William J. Holstein


My cover package on the future of scientific innovation

This package of stories about the future of scientific innovation for Compass magazine challenged me, but I hope all of you find it informative. To see the complete package of stories, go to compassmag.3ds.com. This is the lead story and it has just been published.


What's Truly Important about Chinese Economic Ambitions

I'm reading a lot of blather these days about how fast the Chinese economy is growing, and can continue to grow, and about how soon its total size will surpass that of the United States. These are the wrong questions to be asking. The Chinese, with four times as many people as the United States, should become the largest economy at some point. The real question is whether they can compete head to head against our most sophisticated industries such as semiconductors.

A Revealing Account of How The U.S. Often Doesn't Commercialize Its Own Technology

One of the drums that I keep beating is that we Americans need to do a better job of commercializing the ideas that come out of what I call our "idea factories"--our universities, research institutes, and weapons labs. We blew it with the transistor, for example, and the Japanese took the idea and created the transistor radio industry. Remember the transistor radio? Now here is another example where we had some fundamental breakthroughs in technology but the economic model, i.e. the old RCA, collapsed, causing the technology to flow elsewhere.

Have We Reached The "Promised Land?"

Give me a break. Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, was quoted as saying this after the latest job numbers were reported: "I think we've finally reached the promised land of a self-sustaining, self-reinforcing economic recovery."

It sure doesn't feel like the promised land to millions of Americans who can't find well-paying jobs. Economists keep trying to peddle these grand pronouncements about a return to healthy economic conditions. I wonder what's in the water they are drinking.


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