guile and personal connections, like everyone else in the world.

  • Only... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yaa 101 (664725) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:23AM (#34972244) Journal

    Only brainless jocks are perceived to have leader quality in the US, as long as you are tough and aggressive.
    People think that fear is respect and thus think that the one instilling most fear has to be respected most.

    • As an Engineer... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bananaendian (928499) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:04AM (#34972960) Homepage Journal

      As an engineer I work on things everyday that have direct and immediate consequences in the physical world. Hence my errors of judgment or bias have a direct feedback to me. The physical world is a hard unforgiving taskmaster.

      A politician is buffered from any consequences or feedbacks to his actions by distance; the bureaucracy surrounding him as well as the physical disconnect.

      As an engineer I must compromise between contradictory and opposite qualities and find practical combinations that satisfy a multitude of specifications and demands. I must accommodate as well as critically evaluate the demands of users, marketing and design and architecture people, and come up with a mutual understanding of what they actually want within the means of what is possible.

      A politician is defined only by what that supports him in power - those who fund and elect him for the next term.

      The limits with my work are the laws of physics - both direct resources: money, time, people - as well as all kinds of non-intuitive ones: scaling, flow rate, logistic function, probability distribution. Hence my sense for the 'truth' is not based on passion but experimentation, and I appear unsure and as having no confidence in my 'opinions' - which I don't really have at all, as most people understand them. An opinion for me is always something I can explain - at least to myself - and most of the time to others. It is this process that both helps me understand my own reasoning better (keeps me honest to myself), as well as provides a further insight into my cognition as well as to some extent of those of others.

      A politician swims in the superficial memes of popular sentiment. He maybe an ideologue but a successful one is also a pragmatist: he shapes truth into what is most convenient for the occasion and in doing so may actually benefit from self-delusion, even intentional and conscious.

      It maybe be argued that in this way a politician is more 'human' than an engineer and thus is more suited to lead us. And that my friends is the conclusion that cost me my mod points.

      Burn baby burn!

    • by Idbar (1034346)

      The problem with the US and many other countries, is that politicians and movies stars became idols. And of course, they make lots of money. So while there's still a very good amount of people interrsted in science (and actually good at it)... A large part of the society is looking though on how to easily grab their piece of pie. I.e. I'll just work as cashier in McDonalds until I can sign up for the next reality shiw that would send me to the stars... In the mean time I'm going to be posting ridiculous you

  • No time.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:27AM (#34972264)

    No time to read this article, I have to see what my favourite hollywood actress is doing with her hair this week

  • News flash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:28AM (#34972272) Homepage

    People tend to gravitate towards professions that pay better. For instance, your typical Wall St analyst has about the same level of education as an engineer. If somebody is looking at those two options (because they're good with numbers and analysis), and wants to make the big bucks, which one are they going to pick, the one that will pull in $120K a year or the one that will pull in $250K a year?

    The wonderful thing about using the numbers here is that it's a completely objective measure. Unlike "respect" which is harder to quantify.

    • Re:News flash (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rakishi (759894) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:00AM (#34972492)

      The one that doesn't require me to work 80 hours a week under insane stress levels. Money per hour factoring in living expenses is a much better metric to use.

      The real problem is that the question you're asking when choosing jobs is the wrong one. Personally I'd aim for the job that is most likely to make me happy. In case you're wondering studies have noted that money does not correlate with happiness (assuming one's above the poverty line). Work satisfaction on the other hand is heavily correlated. So is health, relationship satisfaction/love and social life satisfaction. In other words all things that an intense high stress high hour job makes very difficult to keep up.

      • by vlm (69642)

        The one that doesn't require me to work 80 hours a week under insane stress levels

        In other words, why I did not apply to med school. You've got to wonder what they're thinking (or not) when setting up hazing like that.

    • Re:News flash (Score:5, Informative)

      by xplenumx (703804) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:36AM (#34973622)

      As someone with a PhD in Immunology, I couldn't agree with you more. While an undergraduate in the 1990s, quite a few of my classmates who were graduating with a BS in Biochemistry left for non-science professions such as banking and consulting because the pay was much better - those that 'remained in science' were mostly pre-med. Of my friends who left science, all were making over $100,000 per year before I finished my PhD. Of my friends who remained in science, all were making well under $100,000 within five years - though that's a bit unfair since the average pay for a graduate student was ~$20,000. Those who left immediately for industry were making around $50k after five years.

      I attended a graduate program at a top university (the Immunology program is consistently ranked in the top 10), and of my class only 2 out of 9 (includes me) continued on for a post-doc. The rest went into scientific writing, consulting, teaching, and most into law. With the exception of Biophysics, my friends in the Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Genes and Development programs report similar experiences. Some of the reason for leaving science was burn out - low pay, long hours; not to mention everyone knew that a post-doc position was worse (which is very much a sink or swim environment). Pay for a post-doc ranges anywhere from $40k - $50k, with no retirement in most places. A post-doc is about a 5 year position, though many people do two post-docs. In comparison, everyone of my graduate school classmates who went into consulting or law were making well, well over $100k per year, with better work hours, with retirement, and with vacation. FYI, as a post-doc, at a top institution, in our three lab group we had 37 post-docs, 4 staff scientists, and two graduate students - 32 of the post-docs/fellows were foreign (though several had received their green card), all 4 of the staff scientists were initially foreign (two green cards, two citizens), and one of the graduate students were foreign. Some of the post-docs/fellows stayed here in the US, some left. The Ph.D. tend to stay, the MDs tend to leave as they can't practice medicine here without a residency.

      So you stick it out, worked your 80 hours per week (seriously - it's not forced, but you're competing with the world), and happen to have a Nature, Science, or Cell paper. Let's say you get hired as an assistant professor (for the record, there's nothing 'assistant' about being an 'assistant' professor - it simply means you haven't gone up for tenure review yet. An associate professor is tenured). Pay can vary wildly at top institutions, but starting pay is $90k - $110k per year. This is at a top institution who are recruiting the top post-docs, teaching colleges and second tier research institutions pay less. Industry pay tends to vary quite a bit, but the quality of the people and the positions vary quite a bit as well (the range I've seen is ~$60k - $125k per year. The work hours get better, but not by much (especially before tenure).

      For science you have $20k of 5 years of graduate school (no retirement), ~$50k of 6 years of post-doc (assuming only one post-doc, not a safe assumption... oh, and usually no retirement), and you manage to get a top faculty position... $100k. Average age of first faculty position is ~40 (younger if you're foreign by the way given the differences in the educational systems), while working 60-80 hours per week. Compare with all of my peers that peeled off into consulting, law, banking or business who were making far more, far sooner, with vacation, with benefits, with bonuses, with retirement, with a better work schedule the choice is clear. With that said, I love my job (and in fairness, my peers who left science love their jobs), but I'm certainly not encouraging my children to go into science.

      • Re:News flash (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Moof123 (1292134) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:20PM (#34975010)

        Very nice comments. In short, science pays very poorly relative to the investment and expertise involved relative to many other professions.

        As a microwave and RF design engineer I can fully agree with the sentiment that I would not recommend it as a career choice for anyone who isn't into it out of passion. Lots of work, modest pay, and little respect. MBA's can find work in almost any city. Scientists and engineers often must specialize to find a job, and often that means you can count the number of cities doing that work on one hand, often those are not the cheap ones to live in either (or in Texas, ick).

        Foreign workers have been greatly masking the lack of scientists and engineers coming out of school, and also contributing to the problem. H1B visas keep wages down, which keep enrollment down. If more companies were truly hampered by the talent pool available in the US we'd have rising wages and rising enrollment. Not the whole problem for sure, but H1B's are masking the true extent of the problem.

      • by 19061969 (939279)

        I'd have to agree with this and can state my experience from a different angle. I had a PhD from the top rated institution in my country (not the US, rather the UK) which was followed by a successful 3 year postdoc. This was a 1 year contract which was extended by 2 and the promise that good performance would lead to a permanent position (note: not tenured, just permanent and substantive). My performance was good with presentations around the world at top conferences and some good papers (not science and na

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:31AM (#34972296) Homepage
    I was just thinking of this the other day. We put so much importance on children to excel in sports, hoping that one dey they will make it into the NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB that we neglect to realize how minuscule that chance is. The problem with trying to excel at sports is that if you aren't good enough to be in the top league, you are basically just a point where you don't make any money at all, or at best have to have a second job even to make ends meet. Even if you are good enough at football to make it to the CFL, you still have to have a second job because you don't make enough doing your sport. On the other hand, if we pushed kids to excel in school and intelligence, even if they didn't make it into the elite, for instance being a world class heart surgeon, they would still have plenty of good jobs to fall back on if it turned out they couldn't achieve being one of the best in the world. They could be a family practitioner, a nurse, or do many other things in the same field, and still make quite a decent living. There's only a market for 400+ (432 currently based on quick google) professional basketball players. The market for most other professions is quite higher. There's probably 400 doctors in my city.
  • follow the money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:32AM (#34972304)

    why is it always the cynical capitalists that complain
    about lack of engineering talent. it's not like they're willing
    to pay for them.

    if you're a bright kid and want to make money, you don't
    go get an engineering degree. you go into finance.

    • by mick232 (1610795) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:39AM (#34972348)
      Thanks. But you should have told me that 10 years ago.
    • by confused one (671304) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:03AM (#34972514)
      I was just thinking how ironic it was that when I went to college (late '80s) we engineering majors made fun of the business majors because many of them were the wash-outs. Couldn't hack engineering --> change major to business. Now, it seems, we're on the wrong side of that equation.
      • by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:29AM (#34972720) Journal

        And they're still idiots and wash-outs today - possibly they make more money but I wouldn't trade my job for theirs any day of the week, I love going to work everyday, I love creating things and technology, and I love the mental stimulation - all those business majors will end up with Alzheimer's from their atrophied gray matter !

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:36AM (#34972322) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, a lot of those kids say they want to become scientists or engineers but very few actually have a passion for it, they only get into it because it's what their parents tell them to get into. It's been my experience that people without a passion for science/engineering and are only going through the motions because they were forced into make really shitty engineers. It's Friedman-esque reporting at its finest(ie taking PR points from companies as the honest truth and not scrutinizing a single thing they are fed provided it matches their preset narrative).
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Exactly. People don't do engineering in school because they think it is hard. I'll take a candidate with a passion for engineering any day when hiring.

  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:37AM (#34972334)

    Who cares? Can't we just outsource that, too? Actually, *don't* we just outsource that, too?

    Anyway, America is about money, jesus, and big tits. Success is about catering to the common denominator. Intellectual advancement and pursuit is for "elitist" pricks with their fancy words and all. Anyway, America loves Jesus and Jesus doesn't give a shit about it. Jesus cares about celebrity and sports. If you need proof, just think of the last time you heard a scientist thank jesus for their discovery? Never! Because jesus only helps football players blond bimbos accepting their Golden Globes.

    And society reinforces this. I've been a jock and a nerd my entire life and I probably don't need to tell anyone what activities and accomplishments got audiences, rewards, cheerleaders, public acknowledgement, and respect . . . and which didn't.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:38AM (#34972344)

    In America, you purchase respect. America losing its edge in innovation because engineers and scientists in the US are not as well paid as they are in other countries relative to local prices. Why would anyone spend 4 years training to become a low paid engineer when they could become a highly paid lawyer or financier or manager?

  • Now you notice?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dk90406 (797452) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:40AM (#34972364)
    It has been obvious for more than a decade for anyone watching USA from abroad.
    From watching US TV series I learn that brains have been replaced by God or other mysticism. Pseudoscience galore and the good science (from PBS) has no viewers.
    Universities are graduation foreign students in the sciences and Americans with lawyers and political degrees. Luckily you still have a private sector that has a lot of innovation and hires brains from other countries. That keeps a lot of the patents and wealth in USA.
    • by Z8 (1602647) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:33AM (#34973160)
      Here is a list of the top five TV shows [tv.com] in order:
      • Grey's Anatomy
      • Bones
      • Fringe
      • Medium
      • Criminal Minds

      I'm not familiar with the last two, but a scientist is the star of at least the first three series. I don't know much about Criminal Minds, but I gather science and smart people (instead of action or magic) are also central to that show. Presumably Medium is just about mysticism though :-P

      • by Draek (916851) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:57AM (#34973808)

        Grey's Anatomy is, like its spiritual predecessor ER, all about rich doctors humping each other in between fits of jealousy, the actual practice of medicine is driven *far* into the background. Bones is an embarrassment, their use of Liberal Arts Science makes CSI look like a well-researched documentary by comparison, and Fringe is... look, the show has multiple instances of characters running around, coming from separate alternate universes. It's *that* kind of show.

        So, sex, science-as-magic, and science-as-magic-as-visualized-by-the-nuttier-elements-of-society. Not good. Medium is, as you say, all about mysticism (yet still manages to make more sense than Fringe), leaving us with Criminal Minds, which in spite of reminding me a bit of Law & Order, where you could easily tell the writers' political leanings from episode to episode, manages to be actually watchable and its mere existence not a complete embarrassment to society.

      • Good point. You might add The Big Bang Theory, CSI and Futurama to a list of shows popular with viewers and ciritics.

        Before anyone points out the science in these shows isn't real science, I'd like to point out that neither was the science in Star Trek. And yet it inspired plenty of people who went on to real science in some form.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)

      I've really noticed the dumbing down in TV shows. Maybe I'm just seeing everything through rose-tinted glasses (though I don't think I am), but I can definitely recall channels being better some years ago.

      Anecdotal evidence: there are three "specialized" channels that I listened and still (kinda) listen to. One is a discovery channel-alike. Before, you had lots of documentaries, science stuff. Not necessarily advanced and hard to comprehend, but still worthwhile. Now, the channel is 80% crime investigator s

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2011 @08:42AM (#34972374)

    Imaginary property law shifts the balance of power away from engineers and towards the paper pushers. It doesn't matter how smart an engineer you are if some lawyer waving a patent gets to determine what all engineers can and cannot build. By definition, patent monopoly grants prevent a free market in engineering services, distorting the market so that it's more profitable to be a lawyer with the right to control what thousands of engineers can do and horsetrading those rights. So smart americans aspire to be lawyers not engineers, because in america it's the lawyers in charge, thanks to patent grants. You have to really love engineering to become an engineer in america, because it's a fundamentally irrational choice to do so in america.

    Patents are a "right" to prevent other people doing something - engineers, psychologically, typically simply don't want to do that (there are exceptions, and lo, they are giant douchebags hated by most actual engineers - see edison vs. tesla...).

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:08AM (#34972548) Homepage Journal
    When we keep cutting (or allowing to stagnate) the funding for science and engineering research, this is exactly what we get. We can't expect good science to be done with no financial backing. Scientists who love their work will indeed work for embarrassingly little money, but eventually they do need to pay the bills to keep the lights on in the lab to keep the work moving.
  • by Bayoudegradeable (1003768) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:23AM (#34972676)
    I am not going for flames, I am being honest here. I teach at what would be called a "rich kids" school (in a medium sized metro area of 1.2 million), even though the real rich kids schools are even higher up the tuition scale than my school. I bring this up to point out what seems to be most important to a vast majority of "elite" families: playing, starting and excelling on sports teams. Science club? What kind of dork does that!? Focus most time on studies? Loser! I fear much of our nation is stuck in a trap where parents are reliving their lives and the kids are feeding like crack addicts off of this behavior. What the hell kind of future do we have when the "top" young people of the future will sit around at board meetings talking about the time they caught the game winning touchdown in a flag football game played in 8th grade?
    • by penguinchris (1020961) <penguinchris.gmail@com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:16AM (#34973032) Homepage

      Well, your answer kind of dances around the real problem - the high-paying jobs are not in science. In fact, it is unbelievably difficult for recent science grads to find any kind of job right now, and universities can't get enough funding for tons of grad students, even if there were enough professors to support them academically.

      I mean, how exactly did all those well-off parents get to be where they are today? Evidently it was not by doing well in school, or else they would probably encourage their kids to do that more than sports and so on.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @10:39AM (#34973206) Homepage Journal

      Well-connected people don't need technical or scientific skills. They only need personal and networking skills, and the understanding of how to leverage their contacts to take advantage of the less fortunate. Therefore it makes sense for them to work to succeed in sports since that will increase their cachet among their peers, and they will be able to parlay that into influence among those same peers later when those peers have influence of their own to exert against society.

      On the other hand, for the disadvantaged, education is everything, since only a statistically insignificant percentage of the population will become a sports hero or a music legend. Unfortunately, they are still trying to emulate the rich without understanding that acting like you're #1 only serves to make you into a #2.

  • by tyrione (134248) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:25AM (#34972688) Homepage
    That flat tax POS who inherited his wealth from Daddy can move to Bejing that useless piece of pond scum. He couldn't innovate out of a paper bag.
  • A lot of problems. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:34AM (#34972758)

    I go back to the same set of problems being responsible for this; and they're especially obvious having lived in Asia for several years.

    1) An excessive and irrational fixation on "being yourself". American culture is obsessed with stressing the supposed significance of being a special little snowflake. I can't count the number of children's shows that harp on about this nonsense. The irony is that Americans end up conforming themselves to pre-defined pigeon holes anyway way worse that I've seen in other countries.

    And with this comes the idiocy that you're not going to be told what to do. You're going to live your life your own way. And that brings me to number 2:

    2) A fixation on pleasure. American culture portrays this unrealistic image of what life should be. Basically, if we're not mountain climbing, or doing some other extreme activity, by day and not actively participating in the bar/club scene at night we're not living life. So what does that mean? We're supposed to devote our lives to pleasure and not work. We're suckers if we work for a living.

    There's also this tendency to "do what you love" as opposed to doing what will ensure success. Along with this comes the compulsive desire to make science and math fun. I think that's great but in the right context. The fact is that science and math usually isn't fun; it's a lot of hard work. So stop instilling unrealistic expectations in the youth that they can grow up to do fun things.

    3) A crap work ethic. Too many Americans have an awful work ethic. They do just enough to get by but somehow think they're entitled to that job. Far too often I seen people rationalize that mentality by arguing that they deserve better, that they could do what management does. Maybe they can, but given that they can barely do their own jobs right, I wouldn't bet on it. There's too much self-righteousness going around.

    Not that Asia is this wonderland of success. There are a lot of people who end up going nowhere in life and get just as screwed as anyone you might find in the states. A common problem I encountered was that a lot of men were so obsessed with having their own business, despite lacking the skills or resources to accomplish this, that they refused to get a job and work for someone else. Some would get some low-wage job like driving taxis but most lived off their parents and, if married, their wives. I'd say a lot of that is due to the excessive positive reinforcement and generally spoiled lives a lot of boys there have encountered growing up. And in general, I've been seeing the same cultural attitudes we have in the US cropping up there.

    But the fact is that by and large hard work is still valued. Parents instill the importance of education and hardwork in their kids. They engage them in activities they're convinced will ensure academic success. They aren't fixated on raising athletes, celebrities or kids who are socially popular. And people tend choose careers based on what will provide the best living, not what will make them happiest. And they work their asses off, putting in long hours on a regular basis.

    I know quite a few couples where the father barely sees their kids. And while not happy about the situation their perspective is that it's better to work hard now and ensure a good education and better life for their kids. Some of them probably don't even think that far, this is simply how life is.

    My point has meandered a bit here, but the gist of what I'm saying is that Americans, and Europeans, don't value hard work like Asians do, but they're sure convinced they're entitled to success.

    • by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @03:24PM (#34975470)

      1) An excessive and irrational fixation on "being yourself"

      So, what are we supposed to be, great leader? Automatically submit to authority no matter what just so we can earn its favor and maybe some cash too?

      The irony is that Americans end up conforming themselves to pre-defined pigeon holes anyway way worse that I've seen in other countries.

      Of course, because in other countries, the kids are told what they're going to be, and if they don't measure up, they commit suicide working in some factory. See, I can stereotype too. Conformist attitudes (like yours for ex) are common to the species. Now there's some irony for you.

      2) A fixation on pleasure.

      As opposed to? A fixation on thankless wage-slave servitude? What would make anyone wake up and want to go to work in the morning except the threat of starvation? What a shitty life that would be. I don't do extreme sports or go anywhere near the club scene so I guess I'm safe from your wrath for now.. Talk about stereotyping. Sounds like you're watching too much TV. You must have too much free time, please get another job, lazy person.

      3) A crap work ethic.

      So anything less than a chinese slave-wage laborer is laziness? Your argument is a false dichotomy: there is middle ground between 'special little snowflake' and 'thankless cog.' work-life balance is what's supposed to separate free countries from the rest. Without that, there's nothing to live for. All that would be left is the details of how people are enslaved. In china, you're told what you're going to be by family/government, in the states, you get one chance to succeed at what you select, but if you fail, you're destitute for the rest of your life because the school debt has to be paid by a low wage alternative. Thanks to modern computers, more often than not, everyone (potential employers, law enforcement, friends) knows your personal history whether it is desired or not, and it's people with your attitude that usually want this information so they know what resumes to skip in the pile. Meanwhile, these same attitudinally-challenged douchebags bitch about how there are so many 'lazy' people out there who aren't working. Those who are 'lucky' enough to work for said employers end up being overworked, underpaid, and given zero respect. People aren't robots, but maybe there is something to the asian stereotypes about behaving that way. Sorry, but I have no desire to live that way.

      But the fact is that by and large hard work is still valued. Parents instill the importance of education and hardwork in their kids. They engage them in activities they're convinced will ensure academic success. They aren't fixated on raising athletes, celebrities or kids who are socially popular. And people tend choose careers based on what will provide the best living, not what will make them happiest. And they work their asses off, putting in long hours on a regular basis.

      Best living? What is best living without being content? making the most money? Is that all there is to life? Sadly, it's the semi-rich (six figure income) people who suffer from this the most: they have all that wealth yet have no time to enjoy it. They're ALWAYS working. Where's the success in that? No, I am not advocating that prima-donning kids is a good idea.

      Too many Americans have an awful work ethic. They do just enough to get by but somehow think they're entitled to that job. Far too often I seen people rationalize that mentality by arguing that they deserve better, that they could do what management does. Maybe they can, but given that they can barely do their own jobs right, I wouldn't bet on it. There's too much self-righteousness going around.

      Usually, it's management who can't do the job, so they hire people who can in the form of 'consultants' and *gasp* employees who know what they're doing! When the

      • by Tom (822) on Monday January 24, 2011 @06:10AM (#34979632) Homepage Journal

        So, what are we supposed to be, great leader? Automatically submit to authority no matter what just so we can earn its favor and maybe some cash too?

        You didn't get it.

        There is a very important difference between being "good" and being "unique". When everyone is "unique", the term loses all meaning. It becomes a triviality. And besides, it matters little. What matters is if you're ok, good, a positive being. So what if everyone else is also ok?

        That, in a nutshell, is the problem of american culture. That it isn't sufficient to be good at something, you have to be exceptional. It doesn't matter how good you are, if you aren't unique and special, you don't count. That creates a culture of opposition and hostility, because you can't accept that someone else is also good - it would devalue you.

        In reality, this system of thought continually devalues you, because no matter who you are and how good you are, you will always find someone who is better at something. Subscribing to this belief is setting yourself up for disappointment.

        The other mindset, the more asian one, is that it matters how good you are, and if someone else is also good, or even better, that's ok. You may strive to become as good if he's better, but it doesn't reduce your own value - you are still good.

        Basically, americans consider personal value to be a relative measure - how you relate to others. If someone else is 2 points ahead of you, your value is -2. If someone else is 10 points behind you, your value is +10.
        Asians (and some europeans, though the number is decreasing) see personal value is an absolute measure - how you relate to the world. If you are a 15, then you are always a 15, no matter how others score. Seeing that someone else is a 17 makes it clear that you can do better, but you are still a 15, not a -2. Likewise, seeing that everyone else is a 5 makes it clear that you are indeed very good, but your personal value isn't +10, it is still 15.

        None of the systems is perfect. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages we found out about the hard way is that the relative system combined with the demand to be special and unique leads to frustration, depression and low self-esteem. Because you're putting up a goal that is impossible to reach. If the goal is to be among the top 1% in anything, then automatically 99% of the participants will fail no matter how well they do.

  • by Bruinwar (1034968) <bruinwar@NospAM.hotmail.com> on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:46AM (#34972838)

    Salesman & marketing pukes run my company that was founded & ran for it's first 50 years by engineers. Now we do nothing unless it's chasing the competition. At that point our leaders point & claim how our engineers dropped the ball & did not come through with the innovative product. All the while outsourcing more & more tech work to India & China. & we wonder why kids don't want to go into engineering.

    We get no respect. We get little resources. None of them ask for our will listen to our opinions. All we can do it work more hours (to keep our jobs) while looking for work elsewhere. From what I read in my user groups, marketing pukes running the company is becoming quite common.

  • Old Joke (Score:5, Funny)

    by Epeeist (2682) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @09:56AM (#34972906) Homepage
    There is an old joke in the UK, at a dinner party tell your host you are an engineer and he will show you his washing machine. Do the same in Germany and he will introduce you to his daughter.
  • by Edsj (1972476) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:00AM (#34973340)
    We are having a huge problem of lack of engineers here in Brazil. People are leaving universities already hired even if you have zero experience. If you want a good life outside the financial market you should consider move to another country.
    Brazil has some bureaucracy to get residence permission to work here but I am sure you will get a good salary and a nice quality of life. And yes, people here care more about engineers, medical doctors (one exception would be famous soccer players).
    This is just an expample. I don't know the situation of India, China and others. But an experienced engineer here can get about US120k a year but you are going to pay half of the price for food and house and other things. Cars is an exception, it is more expensive than america and internet connection i pay about US$50 for 30Mbps FTTH connection.
    This is just an example, there are more need for example in Africa. One of my friends a few years ago saved some money and decided to try bulding some houses in Angola. He opened a company with only him as an engineer and hired local people to build. He's fucking rich now and offered me to work there for US250k a year. If I wasn't coward because Angola had a civil war 10 years ago I would probably go. You can make huge savings for your retirement in places you probably never considered going. Take a time and look for the oportunities.
  • by log0n (18224) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @11:34AM (#34973604)

    and more about a lack of respect for any sort of intellect. At least here in the US.

    Turn on Fox News.. at least once during every host's shift you'll see a casting of all things liberal and intellectual as evil and bad for america. 'My politics are right. Yours just aren't wrong, they're evil.' (Jon Stewart comment iirc)

    It's an inferiority complex. Dumb people are just smart enough to know they are dumber than intellectuals. And like every insecure bully ever, they lash out.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:05PM (#34974912)

    The slashdot story comes from this article in Forbes. As expected, the forbes article is just another cookie-cutter pro-H1B propaganda article. Same old "arguments." Basically, they are saying "because of the desperate shortages of US tech workers, we need to temporarily allow more H1Bs, just until US schools get up to speed."

    This corporate propaganda has been fully disproved many times, but the flood of these cookie-cutter articles, continues. Tell a lie often enough, and it becomes the truth.

    From Forbes:

    Jan 20, 2011
    Danger: America Is Losing Its Edge In Innovation

    * Improve K-12 science and math education.
    * Invest in long-term basic research.
    * Attract and retain the best and brightest students, scientists and engineers in the U.S. and around the world.
    * Create and sustain incentives for innovation and research investment.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/ciocentral/2011/01/20/danger-america-is-losing-its-edge-in-innovation/

    Here is the real situation:

    Duke University study reporting no shortage of US Engineers:
    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Management/Study-There-Is-No-Shortage-of-US-Engineers/

    PISA Scores Show Demography Is Destiny In Education Too—But Washington Doesn’t Want You To Know
    http://www.vdare.com/sailer/101219_pisa.htm

  • by francium de neobie (590783) on Sunday January 23, 2011 @02:39PM (#34975176)
    I've been to the Bay Area, Hong Kong various cities in China (e.g. Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc.) before. I'm in Hong Kong right now but I'm going back to the Bay Area next month.

    Bay Area: Engineers are rather well respected from what I can see. My sample may be biased though since I've been working with the upper layer of the valley so far (VCs, CxOs, Stanford PhDs, etc.) But hey, if your company just exited for a few million dollars, the local media and TechCrunch cares. You open a party and your friends love you.

    Hong Kong: If you're an engineer (even a CTO "engineer"), you're a loser, period. Nobody ever heard of a VC or angel investor here - these things takes time to pay off, all people want is fast money. I can go rant about HK's economic environment until my face turns blue but suffice to say, innovation, technology, entrepreneurship are thinly veiled insult words here meaning you can't make fast and easy money. Some of my friends got funding of >$100M HKD and the media never paid any attention. Someone else just exited for $1B HKD last week and the mainstream media just don't care.

    China: Yes there're many high tech firms in Beijing and Shenzhen and engineers do get much higher salaries (5x - 100x, depending on who you're comparing to) compared to the average uneducated worker (China has high literacy level but very low education level). Things is.. that's only for the lucky people who attended the top Chinese universities (e.g. Tsinghua) and succeeded in getting a job and work permit in the high tech cities only. If you aren't one of those 1-in-a-1000 lucky guys... sorry man but your life is gonna suck. Even if you are one of the lucky engineers - the top of the food chain in China is being a government official, not a C-Suite executive, and 100% not an engineer. The real elites in China aren't looking to become an engineer, but rather join the government and make a few really fast million bucks there.

    So, from what I can tell... US's fear on losing its tech edge to Asia is highly overrated. If you really want the top tech companies, engineers and scientists in the world, the people have to love doing it and are financially allowed to keep doing it out of love (not every engineer is a tech company CxO or got hired by Google, you see...). That's simply not happening in China nor Hong Kong. The thing about Chinese engineers being ultra competitive is way overblown - if you're constantly under threat of being evicted from your ultra-expensive (compared to your tiny salary) flat, and your flat sucks - you'd be aggressive too. But it also makes you very short sighted because all you can think of is how to get a nicer house to live in, but not how to make the next Google or figure out how to build rockets cheap. So you're surely not gonna be doing better scientific research, opening a novel tech startup, or doing an open source project. Copying and cutting corners, on the other hand, works short term, but that's doesn't get China any edge ahead of the US.

1 Billion dollars of budget deficit = 1 Gramm-Rudman

Working...