US tech industry wakes up to Bush

Ed Sperling at Electronic News has written an interesting blog comment suggesting the chip industry in the US is waking up to the fact that George Bush’s policies have not done the country any favours on the world stage.

For six years, most of the electronics industry sat stoically and grumbled while one bad decision after another was thrown in its face. Research funding is now scarce. The tax research credit wasn’t renewed. H1-B visas are being doled out for all the wrong reasons in the wrong places. Stock options were slashed for most workers and others got clobbered for repricing.

I’m not sure whether the final point is worth complaining about as fraud is fraud, but you get the point. During the years of the Bush administration, most other countries involved in high-tech have surged forward. The UK, Ireland, France and a host of Asian economies have benefited from technology, to a certain extent leaving the US behind. However, since the mid-term electrions in the States, industry leaders have started to complain a bit more loudly:

The days of complaining behind closed doors are over. Oil and defense interests are no longer in total control. Now the question is whether this industry can rebuild fast enough to keep up with some very tough global competition, which has dug in deeply since the current administration first came to power.

As an industry exec pointed out to me last week, although perceived wisdom says that a Republican government in the US is best for business, in recent years it is the periods of Democrat control that saw the biggest gains for the tech industry. The next two years should be interesting.

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