Elaine Meinel Supkis
Investment in innovation in America is dropping. More researchers must spend more time seeking money. I also found a new toy, a government website: the United States International Trade Commission. Instead of just relying on unreliable news stories, it is always best to check out the official lies. Of course, every time one looks at the trade statistics and then visits all the free trade organizations that brought this catastrophe upon us, it makes the head spin.
The total grant money dedicated to the field has barely outpaced normal inflation over the last decade, but lab costs (especially salaries of students and fellows) have shot up at a much faster rate: grant buying power has declined by 15 percent as a result. Because of this, researchers are applying for more grants, sending the competition up and success rates down: overall funding rates have dropped from 38 percent to 22 percent. New investigators, who are generally thought to take more aggressive and innovative approaches, are faring even worse as their success rates have dropped by more than half and now stand at only 12 percent.
The net result is that the academic community is now devoting far more of its time to writing grants, a shift that has come at the expense of directing and publishing research. In the past, academics have had an escape route from the pressures to retain funding: the "blue sky" research labs run by major companies, such as AT&T's Bell Labs. But the report refers to these institutions as "once great," since recent years have seen them closed, sold off piecemeal, or refocused on product development.
Combined, these changes have caused US research output to shrink in comparison to the rest of the world. Based on publications in Physical Reviews B and E, the US contribution to papers has remained flat over the last decade, while papers originating from other countries have nearly doubled. The report predicts that this reduced output will ultimately exact a price on the American economy.
I knew inventors who worked for General Electric, Norton, IBM and Texas Instruments. I used to work for some of this organizations in the past. These great labs are now just a memory, the research was first farmed out to various universities and this is now gradually filtering away seeking lower wages and cheaper climes. The last time I worked for a research lab in the USA at RPI, only three researchers were Americans and only one graduate student was born in the USA. Most were from Eastern Europe or Asia. It was interesting to see how all of them were forced to use English but most of them, avid good readers, were poor speakers and the tendency was for the scientists of similar langage skills to hang out with each other. They all asked the Americans for help with their papers.
But the pipeline is now empty as far as our own pool is concerned. My father-in-law was a chemist who did research and has many inventions to his name and even 20 years ago, it was noticable that foreigners were being hired rather than Americans...because they were cheaper. Like a host of former American companies, it was sold to the French and is now run by outsiders and the American branch is no longer the head.
For a long while, there were many jobs in the computer field in research and development but the days when Americans born here dominated are gone. Nearly totally. My own family has been hit by all this. Changing majors, watching job possibilities vanish, others working for IBM ended up being go-betweens to China and then half of that was sold to China who moved the headquarters out of the Hudson Valley to a former slave state that has low taxes and cheap labor. On and on this goes, the only bits left are the military/industrial complex components.
And the policies of the US Federal Reserve is directly responsible for this:
Here are even uglier figures showing the irresponsibility of Greenspan and now, Bernanke--the Net Financial Investment figures:
2001: $-4.5 billion
2002: $-273.1 billion
2003: $-130.9 billion
2004: $-496.5 billion
2005: $-380.7 billion
2006: $-275.6 billion
2007: $-396.4 billion, first quarter
The fiction that we are 'growing' our economy and that we are 'strong' is pure fiction. Proof is our inability to save, to fill our bank vaults, to spend on things that matter rather than on new ways for killing people. The Chinese keep needling us about this. We refuse to sell them the things we are developing yet we want them to buy from us but we manufacture little aside from weapons systems and of course, inappropriate gas guzzlers.
Every week I add a new government agency or commission to my 'Goverment statistics' folder. This latest one is always in the news in their futile, stupid efforts to fix our trade mess. Of course, their 'fixes' are bandaids on a gaping wound. We are like the Monty Python Black Knight in the Holy Grail: armless and soon, legless, we make threats, 'None shall pass' as Arthur contemptuously gallops on by.
The Japanese government enacted major amendments to its Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (PAL) in 2002 to reform its medical device regulatory approval system. These new changes to Japan's regulatory system came in response to pressures both from within and outside of Japan, including the U.S. government. The most significant goals of the reform were to improve efficiency and shorten product approval times. Despite some limited success in reducing product approval times in 2005 after these reforms took effect, significant challenges remain.
Medical device firms generally prefer the EU medical device approval system over the U.S. and Japanese approval systems, due to its shorter approval times. Although medical device regulation in the United States remains tightly controlled, it has become more predictable in recent years, and review times have steadily declined.
The U.S. medical device trade surplus declined steadily, from $5.9 billion in 2001 to $957 million in 2004, before rebounding modestly in 2005 to $1.8 billion. Despite steady growth in U.S. exports (which reached $25.5 billion in 2005), uninterrupted growth in U.S. demand and increased foreign outsourcing by U.S. firms contributed to the decline. Japan continued its historical trend of running a trade deficit in medical devices, while the EU maintained a trade surplus. Several multilateral and bilateral trade agreements have facilitated U.S. trade in medical devices, as they focus on issues of concern to the medical device industry, including the harmonization of medical device regulatory systems.
The United States, the EU, and Japan together account for about 90 percent of global production and consumption of medical devices. The U.S. medical device industry is the most competitive in the world, recognized for its ability to continually design, develop, and place innovative medical devices in U.S. and foreign markets. This can be attributed in part to a higher level of research and development investment and greater availability of venture capital, compared with the EU and Japanese industries. While both U.S. and EU firms produce a broad variety of medical devices, ranging from general hospital supplies to more advanced technology products, including advanced cardiovascular devices, Japanese firms are more narrowly focused on medical imaging devices and commodity hospital supplies.
The Japanese are famous for dragging their heels. They know, time is on their side so they never cooperate but instead, pass the yen and bow repeatedly, saying, 'Sorry, very sorry' and grinning to each other as we blunder about, wailing. They always have bottlenecks and archane rules and practices that cut off competitors for they are capitalists. They believe in restricting markets at home while flooding allies with their goods. And they are now very rich thanks to this philosophy. In addition, they have conned us into protecting them as they do this! What a scheme!
This commission has overseen this process for how many years? How about the last 30? Various players come in on the American team and the Japanese buy them off or these players come from Wall Street that makes money by colluding with the Asian and European traders who are reaming us out in international trade. Never is anyone who has no connections with the present system allowed to interface with this Commission. Occassionally, Congress will beg the corrupt commissioners who are working for foreign governments to please do something so it doesn't get worse and what happens?
IT GETS WORSE. Each quarter is worse than the previous and the negotiations and commissions roll onwards doing nothing useful since the trade gaps only widen faster! Since this is the case, all of this must be shut down and the WTO agreements and all treaties must be pulled out and re-negotiated with absolutely everyone all at the same time!
Instead, the opposite is happening and the only thing I can think is, greed has trumped patriotism and the lust to get rich means selling our souls and becoming slaves. How stupid is this?
IT IS VERY STUPID.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today determined that revoking the existing antidumping duty order on clad steel plate from Japan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.
As a result of the Commission's affirmative determination and the Department of Commerce's recent affirmative finding, the existing order on imports of this product from Japan will remain in place.
They talk about Japanese dumping of steel while ignoring the true bleeding which is the steel CARS pouring in, the super-value-added stuff! Toyota is 1,000X more destructive! And our own industries are in trouble because they can only make profits off of gas guzzlers that are very big and very expensive. And this is driving up our trade deficit due to the high cost of oil we import and the dying dollar vis a vis the euro is driving up oil prices for us, there has been little oil inflation for THEM, and on top of all this, the cheap yen is driving trade with the USA and it is weakening us economically and all this rests on Japan's sub 1% loans!
The International Trade Commission should focus on that! And indeed, Congress begged them to do exactly that.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) today announced that it has launched the first of three investigations that collectively will provide an in-depth assessment of the U.S.-China trade and investment relationship and the U.S.-Asia-Pacific trade and investment relationship.
The three investigations were requested by the Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, in a letter received on October 2, 2006. In requesting the investigations, the Committee noted that there has been extensive debate about the causes of the recent growth in U.S.-China trade, particularly exports from China, and the extent to which this growth is driven by market forces or by Chinese domestic policies.
The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will produce three reports for the Committee over the next 24 months. As requested, each report will focus on specific aspects of the U.S.-China trade relationship, including trends and patterns in trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) between the United States and Asian and Pacific trading partners (first report), the driving factors behind the rapid growth in U.S.-China trade (second report), and China's integration with the global economy through processing trade and foreign direct investment (third report).
The ITC will deliver its first report in the series to the Committee by October 2, 2007. The agency will launch the second investigation in April 2007 and the third investigation in October 2007; details regarding those investigations will be announced at the time they are initiated.
So, on my 57th birthday after 35 years of continuous, growing trade deficits that soared from $10 billion in 1978, is now at a spectacular $890 billion and rising! So these goof-balls will look at the data I publish every day. And they will scratch their bald heads and wonder what to do! Since the obvious cure is forbidden, they will come up with a package of bandaids that will infuriate the people bankrutpting us and they will retaliate by squeezing our balls in the bond markets.
Since this is the end result, it means we will continue as we are. I see no political moves to stop this outside of Nader's quixotic campaigns. The faith in the Free Trade system is growing, not shrinking! Isn't that amazing?
Kawasaki Heavy To Build 2nd Plant For Boeing 787 Parts
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Seeing strong demand for Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliner, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (7012) will invest about 20 billion yen to construct another Aichi Prefecture factory to produce components for the midsize passenger jet, The Nikkei learned Sunday.
One of my first entries on this news site was to talk about Boeing and the Chinese and Japanese plans to move Boeing construction piece by piece to their homelands. The bulk of our trade of manufactured goods is in Boeing jets or military systems. There is little else. And note how, each year, more and more Boeing work is being relocated in our rival's lands! Boeing doesn't have to invest a penny or a yen in this! The Japanese...and the Chinese will cheerfully pay for everything. We just give them the blueprints and then teach them how to do all this and then relocate Boeing's development teams to Tokyo and Beijing and voila!
Another Free Trade Victory! Banzai!
Outsourcing of services, in both directions, adds to the possibilities of unequalising trade. The skill-intensive pieces of production processes that mainly take place in the third world are often now located in the OECD – for example, Lenovo, the Chinese computer company, has its executive headquarters in North Carolina.
What all this comes down to is that it’s no longer safe to assert, as we could a dozen years ago, that the effects of trade on income distribution in wealthy countries are fairly minor. There’s now a good case that they are quite big, and getting bigger.
This doesn’t mean that I’m endorsing protectionism. It does mean that free-traders need better answers to the anxieties of those who are likely to end up on the losing side from globalisation.
The owners of the NYT probably warned Krugman to support 'free trade' or he would be dumped. So he joins the fool's chorus and squeaks that he doesn't want a realistic solution. He just wants to tell us we are going to follow this path no matter what.
What is his solution? Nothing! No one running this mess, no famous person dares to say, 'We MUST have protectionism!' Nor will they suggest rationing gasoline so SUV users will have to chang their wretched gluttony. No extra taxes on those schemes that are wrecking our nation, no gas taxes, nothing will be done that will 'hurt' us.
But we WILL BE HURT. The plan of the Chinese is to hurt us a lot. The plan of the Japanese is to dominate us and pay us back for WWII. The Europeans simply want to be the imperial rulers of the planet! Everyone has plans that are not good for us and we have a right to begin moving in a new direction, it is life and death!