America's tech decline: A reading guide

A growing body of literature says America's best days may not be ahead

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

3. The report "The Atlantic Century: Benchmarking EU and U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness," from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, found that of the 40 countries it compared to the U.S, all of them made faster progress toward a knowledge-based economy than the U.S. did. The report ranked China first.

"It is a quite serious problem," said Robert Atkinson, of the ITIF, in an interview, "because if we can't compete on the innovation side and the technology side anymore, then what do we have left?"

4. In a provocative essay in BusinessWeek last year, "Andy Grove: How America Can Create Jobs," the former chairman and CEO of Intel challenged the idea that the U.S. could thrive as its ships jobs overseas.

Wrote Grove: "You could say, as many do, that shipping jobs overseas is no big deal because the high-value work -- and much of the profits -- remain in the U.S. That may well be so. But what kind of a society are we going to have if it consists of highly paid people doing high-value-added work -- and masses of unemployed?"

5. A Pew Charitable Trust report last year pointed out that U.S. investment in clean energy was lagging. Clean energy is an industry the government has cited as important to future growth.

"The United States is on the verge of losing its leadership position in installed renewable energy capacity, with China surging in the last several years to a virtual tie," according to the report "Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race?"

6. The World Economic Forum's "Global Competitiveness Report 2010-11" examines what it calls the "12 pillars of competitiveness" among nations. The report lowers the U.S. ranking by two places, to fourth, with the U.S. trailing behind Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore. China moved up two notches, to 27 from 29. The U.S. still has a commanding lead, but the forum sees "escalating weakness" in the U.S. economy, namely from its fiscal deficits.

Bonus read: Lawmakers in Washington almost shut down the government recently over a series of contentious budget riders that had nothing to do with technology. But to learn what Congress did to the less visible issues in areas such as science, research and technology funding, keep an eye on the Computer Research Association's policy blog, written by Peter Harsha.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
Shop Tech Products at Amazon