THE GATHERING STORM ARE WE FRITTERING AWAY THE AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY SO ARDUOUSLY AND BRAVELY LEFT TO US BY THOSE WHO PAVED THE WAY OVER THE CENTURIES? HERE ARE SOME RESULTS FROM A NATIONAL ACADEMIES’ COMMITTEE, HEADED BY NORM AUGUSTINE, FORMER CEO OF LOCKHEED CORPORATION.
IN 2005: “RISING ABOVETHE GATHERING STORM”IN 2010: COMMITTEEMEMBERS WERE ASKEDTO REGROUP AND UPDATE“THE GATHERING STORM,REVISITED”OTHER COMMITTEEMEN:CHARLES M. VEST, president emeritusof MIT and recipient of the NationalMedalCRAIG BARRETT , retired chairman andCEO of Intel Corporation.CHARLES HOLLIDAY JR. , retiredChairman and CEO of DuPont.+ a dozen others
REVIEWING THE 2005 REPORT:The 2005 GS report, advocates WE MUST RESET OUR PATHthat America must compete forjobs in the increasingly globalcompetitive economy. Moreover, quality jobs are thefoundation of a gratifying lifefor the nation’s citizenry. This report paints a dauntingoutlook for America if it wereto continue on the perilouspath we’ve been following inrecent decades with regard tosustained competitiveness.
A KEY COMMITTEE FINDING: INNOVATION IS THE KEY TORETAINING QUALITY JOBS IN AMERICA.Robert Solow received a NobelPrize in economics in part forhis work that indicated thatwell over half of the growth inUnited States output per hourduring the first half of the 20thcentury results fromadvancements inKNOWLEDGE, PARTICULARLYTECHNOLOGY. This period was,of course, before the technology R.M. Solow, “Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function.”explosion that has been Review of Economics and Statistics,witnessed in recent decades. 39: 312-320, 1957.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE “GATHERING STORM” - - WHO WOULD YOU HIRE?Candidate “A” - - ranks in the lowerquartile of the high school class,expects to be paid a wage of $17 perhour (the lifetime average wage of aUnited States high school graduate)with an additional one-third of thatamount in benefits.Candidate “B” - - speaks twolanguages fluently, ranks near the topof the class and is eager to work for$1.50 per hour.THE GLOBAL JOB MARKET OUR KIDS WILL(AND ARE) FACING !
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE “GATHERING STORM” - - WHERE WOULD YOU SITE YOUR NEW PLANT?Boards of Directors of corporationsincreasingly face a daunting decisionwhen considering where to locate a newfactory, maintenance facility or researchlaboratory .Initially such choices mainly affectedassembly workers, but now the migrationis impacting other skills: back-officeadministrators, logisticians, engineersand, more recently, researchers,architects, and accountants .AS THE ECONOMIC GROWTH MOVES ABROAD, SOWILL GROWTH IN RESEARCH AND MFG. SKILLS.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE “GATHERING STORM” - - THE PROBLEM IS HERE AND NOW !“Market forces are already at work movingjobs to countries with less costly, oftenbetter-educated and highly motivated workforces, and more friendly tax policies.”From a shareholder’s perspective, asolution to America’s competitivenessshortfall has already been found— but atthe expense of those seeking jobs here athome. This represents a major dislocation ofinterests and loyalties that has as yet notbeen widely addressed or even recognized.IBM SR. V.P., RALPH GOMORY: “WHAT IS GOOD FORAMERICA’S GLOBAL CORPORATIONS IS NO LONGERNECESSARILY GOOD FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.”
THE 2010 GS REPORT - - FINDINGS: THE UNANIMOUS VIEW OF THECOMMITTEE MEMBERS IS THAT OUR NATION’S OUTLOOK HASWORSENED. “ While progress has WE NEED TO RESET OUR PATHbeen made in certainareas - - for example,launching the AdvancedResearch ProjectsAgency-Energy - - thelatitude to fix theproblems beingconfronted has beenseverely diminished bythe growth of the nationaldebt over this period from$8 T to $13 T ”
THE 2010 GS REPORT - - FINDINGS:THE UNANIMOUS VIEW OF THECOMMITTEE MEMBERS IS THATOUR NATION’S OUTLOOK HASWORSENED. “ Further, in spite ofsometimes heroic efforts andoccasional very bright spots,our overall public schoolsystem—or more accurately14,000 systems—has shownlittle sign of improvement,particularly in mathematicsand science. ”
2010 GS REPORT: RECAP OF RESULTS FUTURE AMERICAN JOBS &GROWTH ARE THREATENED WE‟VE BEEN “KICKING THE CANDOWN THE ROAD” FOR TOO LONG THE SOLUTION LIES IN FULLFOCUS ON INNOVATION, WHICHREQUIRES FOCUS ON EDUCATIONIN THE SCIENCES & ENG‟G.UNLIKE OUR FOUNDERS , WE‟RE VACANTLYSTANDING BY AS OBSTACLES ARISE THAT PLACEOUR KIDS INTO A FAR LESS HOSPITABLE AMERICA.
2010 GS REPORT: BOTTOM LINE CONCLUSION:“ In spite of the effortsof both those ingovernment and theprivate sector, theoutlook for America tocompete for quality jobshas further deterioratedover the past five years. ” “ THE „GATHERING STORM‟ INCREASINGLY APPEARS TO BE A CATEGORY 5. ”
MY OWN BOTTOM LINE CONCLUSION:DOES AMERICA HAVE ANY BIGGERPROBLEM THAN THIS ??
THE ENDACTUALLY, IT’S NOT THE END - - YOURVOICE IS IMPORTANT TO OUR NATION.CITIZEN INTEREST, DIALOG AND DATAARE CRITICAL TO GOOD CIVICOUTCOMES. AND THAT INCLUDESOUTCOMES WHICH SIMPLY ASSUREPROPER CONDITIONS FOR THE FREEMARKET TO WORK.