The Neutrino Donut Project – Member, White Paper on the 2020 R&D Agenda and the Future of Innovation

The Neutrino Donut was one of a group of companies / individuals asked to contribute thoughts to a a white paper on the future of R&D. The discussion, initially based on world view pre-pandemic, has changed considerably post-pandemic.

China will be a questionable member of the supply chain. Price and manufacturing manipulation, particularly in the area of rare earth metals, will be challenged as companies will pay a premium for stability versus the lower cost only standard. I have always viewed the economic race between China and India as favoring India.

Other Southeast Asia countries and Africa will benefit as economic development will expand to more options for supply chain.

Remote work will become standard. The impact of this will be higher paying salaries for remote workers who will move to smaller towns, upsetting the local property costs. CA workers moving to Idaho and Montana are not popular, as they are able to easily afford $300K homes, which were out of reach based on local salaries. These remote workers will create challenges for schools and consumer services (restaurants and food supply) for more diverse offerings.

In my personal experience, moving from Philadelphia to a small Texas town, these challenges were obvious. A large amount of the property taxes were raised against farmers, who where not happy with tax increases that burdened them more heavily.

Corporations have a one year view on incomes. The recent tax cut was targeted at job creation, when the overall unemployment rate was very low and the jobs which were leaving the country (manufacturing) were still leaving even with tax cuts (Carrier). The tax cut had to be spent, and it was spent on stock buybacks and automatically triggered bonuses. Fast forward a year, and the tax cut money would be better served in retaining workers.

We have had three once in a century economic shocks to the system since 2001. We are not prepared for the economic management of these problem.

The net effect is tax cuts may not be an effective tool to economic development at this point. Other solutions may be needed.

In the same way, the Keynesian model (C+I+G), which was key to getting us out of the recession of 2008, may not work in this space. President Trump’s economic stimulus will not have the same effect, as the world has changed.

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE and corporate blowhard, felt you should fire the bottom 5% of your organization every year. He was an idiot. But, we are about to see the bottom 5% of our economy come to an end. Malls are an obvious target.

We will come through this and we will be stronger.

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