A Weakness in Process Technology

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Science  18 Dec 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4834, pp. 1659-1663
DOI: 10.1126/science.238.4834.1659

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Although the United States seems to be neither behind when it comes to research and development on new products or the willingness of its consumers to buy new products, the evidence clearly shows that it is behind when it comes to process technologies. Often Americans, even when a correction is made for wage differences, cannot produce goods at the price or quality levels achieved abroad. There is no one overriding reason for this lag in process technologies. An undereducated and trained labor force, too little savings and investment, a failure to see production as a central task, and a number of other factors have all contributed to the problem.