Frustration Over a Stalled Bill

The semiconductor industry had few clients in its early years. In the 1950s, few firms could afford the new, high-tech instruments that made computers possible. The federal government, on the other hand, has the power to do so.

There were computers aboard the Air Force’s B-70 bomber when Fairchild Semiconductor sent its first cargo. Also, the Minuteman missile and other Cold War armaments and NASA equipment soon needed semiconductors. According to Fred Kaplan’s article in Slate, “it was the government that established the massive demand that permitted mass production” of semiconductors.



History of Technological Advancement

Throughout the history of technological advancement, this is a common story. Small enterprises frequently lack the resources to invest significantly in basic scientific research. Any corporation cannot predict which study will be profitable based on the results since they are too uncertain. A lot of the time, research that appears to favor one industry ends up benefiting another.

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This type of investment can only be made by the federal government. Private enterprises then exploit the fruits of the research to build creative and successful goods, stimulating economic growth and tax revenues that comfortably cover the costs of the initial study..

Initiators of the internet, like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, were the Department of Defense. It was thanks to the National Institutes of Health that a number of drugs like Covid-19 were developed by pharmaceutical companies. Energy, automotive, aviation, and other industries have similar tales to tell, as well.

However, in recent decades, American investment in R&D has trailed behind:

Research and development spending in the United States is presently lower than in many other countries. When it comes to strengthening its economy, China is exceedingly ambitious, effectively mimicking the American approach even as the United States has abandoned it.

China might soon be the global leader in artificial intelligence, semiconductors, 5G wireless, quantum information science, biotechnology, and green energy, according to Harvard professor Graham Allison and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt in this week’s Wall Street Journal.

Not a single one

Specifically, the semiconductor business serves as a suitable example. Fairchild and Texas Instruments led the way in the early years, with Intel following in the later decades. However, the American semiconductor industry has lagged behind (as Thomas Friedman has explained). The percentage of semiconductors manufactured in the United States has decreased from 37 percent in 1990 to 12 percent today.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo recently told me that the United States currently produces 0% of the world’s most advanced chips. “It’s a weakness.” Many of the world’s most advanced chips are manufactured in Taiwan, and a disruption there—which is not out of the question given China’s aggression—could have a global impact.

Raimondo Opined that “We Need to Create More Chips in America.”

A law assisting in this direction was passed by the Senate in June. There will be a five-year investment of about $250 billion in research and development expenditures, including $52 billion for semiconductor companies. Most importantly, the United States must not slip behind China.

Over the course of the measure, government research and development funding would climb by more than 30 percent. It passed 68 to 32, with President Biden’s support, and it was supported by both parties.

Democrats have Specific Issues With the Senate Bill.

However, the House of Representatives has yet to enact a version of it, and it is unlikely that it will before the end of the year. According to Catie Edmondson of The Times, House Democrats have specific issues with the Senate bill.

There are a number of questions about whether Amazon is spending enough money on early-stage research and too much money on private enterprises like Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space venture.

These questions are acceptable to ask. The House and Senate have yet to settle their minor differences and increase federal investment in scientific research, which disappoints many economists, governors, and business leaders alike. Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna of California stated this week that “candidly, it should have cleared the House a long time ago.” “It’s been a long time,” he said.

Because of the long delay, Catie’s coworkers in the semiconductor industry are “essentially pulling their hair out,” she told me. Since passing the Senate earlier this year, they’ve been surprised by how long it’s taken to get the money into their bank accounts.”

Republicans have been more frequently to blame than Democrats in recent years for the gridlock in Congress. They clashed on fundamental topics like healthcare and immigration when Republicans dominated Congress and have reflexively opposed several Democratic presidents’ policies.

Infighting within the Democratic Party is to blame for the delays in enacting the research law and its possible defeat. Democrats control both the House and the Senate, but the law has yet to reach Vice President Biden’s desk, despite the fact that the Senate overwhelmingly passed it months ago. America’s worldwide adversaries are no doubt gleeful with the current state of affairs.


An Infection
The best of the best, streamlined.
The deluge of year-end best-of lists can be deafening. It’s like a primer for the other tutorials.

Pitchfork has released its annual list of the finest songs for music enthusiasts. It goes well with the diverse selection of top albums of the year chosen by the New York Times. “Call Me if You Get Lost” and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” were on all of our pop music critics’ lists, and they were the only two albums that appeared on all of them.

Ruminations about race in America and sagas that span generations are among the greatest fiction and nonfiction volumes selected by Book Review. You’re in the mood for a piece of art? African-American history and global warming recurred across the several large-scale exhibitions that took place in 2017.

Ghost Forest” by Maya Lin juxtaposed the greenery of New York’s Madison Square Park with a forest of dead Atlantic white cedars. The timber is being used by teenagers to build boats.

Another repeating theme was the reintroduction of in-person experiences: Jesse Green writes that the fall theatre season was “as exhilarating as a child’s first fireworks,” and the ritual of seeing movies on a big screen made even the poorest films wonderful, “Manohla Dargis’s list of the best films,” she writes.

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In addition, there was excellent television to enjoy. Class strife and pandemics were common themes in the works selected by our critics. Among my favorites is “Reservation Dogs,” a strange comedy about a group of teenagers trying to flee their Oklahoma reservation. In James Poniewozik’s words, it’s full of the kinds of details “that can only emerge from loving the thing you want to leave,”