Innovation is as American as baseball and apple pie. But some traditions can't be trademarked.
By most measures, America remains the world leader in technological achievement. Consider the 2009 Nobel Prizes: of the 13 people honored, nine were American. Once you take out the economics, literature, and peace prizes, the United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, still won close to 70 percent of the awards. Even amid a terrible recession, the country still dominates the fields of information technology, life sciences, and nanotechnology, all key industries of the future. The World Economic Forum routinely cites America as having the most competitive economy on the planet (though this year it was narrowly overtaken by Switzerland). When decision makers are asked to rank countries on innovation, the United States always comes first by a large margin.