Is Military Spending the Key to the Next Silicon Valley?
At the end of an interesting post about the changes in the American economy during the latter half of the 20th century, Dane Stangler has an interesting aside about the role of the military in the early development of Silicon Valley. He notes that the Silicon Valley started out as a hub for defense contractors and only later became a center for the private semiconductor industry and (still later) for the software and Internet industries. Stangler suggests that a city looking to become the next Silicon Valley might want to view military spending as a key driver for regional growth. He’s right that the military was crucial to Silicon Valley’s early growth, and of course it never hurts to have the military creating jobs in your city, but I’m not sure a city today could repeat Silicon Valley’s route to high-tech prominence. A big reason the military was so important to Silicon Valley’s early development was that a lot of the technologies pioneered there were so expensive that only the mili