I have been watching the debate and negative response to the TTA's proposed 18 mile diesel train route between Raleigh and Durham, and before they can even get anything together, China announces that they are building a train to travel over 1,300 kilometers at over 350 km/hr. The train will use magnetic levitation technology to reduce friction.
So, the supposedly tech-rich Triangle cannot get a diesel train going while China can build a super-advanced high-speed train. This is just one more example of America losing its competitive edge. Of course, we cannot produce engineers to supply large companies when we do not provide the funding that projects that would encourage advances in engineering. I am sure that we will be the world's leader in building roads (a technology as old as history) but we need some imagination, vision, and commitment to progressing toward a better society.
We were the country that took on the challenge of the Soviet Union and beat them in the race to the moon. Now we are losing to China and not even paying attention.
P.S. I could also go into a diatribe about Lenovo's cutting of engineering jobs in the Triangle and their eventual need to replace those jobs (probably in China), but I wonder if anyone would even listen.