Over the last 30 years, there has been a fundamental shift away from R&D, manufacturing, and innovation on US soil. In the interest of appeasing shareholders and short term gains, many companies like GE have moved entire R&D facilities to India and China.
It is not surprising that there has been a significant decline in the number of graduates with engineering and science degrees - the number of available positions on US soil have also declined. If we as a country continue to eliminate our capability to create new technology and innovation by outsourcing these functions to other countries, how do we expect to be the leader in these areas?
The US must be a producer of innovation, technology, and products. These are the activities that create wealth and generate the capital necessary for investment.
To reverse these trends, we need to understand why decisions to outsource our intellectual capital are being made and create incentives that encourage US companies to develop and produce new technologies in the US. Having government involved at every turn is not an answer. Government's role should be to make sure the right climate exists in the US marketplace to retain and attract these types of activities. Excessive regulation and intervention by government may be what is driving our current crisis.