Where Mandel’s explanation comes up short is: What are these innovators doing wrong? The example of the Chinese knockoff Blackberry suggests that maybe US innovators aren’t doing anything wrong. It’s just that they’re now competing against Chinese innovators, where they weren’t 10 years ago. This may have happened for two reasons. The first is that lack of intellectual property protection, combined with the outsourcing of manufacturing for all those high-tech products to China, gradually destroyed the US’s technological edge. The second is that in 1998, China didn’t have very many top-flight engineers. But they’ve spent the last 10 years doing nothing but graduate engineers, and now, they do. And that changes everything.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan