[FoRK] Making robotics a priority

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Jul 13 13:30:07 PDT 2011

On 7/13/11 1:21 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Article on innovation and competitiveness in today's WSJ.
> http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304447804576412084061290852.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
> 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.

He should also have stated it as a % of gross profit.  After production, taxes, payroll, how much goes to reinvestment and how much 
is skimmed off as owner/investor profit?  Besides a bit of confusion between pay and profit, that would be interesting to know.


> 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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