What's the best solution to the national debt?
The United States must use every tool available to it to address the $16 trillion national debt.
Well it happened. The U.S. national debt has reached $16 trillion (twelve zeros). America has had to spend an unprecedented amount of money to reach this level of debt. Many financial experts, political scientists as well as security experts and even some of our best military minds have warned that the greatest threat to the United States is our national debt.
They are not the only ones. According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 9 in 10 Americans are at least somewhat concerned about how much of our nation’s debt is held by China and other countries. This problem has the Democrats and the Republicans pointing fingers at each other and in an intense debate over what approach should be taken to address this issue. Should we tax our way out of this? Should we spend our way out of this? Should we cut taxes to spur investments? So who is right? None of them. This is a deep hole, and we must use every tool in our toolbox and some other techniques that we have used in the past to address this issue.
So other than the tax and spend debate, what path can lead us out of this mess? We need another technology revolution like the ones we have seen in the past, but with learning from some of the mistakes that were made. Being a technology strategist coming out of Netscape, I openly admit my bias. If you look at the areas of technology that come to mind they include:
* Biotech. This is way too regulated to significantly contribute in the short-term.
* Infotech. The current outlook for breakthroughs is nothing more than buffing and polishing what we have already.
* Material science. This would be supported by molecular manipulation via nanotechnology.
I believe the answer lies in the area of material science. Creating new materials that are lighter, stronger, and cheaper and with new highly desirable properties would likely spur the level of change needed to address our slow economy and huge debt. There is the challenge for those in the United States working in that field, and our challenge is to protect the intellectual property from theft via cyber espionage.