Excerpt from Thomas L. Friendman column in The New York Times September 14, 2013
“…It’s easy to be depressed about America these days. We’ve got messes aplenty abroad and the Republican-dominated House of Representatives is totally paralyzed. Indeed, the G.O.P.-led House has become a small-minded, parochial place, where collaboration is considered treason, where science is considered a matter of opinion, where immigration is considered a threat, where every solution is a suboptimal compromise enacted at midnight and where every day we see proof of the theory that America is a country that was “designed by geniuses so that it could be run by idiots.”
Fortunately, there is another, still “exceptional,” American reality out there. ..
It’s best found at the research centers of any global American company. These centers are places where scientists and engineers from dozens of nationalities are using collaboration and crowd-sourcing to push out the boundaries of medical, manufacturing and material sciences, where possibilities seem infinite, where optimal is the norm and where every day begins by people asking: “What world are we living in, and how do we thrive in that world?” …
Just to get a jolt of that optimism, and a chance to focus on what we should be talking about, I asked General Electric for a tour of its huge research lab here in Niskayuna, north of Albany. I wanted to see what new technologies, and therefore business models – and therefore jobs – it might be spawning that public policy, and education policy, might enhance. I have no idea whether or how G.E. will profit from any of these breakthroughs, but I saw the outlines there of three radically new business trends that the United States should want to dominate.”