I've felt for a long time that the current business climate, which punishes rather than rewards long-term research investments by companies, is misguided. When most stock is owned and traded by institutional investors and large funds who don't have any interest in holding particular companies for the long term, and when executive compensation massively overvalues year-over-year growth (because we all know that 40% annual growth in cell phone sales is sustainable forever, right? There's no such thing as market saturation, is there?), you end up where long-term investment is viewed by company boards as a misuse of resources. This article in Business Week makes some interesting arguments on ways to try and fix this. Unfortunately I think most of these ideas are not very compelling or likely. Norm Augustine had an interesting suggestion: scale the capital gains tax rate inversely with the amount of time one owns a stock. If someone holds a stock less than a year, tax the capital gains at 90%. If they own the stock 10 years or more, tax the capital gains at nearly 0%. Interpolate appropriately. The idea here is to set up a system that incentivizes long-term investment, which in turn is more likely to support industrial research. Hard to see how such an overhaul would ever get passed in Congress, though. I imagine the financial industry would crush it like a bug, since anything that slows down trading is viewed as interference in the free market, or, more cynically, interference in their enormous transaction fee profits.