[FoRK] Making robotics a priority

Gregory Alan Bolcer greg at bolcer.org
Wed Jul 13 13:21:14 PDT 2011

Article on innovation and competitiveness in today's WSJ.


Life-science companies today are among America's premier innovators. Six 
of the top 10 companies in global research and development expenditures 
are biopharmaceutical, according to a 2010 report by Booz & Co. American 
drug companies reinvest more than 20% of their U.S. sales revenues in 
research. As recently as 2008, more than 67% of all U.S. 
biopharmaceutical patents were issued to U.S.-based life-science companies.

The industry is also a major employer. Merck, the company I manage, has 
over 40,000 people on its payroll in the U.S. And while overall 
pharmaceutical employment here has shrunk in recent years, it still tops 
650,000. These are high-quality jobs, with an average salary of more 
than $95,000. Biopharmaceutical research is skilled and labor-intensive.

On 7/12/2011 7:26 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
> --- On Mon, 7/11/11, Greg Bolcer<greg at bolcer.org>  wrote:
>> I think they allow companies to
>> increase competitiveness, so not that it's zero sum, but any
>> short term detriments are far outweighed by the long term
>> profitability of the company which in turn goes back to
>> competitiveness.
> I don't get that, either, Greg. How is it that "competitiveness", in this context, is a Good Thing? Specifically, how is it that making the investors in a company richer balances or outweighs having fewer people working in the economy?
> And how is it that making a company more profitable ties back to competitiveness? I can see how a competitive company might, arguably, be more profitable. I don't see how making a company more profitable necessarily makes it more competitive.
> Can you help me with that?
>               ...ken...
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greg at bolcer.org, http://bolcer.org, c: +1.714.928.5476

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