“I’d love to make this product in America. But I’m afraid I won’t be able to.”
My host, a NASA engineer turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has just conducted a fascinating tour of his new clean-energy bench-scale test facility. It’s one of the Valley’s hottest clean-technology startups. And he’s already thinking of going abroad.
“Wages?” I ask.
“Wages have nothing to do with it. I’m startled. “So what is it?”
“Everything else. Taxes, infrastructure, workforce training, permits, health care. The last company that proposed a fab on Long Island went to Taiwan because they were told that in a drought their water supply would be in the queue after the golf courses.”
So begins my education on the hollowing-out of the American economy, which might be titled: “It’s not the