One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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We are in the very first stages of what is now – and will for a long, long time be – a global Information Economy.
In which more and more of what we produce – is of the mind. And less and less reliant on muscle.
We are no longer an Agrarian Economy – where the vast majority of Americans make their living off the land.
We are in the latter stages of an Industrial Economy – where the vast majority of Americans make their living via manufacturing.
To be clear – to paraphrase Mark Twain – the stories of manufacturing’s death are highly exaggerated. As President Donald Trump is proving – with manufacturers beginning to return in droves to America’s shores.
But even with things Agricultural and Industrial – life is always made better with products of the mind.
Before any action – there is an idea.
We are no longer an Agrarian Economy – because we invented industry. Which not only led to the Industrial Economy, but made our agrarian endeavors exponentially more efficient – allowing far less growers to grow far more stuff, so fewer growers were needed.
Industrial Economy endeavors – of course also require the mind. Because before you can manufacture – you need something to manufacture. The ideas…that lead to products…that lead to the products being mass assembled…in ever better and more efficient ways, again thanks to better ideas.
And now we are moving further into the Information Economy. In which, very often, nothing but the ideas matter. No one, for example, manufactures an app. At least how we have traditionally understood manufacturing.
Less and less muscle is required. More and more minds are.
Which begs a metric ton of questions. We’ll ask two here.
One: Why do so many insist on importing into our First World Information Economy – an endless number of Third World unskilled muscle workers? When what they have to offer – is of less and less value going forward?
Two: Why do so many insist on undermining the protections of all things intellectual – i.e. patents, copyrights and trademarks? When what they have to offer – is of more and even more value going forward?
We just one year ago thankfully escaped out from under the Barack Obama Administration. Almost inarguably the most anti-Intellectual Property (IP) administration in our nation’s history.
Obama, Inc. was incessantly in open warfare with all things IP. At an incredibly terrible and dangerous time in the evolutionary process of the global Information Economy.
Obama, Inc. – in conjunction with an equally complicit and stupid Congress – enacted the very anti-IP (and very perversely named) America Invents Act.
And as was their wont, Obama, Inc. spent a lot of time doing a whole lot of unilateral Executive Branch damage to IP. Not the least of which was – suing a patent holder…for holding patents.
Where nations that couldn’t get a leg up on us economically – have been assaulting us litigiously to bring us down.
And the cumulative toll it all has taken – is heinous.
The U.S. Drops Out of the Top 10 in Innovation Ranking: “The U.S. dropped out of the top 10 in the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index for the first time in the six years the gauge has been compiled….The index scores countries using seven criteria, including research and development spending and concentration of high-tech public companies.”
The late Ayn Rand rightly observed: “We can ignore reality – but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”
Human nature…is human nature. It is immutable.
No human farmer will till land, plant seeds, water and fertilize, tend and mind the fields – if any and everyone can come in after the fact and take the crops without paying.
Because the farmer’s human nature would rightly deem his extensive efforts to grow the crops…a colossal waste of his time and money. He will very quickly stop growing – and we all will go hungry.
Today’s Information Economy farmers – are the minds who create intellectual property.
We in the United States have been increasingly hostile to the crops these minds plant, tend and produce.
Is it any wonder we have dropped precipitously in “research and development spending and concentration of high-tech public companies” – given this hostility…and the very reasonable human nature reaction to it?
It is no wonder at all.
We ignored reality. Now the consequences of ignoring reality are killing us.
The global Information Economy ain’t going anywhere.
Our hostility to the Intellectual Property that makes the Information Economy go – needs to go.
[Originally Published at RedState]