The poor U.S. economy has led to a heated political debate about the size of government, and many experts fear that less government seed money for businesses and universities will hamper the country’s innovation leadership.
One ranking in the ITIF index measures how much a country has improved its innovation capacity from 1999-2009, using measures such as government funding for basic research, education, and corporate-tax policies. Of the 40 countries analyzed, the U.S. finished last.
Marshall thinks “the persistent vilification of government in public discourse—that it is too big, too intrusive, too involved, too broken—has crippled the ability of the U.S.A. to use government effectively, in the common good, with regard to innovation.”
The U.S. government still spends proportionally far more on research and development than Japan or Germany, says Archibugi of the Italian National Research Council, but momentum may have been lost.
Innovation experts often point to the U.S. “space race” as an example of government spending that resulted in an astounding array of products: kidney dialysis machines, CAT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), freeze-dried food, cordless power tools and appliances, disposable diapers, satellite dishes, bar codes, and smoke detectors.Page 5 of 7 | Prev Page | Next Page