What Happened to Innovation?

But the coup de grace to American innovation may be health care reform. As a growing number of pundits have begun to point out: Whatever the merits of the Obama health care plan, it is hard to make the case that it will do anything but suppress innovation in medicine, pharma and biotech.

What no one seems to have noticed yet -- and which just struck me this week -- is that this loss of innovation will occur in precisely those industries in the U.S. economy where we are depending upon innovation to occur. It is in just those fields (nanotech aside) that we are likely to depend upon for our economic growth, job creation and competitiveness.

That's a very frightening scenario, suggesting a kind of living death economic recession from which we never fully emerge. Shouldn't we at least discuss this unforeseen danger before we ram through a trillion-dollar bill that nobody seems to have read?

TAD'S TAB: Created by Jess Bachman, "Death and Taxes" is a magnificent, online, interactive poster that details the workings of the U.S. tax and budget system. Each branch of government, right down to the most obscure agency, is presented with its budget and revenue. Although the majority of the information is statistical, the vastness of the system is fascinating. Check it out at http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/, (you can also order it as an actual printed poster).

This is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michael S. Malone is one of the nation's best-known technology writers. He has covered Silicon Valley and high-tech for more than 25 years, beginning with the San Jose Mercury News as the nation's first daily high-tech reporter. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Fortune, and for two years he was a columnist for The New York Times. He was editor of Forbes ASAP, the world's largest-circulation business-tech magazine, at the height of the dot-com boom. Malone is the author or co-author of a dozen books, notably the best-selling "Virtual Corporation." Malone has also hosted three public television interview series, and most recently co-produced the celebrated PBS miniseries on social entrepreneurs, "The New Heroes." He has been the ABCNews.com "Silicon Insider" columnist since 2000.

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