Innovation drought?

June 8, 2009
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Beneath Americaâ??s financial woes lies a lack of innovation, a recent BusinessWeek article argues. A paucity of breakthrough products could have triggered the nationâ??s borrowing binge and ultimately the financial meltdown, it says.

Hereâ??s the logic: A decade ago, the nation was enamored with scientific and technological breakthroughs. Gene therapy would cure physical ailments, fuel cells would power cars, and satellites would extend high-speed Internet to rural areas. Today, despite massive investment in the technologies, few new products have materialized.

As a result, wages stagnated. Also, exports slowed and imports surged, which forced Americans to borrow from overseas sources. The misplaced optimism played into Wall Street excesses.

Close to home, the innovation problem is on clear display at Eli Lilly and Co., which is hustling to find something big to replace patents on top-selling drugs including Zyprexa. Lilly stock, which stands near $34, is nowhere near the $80-plus where it traded early this decade.

BusinessWeek predicts the investment ultimately will lead to those long-expected breakthrough products. For now, lots of people are frustrated and the economy is still sluggish.

What are your thoughts?
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  • This is no surprise. The Looters have taken away the incentive for R&D companies such as Lilly, Pfizer, etc. This is only going to get worse as the current administration continues their war on private business.
  • Think about all the blue collar workers that got shafted over the last ten or so years. Our government leaders and corporations have sold the middle class out, so they could pad their wallets. I am all for people getting rich, but selling out your country is treason. They claim this global economy B.S., and if your not willing to go along with it, your either uneducated or afraid of change. Sorry a spaid is a spaid. Why have we become stagnate in developing new innovation? Cause of the aforementioned. Rich politicians and corporate executives do not get it anymore.
  • Once the company is losing cash, they cut people, they start cutting and cutting and eventually start cutting those who do R&D and run on basics. If we continue to run on basics and not focus on investing in new ideas, we will see a deeper recession and eventually a second Great Depression. Companies shall invest not just in foreign markets for R&D but Local R&D. Don't bring people in from other countries but use what we have here. Americans are innovative. Americans are creative. We can get ourselves out of the recession, we just need quite a few people to invest and take chances on new ideas.

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