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US On Rapid Downhill Decline

Bad news folks. One of the only hopes for our economy was our technical expertise. We clearly led the world and still do in many areas. However this lead will rapidly disappear if we are not able to infuse new brain power into the equation.

The sad reality, as evidenced by this story is that our technical lead appears to have evaporated. We have become second rate academically and unless we see immediate change it will translate into serious economic decline for the US.

Five years before Vioxx was removed from market I said it would be. Well this is not the same field, I am quite passionate about the use of technology and follow it just as closely as I do health. Folks I feel just as strongly about this one. I don't see anything that is going to change the current trend. The US is on a rapid downhill course and this is further confirmation.

You may not know that I am a University of Illinois graduate so it is understandable that I was disappointed when they lost the NCAA basketball title last week. There is some comfort though that their programming team finished first among the entire US in the world competition. This is the good news.

The bad news is that they tied for 17th place in the competition, the worst finish for an American university in the contest's 29-year history. This year's top finishers -- schools in China and the former Soviet Union -- indicate the upward movement of schools in Eastern Europe and Asia over the past decade. Moreover, a U.S. team hasn't won top honors in eight years.

Some believe this slump by American universities creates a perception of how poorly this country in relation to the worldwide race for technological leadership. That's certainly not surprising to me, considering recent shifts in some of the research and development functions of larger American corporations to Asia. American experts fear the world's current tech capitol -- Silicon Valley -- could also be dispersed between locales in India, China and Korea.

Two other signs interest in America's tech sector is waning:

  • The number of foreign students enrolling in U.S. college graduate programs is declining.
  • Corporations that outsource their tech work overseas

CNET News April 7, 2005

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