Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace

China Surpasses U.S. in Technological Prowess

Did we outsource our edge?
For years, folks like Thomas Friedman and Robert Samuelson have dismissed concerns about our dwindling manufacturing base as just so much economic fear mongering. We don't need those dirty manufacturing jobs, they said. There's more value added in services, and with our educated workforce and technological edge, there's no reason in the world not to have other countries build our play-stations, bikes and TVs.

The only problem is that the manufacturing sector has always been a key driver of technological innovation. When manufacturing goes, so does a large share of hi-tech R and D. Now, according to Manufacturing and Technology News, we appear to be reaping what the corporate globalizers have sown:
China has surpassed the United States in a key measure of high tech competitiveness. The Georgia Institute of Technology's bi-annual "{High-Tech Indicators" finds that China improved its "technological standing" by 9 points over the period of 2005 to 2007, with the United States and Japan suffering declines of 6.8 and 7.1 respectively. In Georgia Tech's scale of one to 100, China's technological standing now rests at 82.8, compared to the U.S. at 76.1. The United States peaked at 95.4 in 1999. China has increased from 22.5 in 1996 to 82.8 in 2007.
Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.