or others that accomplish the same purpose—such that funding and policy changes will routinely be considered in future years’ legislative processes.
It would be impossible not to recognize the great difficulty of carrying out the Gathering Storm recommendations, such as doubling the research budget, in today’s fiscal environment…with worthy demand after worthy demand confronting budgetary realities. However, it is emphasized that actions such as doubling the research budget are investments that will need to be made if the nation is to maintain the economic strength to provide for its citizens healthcare, social security, national security, and more. One seemingly relevant analogy is that a non-solution to making an over-weight aircraft flight-worthy is to remove an engine.
The original Gathering Storm competitiveness report focuses on the ability of America and Americans to compete for jobs in the evolving global economy. The possession of quality jobs is the foundation of a high quality life for the nation’s citizenry.
The report paints a daunting outlook for America if it were to continue on the perilous path it has been following in recent decades with regard to sustained competitiveness.
The purpose of the present report is to assess changes in America’s competitive posture in the five years that have elapsed since the Gathering Storm report was initially published and to assess the status of implementation of the National Academies’ recommendations.
Robert Solow received a Nobel Prize in economics in part for his work that indicated that well over half of the growth in United States output per hour during the first half of the twentieth century could be attributed to advancements in knowledge, particularly technology.1 This period was, of course, before the technology explosion that has been witnessed in recent decades. The National Academies Gathering Storm committee concluded that a primary driver of the future economy and concomitant creation of jobs will be innovation, largely derived from advances in science and engineering. While only four percent of the nation’s work force is