Three technology breakthroughs that could create long-term growth

As the government has scrambled to keep America's banking and auto industries afloat, it has become all too easy to neglect the need for long-term economic and industrial growth. A key prerequisite for the country to return to sustainable, balanced growth is the creation of new technologies to replace those lost to globalization. And for those new sectors to appear, innovation and breakthroughs have to occur.

Unfortunately, as far as innovation goes, the U.S. seems to have gotten off to a slow start in the 21st century. Granted, advances like iPods, iPhones, and notebook computers have changed the face of media consumption and human interaction. For that matter, smart-technology fans can also chime-in: it is now possible to control a home's air conditioning, heating, security, and other systems from a PDA, cell phone or computer. However, even these impressive breakthroughs are far from game-changers. They may stimulate some aspects of the economy, but they won't significantly boost GDP, create jobs, transform daily life, and increase real incomes.