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Why China Will Never Match American Innovation

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A new study by Thomson Reuters says that China will likely pass the United States in new patent applications by 2011 .

David Barboza of the New York Times points out that one reason is, "American technology companies like Motorola, Freescale Semiconductor and Hewlett-Packard all made sizable cuts to their R&D spending in 2009, following the outbreak of the global financial crisis. But many Chinese technology companies boosted their R&D budgets by between 25 and 45 percent."

However, while the country that's known more for its output of knockoffs than its output of ideas, might eventually beat the US in sheer scale, the Chinese will have a hard time matching the sheer brilliance of American innovation.

Case in point: the spaghetti taco.

Today's Times is also reporting on a giant surge in spaghetti taco consumption by kids who were introduced to them by iCarly, a show about a teenage girl on Nickelodeon.

“It was just a little joke I came up with for one episode,” Dan Schneider, iCarly's creator said. “Then it turned into a running joke. And now it’s this thing people actually do.”

Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, isn't surprised at all.

“This combination seems to be an inevitability, sort of like chocolate and peanut butter running into each other on that Reese’s commercial,” he said. “Spaghetti tacos has made it possible to eat spaghetti in your car. It’s a very important technological development. You don’t even need a plate.”

What's that I see in my rearview mirror? Oh, just China trying to catch up to the US idea machine.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.