"Science and Technology Policies, National Competitiveness, and the Innovation Divide" -Carin Holroyd
A technological development have allowed for more efficient transfer of goods and services and has the world on a trend towards a globalized economy; different regions (within and beyond national borders) are interdependent although they have specialized resources and production, each part is essential to complete the final product. Developing countries in Asia, such as China and Taiwan, have promoted their manufacturing industries causing a decline of such industries in the developed world due to their relatively higher production costs. More developed countries have begun shifting focus from their failing manufacturing industries to promoting science, technology, energy solutions, and product development. Likewise, today's economy is dominated by technology giants such as Nokia, RIM, and Google, not the manufacturing, auto, or steel industries as seen not more than a decade ago.
We must analyze different strategies and plans different governments implement and the correlating results on the nation's economy. One concern was the "digital divide" that refers to the national differences in reactions to new technologies such as the internet and how different rates of uptake of technology has affected countries' development and situations. Perceptions of what government should do have changed over the years back and forth from times of high government involvement during the world wars, to the 80s where the government had a laissez faire attitude and did very little, then back to times of recession where the population demanded for the government bail out and action. In the mid 19th century European empires extended the globe, the United States was on the rise, and the 60's was the dawn of the technological boom in Japan followed by other East Asian countries soon after. The conditions for a free market seem to stand in direct tradeoff with national economic stability. Governments under Regan and Thatcher reduced taxes, regulations, and reduced trade barriers, believed to have triggered the period of prosperity that followed; Smith's 'invisible hand' would regulate and ensure the business cycle and the government should have minimal involvement. Although many credit these changes with economic growth they may also have compromised the nations' economic stability. In today's global economy critics argue that national agendas are outweighed by interests and investments that extend national borders; the actions of private corporations collaborating for research, development, and specialized labor inevitably affect the nation's as well as the global economy. Again recalling the affect of the "digital divide" that has allowed some nations to excel and grow exponentially while others continue struggling with poverty and stagnant growth. Although wealthier countries may dedicate only a small percentage of their resources to science and technology the same amount is unmatchable by poorer countries continuing to widen that divide.