It is a pity that so many governments are heavily indebted. As such, supporting innovation may first and foremost be a matter of relieving public finances by—brace yourselves, baby-boomers—raising the retirement age. Somehow, the Western world has, with good intentions, locked itself into the expectation that it is perfectly acceptable—yes, normal—to enjoy the last 15-20 years of life on an extended holiday with full benefits. As a result, too much economic activity has been diverted to consumption, too little to investment; too much to the present, too little to the future.
The comments above were made by a Chris Trimble, faculty member of the Tuck School of Business at Darthmouth and the co-author of “The Other Side of Innovation: Solving The Execution Challenge”.
The above quote resonates outside its context – the speaker is currently the opposer in an Economist debate (“This house believes promoting maths and sciences education is the best way to stimulate future innovation”)
It reminds me of how Singapore has recently raised its retirement age over and beyond what is generally accepted. If my memory served me right, our Mentor Minister said something along the lines of “Serve for as long as you can”.
It reminds me of how different the East is from the West – in terms of work ethics, public finances, culture, etc.
- Economist Debates: Education and innovation: Statements (linusfernandes.com)
- Google and the Myth of Free Time (blogs.hbr.org)