The American Economy Is Driven By Innovation
When I jump back in time to 1980, the American economy was in trouble. Interest rates were sky high approaching 20%, and inflation was a large concern. Ronald Reagan was elected to office with the promise of trickle down economics, and ‘peace through strength’. Reagan kept his promises and handed out huge tax cuts to the rich while building up the military against the Soviet Cold War threat. The end result was a sky rocketing budget deficit that at the time was unprecedented.
The picture did not look very pretty to be honest, but there was one thing that saved the day. THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY. Not by any particular governmental or political strategy, America saved itself by becoming the dominant country in the largest global revolution for the next 20 years. Companies such as Intel, Dell and Microsoft all began their meteoric rise in the early to mid 80’s. Although some companies eventually faltered, other leaders included Novell, Lotus, Ashton Tate, IBM and many other American companies.
But the boom did not just stop there. The 90’s brought us the internet revolution changing the way the world communicates, works, and gets information. Again the world is led by another host of American companies called Cisco, Google, eBay, Yahoo and many many others. I hope I’m not belaboring the point, but American companies had no equal during these times, and I shudder to think what would have happened to the American economy if the PC and Internet revolutions had been led by for example a Japanese and French company. I often think that these companies do not get the credit as the key drivers of the American economy.
But then it dawns on me. This is just the latest in a string of continuous innovations that have put America as the leader of the economic world and the world’s only superpower. Can anyone deny that our military strength is a function of our economic strength? Going back in time, American companies have led the world time and time again. Telecommunications, airplanes, and automobiles. I’m just spending a little time talking talking about each of these industries, but please take the time to wonder where our economy would be if these industries had not been created and led by American companies. I hope you come to the same conclusion that America’s success is based on our innovation.
Note that each innovation came at a time when one of our older industries was waning due to foreign competition. For example, the 70’s saw the decline of the once dominant automobile industryto the hands of the Japanese and other foreign competition. I could make an argument that the American’s government r0le should be to promote innovation and not protect old industries, but I won’t.
The innovation continues today. American companies are the clear world leaders in bio tech creating new drugs the help us live longer, healthier and happier lives. Although it is often the butt of many jokes, the economic impact of Viagra alone on our economy is staggering.
Now we come to stem cells. It could be the next key innovation and certainly has the potential if successful to drive the world’s economy for a good 20 years. Don’t we want to give American companies every advantage as we endeavor to invent the next world changing technogies? Should the government be doing anything to deter the progress of American innovation?
Is this what God wants?
The underlying reason for the entire stem cell controversy are religious. Our president and the Christian right would have us believe that God is morally against stem cell research. And hence our society will suffer somehow from the research. There isn’t a pretty way to say this. It is such hogwash.
God made us humans, and he made us differently. We alone as a race have the abiltiy to better our existence. A dog’s life is really not much different than it was 2000 years ago, but a human’s life has been enhanced in countless ways. It is innate in our being to learn more and improve our existence, and it is extremely hard to argue that this is anything but God’s will.
If anyone has been reading the Davinci Code or Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, both books focus on the collision of interests between religion and science. The books argue that there is really no conflict in interest and that each scientific understanding brings a little closer to understanding the creator of all things. When I think about all of the things we know against all of the things we don’t, I am still in awe of the complexity of life and the universe in which we exist. As times goes on, perhaps we will learn more about our Divine Creator through science, but I don’t think there should be anytime when we should slow down our rate of discovery.
Dear Lord. Please hear my prayer. I pray that your will be done, and that as humans we all strive to come to know you better on this earth before coming to spend eternity with you. I feel your will in all things, and I believe our thirst and curiosity for knowledge is your way of helping us to know you better.
Dear Lord. Help America be America by allowing us to innovate. Please help our leaders understand your will better and God Bless America.