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Needed: A Revitalized National S & T Policy; The Proposed 2005 Federal Budget Puts the Nation at Risk by Shortchanging Support for Critical Research Activities (Perspectives)

Issues in Science and Technology 2004, Spring, 20, 3

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A lot has been said and written recently about U.S. manufacturing job losses. Much of the focus, though, has been on the movement of U.S. jobs overseas. Not enough attention has been paid to the need to create new high-wage jobs in the U.S. economy. What actions should the United States be taking to achieve that goal? A high-wage society has some obvious building blocks. They include a fair and equitable tax structure, an educated and skilled workforce, an efficient and robust transportation infrastructure, a modern communications infrastructure, and so on. But we would argue that any discussion of high-wage job creation should start with what military strategists refer to as "the tip of the spear." And we firmly believe that in the economic competition for high-wage job creation, the tip of the spear is S & T. Just as in the case of national security, economic security depends on the United States remaining the world leader in S & T. If that leadership is lost, the nation's capacity for high-wage job creation will soon atrophy.