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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

From knowledge comes... 
(en francais)

I didn't start out to post on a theme with my last, but then I came across this letter to the editor in today's Windsor Star. I like the idea. I think it's a great example of how knowledge can still drive the economy, if it's not stifled.
Employee inventions can stimulate jobs
Letter Published: Thursday, February 02, 2006

With the announced closure of the Ford Casting Plant in Windsor, it is time to take serious action to replace those good jobs by stimulating other firms to grow their businesses and produce more good jobs. Minnesota is trying to do that by enacting a very simple measure intended to pry loose "unwanted" employee inventions, which can be extremely valuable in the right hands.

For example, just one unwanted employee invention (rejected by over 20 major firms), once pried loose, has spawned a huge $50-billion entirely new xerographic industry creating 500,000 good jobs. (Wall Street Journal May 23, 1989)

Most manufacturers exert awesome control over new inventions by claiming strict ownership of employee inventions, actually using only a tiny few and then scuttling the remaining unwanted inventions by "sitting on them" indefinitely.

This practice severely cripples our economic growth and urgently cries out reform. Remember, Henry Ford once vowed never to allow an expensive "self-starter" on any of his cars. Only good competition convinced him otherwise.

Minnesota has introduced a Creative Freedom Act which simply requires employers to make a serious investment in every employee invention (within, say, two years) or, to "return clear title" to the unwanted invention back to the creative employee for possible development elsewhere.

Other states and provinces are encouraged to do likewise in this global struggle for good jobs.

(name removed)
St. Paul, Minn.

WE Speak at 5:34 a.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|

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