Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge

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Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge
By Adam Segal
W. W. Norton & Company, 2011
294 pp. $26.95

Segal, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes that there is no way to stop the forces of globalization from diffusing high technology to rising U.S. competitors such as China and India. But he thinks the United States can maintain its dominance by innovating faster than technology leaks out. Unlike China or India, the United States benefits from low levels of government interference in business, a culture of risk taking, freedom of information, robust intellectual property rights -- and the very openness to the world that makes technology so hard to control in the first place. Segal believes the United States should invest more in education and infrastructure, do more to promote innovation, and smooth out counterproductive kinks in the legal system. The analysis aims to be encouraging. But it is hard to take much comfort from such a challenging prescription.

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