Next Bill Gates most likely from India or China: US survey

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: Four in 10 Americans believe that the next Bill Gates would come from India or China as the US struggles to regain its competitiveness in the face of gains by India, China and Brazil, a new survey shows.

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“When asked where the ‘next Bill Gates will come from,’ 40 percent of Americans predicted either India or China,” said a national survey released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) on the sidelines of the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow at Las Vegas.

The survey by Zogby International also predicted that US will struggle to regain competitiveness without innovation.

Forty-four percent pointed to innovation as the most important factor in seeking US competitiveness after the World Economic Forum reported that the US dropped its global competitiveness ranking while India, China and Brazil experience gains. A total of 74 percent of Americans said it was unlikely the US would regain its status next year, it said.

The vast majority of Americans, 96 percent, believe that innovation is critical to the future success of the US as a world economic leader, but they are concerned that the rising US federal deficit will jeopardize the prosperity of future generations.

The survey found that 68 percent of Americans think innovation is key to the future success of their place of employment, with 50 percent maintaining that innovation was important for their job remaining in the US.

Nearly 60 percent of Americans see deficit as looming threat to US economy, saying the rising national deficit will have a “major impact” on the prosperity of future generations.

But when it comes to reducing the deficit, Americans were largely split on three issues: discontinuing corporate bailouts (23 percent), reducing military spending(20 percent), and relying on the free market to correct the imbalance(31 percent).

On healthcare reform, nearly 60 percent of Americans said that they were concerned that current path being taken by Congress would be detrimental to medical innovation. Tensions seemed to run high: nearly half of respondents said they were “very concerned”.

The Zogby survey was conducted Nov 20-23 with a sample size of 3,779 American adults over the age of 18.