Michael Borrus

Recent Articles

Investing on the Frontier: How the U.S. Can Reclaim High-Tech Leadership

Why we need a civilian technology policy.

F rom the end of World War II to the late 1970s, the United States dominated new technology development through massive defense spending and the commanding lead it accumulated during the Cold War. Now the lead is gone, the defense dollars are going, and, increasingly, commercial competitors define the "state of the art." The economic benefits that accompanied technological hegemony-good jobs, wealth, national well being-will be much harder to come by. The United States can still pioneer technological development at home and exploit innovations that arise abroad-but only if we are willing to make the investments necessary to remain a leading player in global technology. In the past, the private sector has not accomplished that on its own, and it is even less likely to in an age of footloose multinational corporations. Since World War II and even before the civilian U.S. economy has indirectly benefited from substantial federal funding of science and technology, largely for defense...