There are political leaders Since the invention of the microchip, attempts have been made to replicate the high-tech magic of Silicon Valley. A technology-curious Charles de Gaulle, then President of France, traveled to Palo Alto in his convertible limousine in 1960. The President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, wore business casual attire in 2010 to meet and tweet with Valley social media tycoons. Hundreds of interested delegates, foreign and domestic, visited in. “Silicon Valley,” inventor and entrepreneur Robert Metcalfe once remarked, “the only place on earth that doesn’t try to figure out how to become Silicon Valley.”
In the United States, too, leaders have long sought to create another Silicon Valley. Yet after billions of dollars in tax breaks and the “Silicon Something” marketing campaign, nowhere did the hard track and enterprise capital match the original track record for investment — and these efforts often benefited multinational corporations far beyond the regions. Wisconsin pledged $ 4 billion in tax breaks and subsidies to Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn in 2017, with only $ 10 billion in factory plans and several million taxpayer dollars already spent preparing for Foxconn’s arrival to see the evaporation of 13,000 jobs. Amazon’s 2017 search for a second headquarters saw 238 American cities piled on top of each other to attract one of the richest corporations in the world, including tax-and-subsidy packages. Would have chosen anyway. One of the talent winners, North Virginia, has promised Amazon Up to $ 773 million In state and local tax subsidies – a universal price tag to brighten up high-tech towers that seems particularly steep because Amazon, along with other technology giants, is pushing back post-epidemic plans to return to office indefinitely.
Although the American technology industry is much larger than before, the list of top technology clusters – Bay Area, Seattle, Boston, Austin – has remained largely unchanged since the days of 64K desktop computers and floppy disks. There are even obstacles to the Kovid-19 epidemic Do little To change it Significantly fixed And Extremely unbalanced Technical geography.
Even then politicians are trying again. The bill includes working their way through Congress US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which includes a large contribution to research costs, 10 billion in new grants and subsidies “$ 52 billion for regional innovation centers and expansion of domestic semiconductor production.” The Build Back Better Act Now fighting through the Senate includes more than $ 43 billion for technology-related programs to boost the local economy. These measures emphasize investment on tax breaks and invest much more overall Space-based economic strategy Than the United States in decades. They are promising. But those are just the beginning.
To find a techno-liberal who doesn’t have to travel very far in Silicon Valley to find out that the success of this sector is purely the result of entrepreneurs’ haste and what the government can do is get out of the way. But that conclusion ignores history. In fact, public spending has played a huge role in the development of high-tech economies in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston and Austin. Understanding how this happened is essential for imagining where technology can grow next.
During World War II Second, the unprecedented solidarity of the people and resources of the U.S. government has reshaped America’s economic map. The desperate Midwestern Assembly lines were revived at the behest of the government, churning out jeeps and tanks instead of passenger cars. Scientists and technologists set aside normal research work to join the “brain army” of wartime. Many were involved in the top-secret pressure to build an atomic bomb, in remote areas of the entire new community created by the military that could remain unnoticed: the New Mexico Desert, the arid plains of eastern Washington, and rural Tennessee.
World War II was an experimental experiment in using government investment to advance scientific progress and rebuild the regional economy. The Cold War took it to the next level. The shrinking military spending at the end of the war in the early 1950s came back between a new nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union and the war in Korea. Take a tour around an American university campus today, note the number of science buildings in the 1950s and 1960s, and you’ll see pouring-concrete results.
Initially, the areas at the top of the high-tech pile were on the east coast; In the 1980s, Boston was the largest technology economy in the country. The region that eventually ousted Boston from its high-tech throne was known before the war as the country’s pruning production capital. One thing that sets Silicon Valley apart from its agricultural counterparts in the future is Stanford University, which had several alumni tinkering at several good engineering programs and nearby garage startups.