Now, you could argue
that everybody benefits from the symbiosis between
higher education, business, and the government. And certainly, business
obviously benefits from it. In particular, through the transfer
of technology that’s developed, either through basic or applied
research, and higher education– the transfer of technology that
they haven’t had to pay for. They haven’t had to pay
to get it developed. Universities also benefit. And many individuals, including
many individual professors, benefit as well– by
licensing that technology, by taking out patents, or copyrights, or
other kinds of devices that allow them and the university to both
benefit from this research. And the government also,
you could say, benefits, because it creates a healthier
economy, a more successful economy, than would be the case without this
investment in the higher education system. And it certainly creates a much
broader and more productive university-educated
population than you would have without the substantial
investment in higher education. But if you think about it–
what I have just suggested is that US capitalism is actually the
opposite of what a lot of those, who today consider themselves to be the
defenders of free-market capitalism, actually say that it is. I’ve said that the ways in which the
US economy is the most successful in the early 21st century
are in those places where the government, the
university system, and business are the most tightly wound together. And again, if you go
beyond higher education, you think about that list of the
economic successes in which the US economy is the most successful and
productive relative to other economies in the world– the places in
which US capitalism is the leader. Think about it, beyond
higher education, there’s also software design, the new kinds
of communication technologies, defense industries– the creation of
new advanced defense technologies, and even the financial industry. All of these are tightly connected
to the university system– these people with one
foot in, and one foot out. So it’s no accident, for
instance, that Silicon Valley is this hotbed of innovation,
generation after generation. And you have business after
business springing up there, and becoming a worldwide success. From Hewlett-Packard in one generation,
to Apple in the next, to Google, and so on, and so forth. It’s no accident because an
entrepreneur, like Steve Jobs, could hire dozens of trained
engineers straight out of the colleges around
there– Stanford and all the other Bay Area
universities and colleges. They were trained. They were ready to go. They were creative. And they could draw on the
resources of those universities– not only to get more
personnel, but to get people who worked half-in and
half-out of those universities. So what I’m suggesting, really, is
that the American university system and its relationship to
government, and to the economy as a whole– to big
business in particular, especially those sectors
of business that have done the best, that have been the most
successful over the last 50 years– that these suggest that US capitalism is
actually, as of the early 21st century, not an entity that is primarily
driven by the private sector, or by the free market acting by
itself, or by small businesses, or any of those things. It is, in fact, a new kind of thing. It’s a symbiosis of
government, big business, and the university system
acting together as one organism.

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