Michael Malone has been writing about the technology industry, and particularly about Silicon Valley, for a couple of decades. This recent article is not very optimistic. Although Malone identifies several emerging technologies as having great potential, he fears that the basic mechanism by which new technologies are commercialized–the formation and growth of new enterprises–is badly broken.
Meanwhile, at the other end, in applied research, all of those new discoveries are ultimately going to slow or stall because the ‘pull’ of innovators who want to put those technologies to work, is fading. Sure, some big and aggressive companies like Intel will put some these inventions to work. But the big pull has always come from the thousands of fast-moving, risk-taking new start-up companies who find unexpected (and sometimes vast) new applications for those technologies.
Those companies aren’t there anymore. The crucial center of the tech world – new and fast-moving companies – the meat in the technology sandwich – is gone. Under the press of an economic slowdown, government regulations that have handcuffed entrepreneurs and venture capitalists – and perhaps most of all, an Administration that increasingly seems actively hostile to entrepreneurship and small business – high tech is hollowing out.
Most certainly, Obama and his circle have shown a clear hostility toward business and toward businesspeople–as shown, for example, in Michelle Obama’s advice to a group of women in Zanesville, Ohio: “Don’t go into corporate America.”
Creating new businesses, products, and jobs is clearly not, in the view of the Obamas, a worthy way to spend one’s time. Evidently, the highest human calling is to be either a bureaucrat, devoting one’s life to the enforcement of detailed procedures stored in a large 3-ring binder, or to be a “community organizer,” stirring up anger and resentment and ultimately a neo-Hobbesian war of group against group.
Melissa Clouthier has a post on what the worldview of the Obama Democrats does to a society, with Detroit, Michigan as the case in point.
We are in serious danger of losing some of the primary attributes of our economic competitiveness and prosperity. This post points out that:
In most of the world, the best way to make money is not to come up with brilliant ideas and work hard at implementing them, but to cultivate a government connection. Such cronyism is bound to shape public attitudes about a country’s economic system. When asked in a recent study to name the most important determinants of financial success, Italian managers put “knowledge of influential people” in first place (80% considered it “important” or “very important”). “Competence and experience” ranked fifth, behind characteristics such as “loyalty and obedience.”
Obama/Pelosi/Reid, with their combination of statism and the “Chicago Way,” will–if they are allowed to–eventually make that same attitude pervasive in the United States.
Goose that lays the golden eggs: meet the hatchet man.