What happened to the land of innovation?

I remember this great, wonderful feeling that America was a nation of innovators. That no matter what the problem is, we would have no trouble solving it with some good ol’ fashioned American “know how”.

What happened?

We have a pharmaceutical industry which in 1999 brought in around 100 *billion* dollars for the top three companies with profits usually above 20%. Yet when was the last time we actually *cured* anything? Fucking polio. I’m not counting shots you have to get periodically, that isn’t really a “cure” for anything, or things that may stop something which may cause something else. Where’s that cure for cancer we’ve been researching for years?

Maybe it’s just easier to keep people buying drugs to allow them to live rather than curing what’s wrong with them. That sounds awful and callous. I could swear there was a Star Trek episode about just that ….

Back to innovation. I understand that profits are supposed to spur innovation, which seems to be the crux behind current copyright and patent law. Why the hell is the same stupid mouse being juiced even now? (I’m sure good ol’ Walt is pushing up the daisies, and isn’t profiting much from this.) Where exactly is the “innovation” in all of this? I mean, Disney bought out Pixar in 2006 so that it could get into the high-end 3D animation world, but where has it exactly innovated before then? I guess they innovated by retelling the story of Pocohontas, leaving out the part where she was dragged around Europe as a curiosity, or perhaps by remaking old crappy movies? Or perhaps by ripping off a smaller company, denying it and making untold fortunes?

Not to say we have a fully capitalist economy, since we definitely don’t. Our present policy of socializing losses by incompetent morons (who couldn’t resist hiding from the emperor that he had no clothes on), and yet denying that same level of protection to medical needs. Guess we need to make sure these fuckers can earn their 35 million dollar salaries and 16 million dollar bonuses, which we’ll get to pay later. Oh yeah, and the people who lost all that money investing in their firm? While Shwartz and Cayne get their golden parachutes, the ordinary people investing in their supposedly safe firm get the golden shower. There’s your “trickle down economics” at work. Remember how this should encourage innovation and good performance? Riiiiight.

Ever since Saint Ron decided that government regulation was bad, but that we couldn’t trust people to make up their own minds about anything (legislating morality), we’ve seen some nasty, nasty fallout. We imprison way too many people for drug related offences, since we have to declare war on everything, but somehow we can’t possibly keep people from dumping crap into our environment. I’m sure if the founding fathers wanted us to all be White and Protestant, they would have written in a “no marriage for teh gays” line right next to the part about this being a Christian country, and how the President has all encompassing, King-like powers. Oh, wait, they didn’t.

Damn, keep getting off track. America. Not innovating.

We’re still using the same damn space shuttle design we made back in 1981. You’d figure in almost thirty years, we would have something a bit more impressive, maybe? How’s that moon base coming, anyways? Oh, that’s right, we had to divert our attentions towards the terrorists communists. How did that turn out? Did Saint Ron knock the Berlin wall down with one swing of his mighty fifty foot penis? Or did it collapse on itself, as most predicted it would? Yeah, I thought so. Did we ever get back on track? I think not. Our current moron in chief has been systematically dismantling the legacy of FDR, all while telling us that we should just privatize everything. How is that working out for you? Shouldn’t they be able to innovate more, since they make profits, being a private company? Fools.

I just want to see an America where we don’t simply repeat the latest talking point until it becomes fact as it is spewed by some fat pill-popping wanker with a microphone. When people are saying “America sucks”, maybe instead of branding them all as traitors, we should be asking “why?”…“Why do you think this great land ain’t so great anymore?”

I want to see an America where people don’t have to work two jobs for survival. Where we are inventing practical electric cars, not playing catch up. I want to see an America where we know that “energy policy” isn’t a dirty word, and sure isn’t swahili for “drill until there’s nothing left and we’re completely boned.”

I want to see an America which isn’t motivated by Nascar, Jerry Springer, the WWE, and every other pathetic form of entertainment out there. How can we be innovators and world leaders when we can’t even cook our own food anymore? How can we care about our world when some dumb-ass celebrities’ babies are somehow more important?

We should be ashamed, but not of our country. We can’t blame *any* of this on politicians. After all, besides Diebold and some stupid jackasses on the Supreme Court, don’t we put these turkeys where they are? Aren’t we the ones eating the fast food, driving the big SUVs, and ignoring science in its entirety? We deserve whatever is going to happen to us. Maybe if everything collapses, we’ll have to get off our complacent butts and remember how to innovate. I can only hope.

(Tom Tomorrow perhaps said it best)