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Has American Innovation declined ?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,646 times Debate No: 13454
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First of all how can we define innovation ? Wikipedia defines as follows. ``Innovation is a change in the thought process for doing something, or the useful application of new inventions or discoveries. It may refer to an incremental emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations.``(1) According to the Newsweek magazine, american innovation has declined compared with other developed countries and newly emerging countries.(2) It points out that ``part of the slippage is due to the fact that other countries - from Singapore and South Korea to Canada and Sweden - are actively changing their laws and systems to make themselves more competitive. The United States did`nt raise its corporate tax rate, others lowered theirs. But the United States is falling far behind in one key resource: human capital. Whether measured by the percentage of kids with high-school diplomas or performance on standardised tests, America is not producing the kinds of workers needed in a knowledge -based economy.`` (3) However, I believe that America has a potential power to produce innovative technology and products. Creative ideas, Knowledge, human intuition and unlimited human desire for exploring new technology are engines to produce innovative technology and products. They mainly spring from the brains of human beings. Big corporation, Military-Industrial complex and the government fund for research and development have contributed to producing epoch-making technology and products in the U.S. In particular, from during World War Second to the age of Cold War the Federal Government of the U.S. invested too much money in reserch and development of defense technology. Some of them were transfered to civilian technology such as Internet and this helped make the american technology the most innovative and powerful in the world.. Public and private institutions not individuals like engineers or scientists played an important role in producing innovation. The power of big organizations prevailed. However, with the end of Cold War americans stopped worrying about the Soviet threat and funding for R and D plummeted.(4) In fact, this situation and the emergence of newly industrializing countries contributed to the decline of american innovation. As a result, ``the wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is closing``(5) these days. Talented engineers and scientists are indispensable for innovation.
Fortunately, many foreign younger people come to study in the U.S. every year. Their home countries are China, India and other foreign countries. Some of those immigrants get academic degree in such fields as science and engineering. They want to stay in the U.S. as long as possible and they found new bussiness what we call Venture Bussiness by using their professiional knowledge.
Individual creativity and free atmosphere not traped by strict procedures of big organizations fuel innovation of their bussiness. Others get an employment opportunity such institutions such as NASA or prestigeous universities, in which they engage in pioneering research and development contributing to innovation. Richard Florida says that ``by the 1980s, more than six million immigrants settled in the United States, the greatest number in half a century. In the 1990s, 12 million more arrived. Most were unskilled and found work in factories, restaurants, and construction. But many came with good schooling and went into our universities and leading industries. Today, 11percent of foreign-born adults in the United States have a graduate or professional degree, compared to only 9 percent of natives.``(6) One more immigration is domestic immigration. Richard Florida comments on this problem. He says that ``millions of young , energetic and talented Americans from traditional industrial centers, small towns, and rural areas, packed up their Hondas and moved to more- thriving metro areas - generally the same ones that the immigrants came to. These native-born migrants helped to design and then feed the emerging creative industries that during the 1990s would come to define the age.``(7) Today innovation in America does not lag behind other developed countries and newly emerging countries. For example, Scientific American magazine presents that ``NASA is building an innovative and risky space telescope that promises to surpass the hugely successful Hubble.``(8) America opens the door for energetic and talented people to realize American Dreams. Cultural and social barriers do not exist for those who want to create their meaningful life and destiny. New creative people will fuel the next american innovation. I hope someone join this debate and exchange his or her opinion.
References: (1)
(2) Newsweek, November 23,2009, p.22-29
(3) Newsweek, November23, 2009, P. 27
(4) Newsweek, November23, 2009, P.28
(5) Newsweek, November23, 2009, P.27
(6) Richard Florida, Creative Class War, Washington Monthly, January/ February 2004
(7) Richard Florida, Creative Class War
(8) Robert Irion, Origami Observatory, Scientific American, October2010, p.31


I thank you for raising such an interesting debate topic and would like to implore my fellow commenters not to vote on references as this is a debate of common sense not several resources
Innovation has a definite definition but it carries implications of overall progress sparked by new ideas. I will show how we are declining in several categories.

Military: Whether you or pro-peace or pro-war you will always be dissapionted with our countries policies. We have doe anything different since the korean conflict with the same pattern repeated. A long occupation and what can be basically described as a retreat. Taxpayers have little interest in developing new weapons and on the occasion a new one is created it is little more than a missile with a bigger boom and strange new innovations such as our newly designed heat ray(1) are almost always impractical. Since our hayday in WWII and the cold war our military has declined.

Cultural: Our hollywood culture is one I detest the most. Our movies are according to rob ager's website (2) "purely a clone product of movies they have already seen... so almost every film project has to incorporate a couple of gimmicks" . I also detest our music as it follows the same formula attempting to be catchy and include sexual topics intead of actual substance. Our cultural system has not only declined but has the innovation of a twinky.

Economic: Economically we are down the drain, most companies are outsourcing overseas, in contast to the greatest generations "all-american" spirit, and is being outsold by foreign companies. There's little innovation in our economy, not to mention the federal reserve is litterally draining our money (3.)

Technologically: This is a final proof of how innovation in america has declined. Moore's law is dead (4) as there is a spacial limit to how much a microchip can hold, and japan is far ahead of us reaching a golden age of production while our's was ironically enough in their worst deppresion of all time(5). Although we are imporving at a fairly rapid pace this will soon stop.
Debate Round No. 1
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
brian, Current immigration law in the U.S. features unlimited de facto immigration of unskilled labor, but imposes severe limitations on high tech and other skilled labor.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
I had to guess which side was "Pro" as it seemed Con was affirming "American innovation has declined." Con, the instigator, should have made a clear statement of the resolution and numbered his arguments.

The Moore's Law reference didn't say it had ended, but rather that it would end in future. Presumably it will end worldwide, not just in the U.S. Pro was wrong to claim that references ought not count. Various measures of innovations, like patents issued, would be highly relevant.

S&G was poor on both sides. Run the spell checker.
Posted by Zetsubou 7 years ago
"Human Capital", I lol'd.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
"America opens the door for energetic and talented people to realize American Dreams. Cultural and social barriers do not exist for those who want to create their meaningful life and destiny. New creative people will fuel the next american innovation."

America became the great country it is because it provided the framework that enabled people to exploit their full potential regardless of their social or ethnic background.

That's why America shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water by introducing immigration laws that prevent talented people from living the "American Dream".
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sonofkong 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
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