I read a great post yesterday on Robert Scoble’s site called Screw the super angels, we need a super user collusion table at Bin-38.

Today I read a piece in the NYT called Silicon Valley’s Solar Innovators Retool to Catch Up to China. Even the President weighed on this issue with his speech in the White House Rose Garden a couple of days ago about the need to update America’s “crumbling” infrastructure.

All of these together add up to the one thing, we need to seriously reconsider how we think about innovation, whether it be in technology, transportation, health care or education. Once all of these variables are put into one equation the answer seems simple. The ever present pursuit of profits and a decades long cultivation of corporate greed is fast leaving America in the dust when it comes to competing with the rest of the world.

The United States ranks an atrocious 15th in the world on broadband speeds and price per MBPS, behind such powerhouse nations as Iceland, Portugal, Canada, Poland and Korea.

We rank 18th in education out of 36 other comparable industrialized nations.

Our cowboy health care system continually puts profits before the well-being of the society it’s meant to protect.

Fifty percent of Americans make less than $30k a year. A full ninety percent of Americans make less than $100k a year. So all this profit squabbling that’s holding up our ability to compete isn’t even being passed on to the people making, buying and using the technology.

The question isn’t, “can we change this?” The questions is “how can we change this and how fast can we do it?” The first thing we need to do is stop buying into this profit-first philosophy and start putting people first. Let’s let the corporate executives, Wall Street and investors look out for themselves for a while and start investing in our own future. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish when your projects and ideas aren’t held up by the ability of a couple of people to make a few million dollars.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

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