In "The High-Tech Dream Won't Come True" (Speaking Out, August), Seymour Melman blames declining productivity on American managers who send manufacturing overseas to improve profits. However, he doesn't say how our federal government makes us less competitive.

Our government ignores the fact that American companies are in a desperate struggle against nationally subsidized foreign companies, and aids those foreign companies by issuing them patents as if the companies were taxpaying U.S. citizens, building American businesses, providing jobs, and depositing payroll taxes.

To make it even more difficult for the small company -- the source of the new products that create most of the new jobs in this country -- the Patent Office just tripled all patent fees, and then imposed a system of patent-maintenance fees that require payments to keep a patent alive. If your tech is high enough to be a few years ahead of the market, you may find that you can't afford to keep ownership of your own inventions until the world catches up to you.

As a new-product developer, I have found that the only practical solution to these politically created business absurdities is to work with marketing people very closely, and develop products that perfectly match the near-term manufacturing and marketing capabilities of a company. This produces "medium-tech" products that can enter the market quickly and be upgraded in successive steps that are simply too fast for response by foreign manufacturers.