« Unsold | Main | Tipsy Stipulation »

July 14, 2008

America First

"I have to tell you that the innovation and the technology and the entrepreneurship of the world still lies in the United States of America. Every technological advance we've made in the 21st century and throughout the 20th has come from the United States of America." - John McCain, Republican presidential candidate

Source: The New York Times

Hat tip of thanks to Greg Aharonian.

Posted by Patent Hawk at July 14, 2008 11:03 PM | The Patent System


Thanks Hawk. Can you suggest who is the "we" that Mr McCain speaks of? Meanwhile, I'm assuming that it's "we the people of the United States of America". In that case, it goes without saying, that any technological advance made by the people of the USA must have come "from" the USA, no? Or am I missing something here?

Posted by: MaxDrei at July 14, 2008 10:34 PM

Hi Max:

The "we" McCain refers to is humankind. Drop the "we've" from the sentence and McCain's assertion becomes clear - "Every technological advance [] made in the 21st century and throughout the 20th has come from the United States of America."

Rather bold statement, to put it mildly.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at July 14, 2008 11:08 PM

Statements that are "bold, to put it mildly" go down well with the voters, I suppose, from a candidate for the post of Commander in Chief. I had supposed his speech writer had deliberately inserted the "we've" as the politician's deliberate ambiguity. In Germany, politicians say "We will never give up our speed limit-free Autobahn network" or "75% of all Autobahn in Germany is subject to a strict speed limit" depending what audience they are addressing.

Posted by: MaxDrei at July 15, 2008 1:31 AM

Here's a little more of a reality perspective, from our beloved mother country:


Posted by: NIPRA anonymous at July 15, 2008 2:00 AM

MaxDrei, I will admit that every invention over the last 100 years or so has not come out of the US, but according to your list the vast majority have. When looking at the link you posted the majority of inventions from other countries happened prior to 1900 - McCain said during the 20th and 21st centuries.
I don't want to act all high and mighty, but the world really owes a lot to the US. The US is always being criticized in foreign press, yet in terms of aid and new business investment we are very giving - I guess that's the price of being on top. Furthermore, nothing is more annoying than listening to the so called “mother country.” When England was the major super power in the world we had two world wars. Since 1945 there hasn’t been a single world war, wars yes, but no massive worldwide conflicts.

Posted by: Chris at July 29, 2008 7:59 AM

Patent nationalism is poltically infantile, but perhaps a vote getter for the hoopleheads that McCain is pandering to.

Chris, blaming England for two world wars is nonsense.

The U.S. has repeatedly acted as a rogue state since WWII, with presidential assasinations, coup attempts, disruption of democratic processes abroad, and major wars based on trumped-up charges: Vietnam and Iraq being blatant, and large-scale, examples, though their are other relatively minor acts, such as the attempted invasion of Cuba, and successful incursions into Grenada and Panama. Not to mention such fun as trading arms for hostages with Iran during cowboy Reagan's regime. For those interested in such U.S. antics, read "Legacy of Ashes" by Tim Weiner, the history of the CIA.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at July 31, 2008 10:31 PM