I agree with R&D credits, and keeping technology here, but time and time again we have seen the public damaged by companies that will do anything in the name of profit. Sometimes fines aren't enough because the companies are willing to pay the fines if they still make a good solid profit. There was an earlier article on ethical software practices, and in the same vein there are more amoral people than there are dishonest ones. Companies may be willing to do something that the public finds distasteful, but they are less likely to cross the line and do something that will involve prison or a hefty fine.
Kudos, Alex, for bringing up the P-word, Politics and the R-word, Regulation in the same column. I suspect this thread will be teaming with comments in a short time. If a simple mathematical equation could be applied to calculate the perfect amount of regulation required to balance positive and negative effects on any system, we would be using it. But as with all NP-Hard problems, our system is multidimensional and non-linear. I hope we can agree that regulations that treat our manufacturing system as uni-dimensional and linear are not helpful.
I agree that R&D should be encouraged whenever possible, and protecting technology is a no brainer, but when you say that we should relax regulations and bureaucracy, slow down. 1: Businesses and Corporations want you to believe that we should get the government and regulations out of their way so they can be free to do business how they want and be free of government and bureaucreatic involvemnet. Sounds good on paper, but it has been proven that businesses can NOT be trusted, they only care about the bottom line, that is the nature of business and you can't expect any different. That is why we have these regulations. 2: Bureaucracy is defined as an "organization of non-elected officials of a government or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution." Bureaucracy cannot be removed without losing the teeth of the regulations we have implemented to protect our citizen's health and welfare.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.