“Made in America” is on (government) life support, and the prognosis isn’t good – TechCrunch

Intel and Boeing, two of the pillars of American Intel makes some of the most impressive chips in the world and has for decades, driving high-performance computing to its limits while supporting a company with a market cap today of $200 billion and supporting more than 110,000 employees. …

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Taiwan is not great at semiconductors because of a random constellation of factors, it’s great because it pushed its entire economy, education system, and government to prioritize its excellence on top of changes like the opening of the global economy and the rise of China.

Boeing is again safer than Intel — Airbus hasn’t been much better when it comes to innovation and bad strategic decisions like the A380, and China’s airframe manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China isn’t really ready for primetime although it is certainly progressing.

Industries could be fragmented, government policy could be out-of-whack, schools and universities could be horrifically inefficient in training, but none of that mattered since few other countries could compete across such a breadth of industry.

China has perhaps most notoriously made supporting flagship industries a key bedrock of its economic development, to much success over the past three decades. And the list continues. What’s the difference? In one word: strategy.

Two weeks ago, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) got widespread bipartisan support for his amendment to this year’s defense budget bill that would appropriate billions of dollars of funding and incentives to propel American chipmaking.

Intel makes some of the most impressive chips in the world and has for decades, driving high-performance computing to its limits while supporting a company with a market cap today of $200 billion and supporting more than 110,000 employees.

It started with the easy stuff — textiles, consumer widgets, appliances — but the sophistication of export-driven economies like Korea, Germany, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Turkey and others has pushed more and more of the manufacturing stack overseas.

They are weathered, tired, and crumbling, and it doesn’t seem likely that they can hold up the American economy the way they have over the past generation, nor keep the country on the frontier of innovation any longer in their critical industries.

Korea has made cultural productions like K-pop and K-drama a top government priority, now a massive growing global industry.

In each of these successful cases, governments spurred the creation of new industries through incentives and policy changes, while ensuring that these industries built up differentiated intellectual property that would pay back those incentives in spades.

For the United States, the first step in ameliorating these slow-motion train wrecks has been the classic policy crisis tool of the bailout.

While Congress spends billions to try to salvage the chip industry, the Trump Administration announced a $75 million quantum computing initiative aimed at spurring America to the frontiers of advanced computing.

Meanwhile, Boeing sought a $60 billion government bailout, before finding a debt consortium of private investors to fund operations.

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