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China Set To Surpass US In R&D Spending In 10 Years 233

dcblogs writes "China is on track to overtake the U.S. in spending on research and development in about 10 years, as federal R&D spending either declines or remains flat. The U.S. today maintains a large lead in spending over China, with federal and private sector investment expected to reach $424 billion next year, a 1.2% increase. By contrast, China's overall R&D spending is $220 billion next year, an increase of 11.6% over 2012, a rate similar to previous years. This finding is shared by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. 'China's investment as a percentage of its GDP shows continuing, deliberate growth that, if it continues, should surpass the roughly flat United States investment within a decade,' it said in a report last month."
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China Set To Surpass US In R&D Spending In 10 Years

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  • Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Monday December 24, 2012 @06:13PM (#42384099) Homepage Journal

    America has become an anti intellectual society. Particularly when talking about STEM. All the pundits like to scream how we need to hire eleventy zillion teachers and then turn around and pout and scream that they're not all social workers focused on bullying, eating disorders and special needs. And if anyone so much as suggests that all the MFA's in Italian poetry pay more in tuition to offset the cost of the courses in engineering we're told we're all redneck knuckledragging philistines.

    Someday, soon, a bunch of Federal grant wielding puppeteers will put on a show in Esperato about how we used to have fire but the inventor died.

  • by girlinatrainingbra ( 2738457 ) on Monday December 24, 2012 @06:15PM (#42384111)
    Sadly, the USA is not focusing on science and engineering education, except for paying lip service to the concept of STEM courses in college. There are even proposals to tie tuition payments to the popularity of courses: charge more for engineering courses and less for liberal arts (which is the opposite of the right way to influence it if you're trying to coax people into the sciences and into engineering). The idea seems to be that majors which will earn more money should have a higher tuition associated with it. China sends more scholars over here. Meanwhile we have been making it harder for the best students in the world to come here for political reasons and visa bias when it would make more sense to encourage the best of the best to come here to learn and to stay here and innovate!
  • Just think... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2012 @06:20PM (#42384147)

    Think of all the wonderful things the USA could afford to do if we weren't so busy destroying capitalism. We've got record numbers of people out of work and on government assistance and an administration who only knows how to grow Washington DC in response. We are in a death spiral because we treat our elections like another episode of American Idol. We have a blueprint of how to be free and prosperous, but nobody pays attention to it anymore.

  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Monday December 24, 2012 @06:31PM (#42384227)

    America has become an anti intellectual society

    That much is obvious even to the densest dim-wits since the appointment of a "Christian Scientist" as the head of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday December 24, 2012 @06:57PM (#42384391)

    It is cheating. Basically the culture in China right now is one of do whatever you want to get ahead. Cheating, lying, all ok, expected even. So it goes on in research all the time. Straight out fabricated results and such. The problem is, as Feynman said, Nature cannot be fooled. So you can have all kinds of results that say X causes Y, but if X doesn't in fact cause Y it isn't helpful.

    It is a societal thing that will need to change before they start to produce more useful research.

  • Re:Just think... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by readin ( 838620 ) on Monday December 24, 2012 @08:15PM (#42384739)
    Well there are so many ways it is hard to remember all of them. Certainly the debt is a problem. But let's go with one we all remember and that is generally given favorable press coverage: the auto company bailout. One of the key features of capitalism is that failures are destroyed to make room for success. For example, when an auto company doesn't perform it should go out of business. If unions were a large factor in pushing it to fail, the unions involved should suffer and be discredited. However, when the government steps into undermine contracts rather than enforcing them, giving money to political backers (i.e. the unions) rather than following the rule of law, and treating a company as "too big to fail", it damages capitalism (not to mention society at large).
  • Re:R&D Stealing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fast turtle ( 1118037 ) on Monday December 24, 2012 @08:25PM (#42384785) Journal

    and it's got absolutely nothing to do with spending. Instead the problem is with our educational system preferring to not teach our kids how to think for themselves. The continual dumbing down of America is happening each and every day in our schools when they refuse to teach Civics, Geography, Math - when so called high school grads working at McDonalds can't even count back change w/o the damn computer telling them how much of what type of change to give back. Hell I've watched the same kids getting their change and they don't even know how to count it anymore.

  • Re:Just think... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ahabswhale ( 1189519 ) on Monday December 24, 2012 @08:57PM (#42384905)

    What does debt have to do with capitalism? There is nothing about debt that precludes capitalism.

    Had we let the auto companies fail, what would have been created in its place? Nothing. The expense of setting up a new car company is unbelievably expensive. All we would have gained by letting them fail was the loss of over one million jobs and the death of the American auto industry. I fail to see how that helps capitalism.

    You make a point of singling out unions but fail to mention all the banks that were too big to fail and have no unions. Should we have let them fail? By your logic, we should have. But by all accounts we would have entered a full blown depression (ala 1939). Keep in mind we were losing over 700,000 per month at the time. Are you pro capitalism at the cost of a depression? I hate to tell you this but unrestricted capitalism is what caused the problem in the first place. Saving the banks (as disgusting as that feels) is what saved capitalism. The reason social programs like medicare exist is to save capitalism. Study history and you'll understand why.

    What most capitalism purists fail to get is that there are no pure systems and that includes the economic system of capitalism. Do you think the stock market is a free market? Not even close. Such things just don't exist.

  • Re:R&D Stealing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Smauler ( 915644 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:02AM (#42385533)

    The fact is, the wealth of the world is being redistributed, and the US and EU are coming up losers.

    The wealth of the world being rebalanced so everyone has more equal wealth is a good thing, in my opinion. I'm not sure how it isn't, in any way at all.

    Now, if you're saying that corporations are taking most of the money, and distributing the wealth unequally, that's a different issue, which is a result of our current system, which they've adopted to some degree.

    More equal wealth will allow manufacturing and farming to actually exist in the west without subsidies, too. At the moment we're clinging on to high tech specialised manufacturing, but I doubt that will last for that long.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva