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Discussion: (7 comments)

  1. Florida resident

    Dear Mr. Pethokoukis !
    I (humbly) agree with the main points you have just made. Besides that,
    investment in “infrastructure” like roads and speed trains is the way to attract low-IQ workers from abroad.

    Investment in fundamental research is support for (mostly) domestic population with high level of education and, therefore, mostly with high IQ. That may lead to the increase of fertility rate of right-end of the Bell Curve population (compare to the movie “Idiocracy”.)

  2. No. The federal government should follow the constitution and the constitution makes no provision for such funding.

    If the states want to fund such research, that’s each state’s business.

    I would prefer to live in a state, however, that did not fund such research with money taken from taxpayers. Instead, research should come from private donations or private investments. If no one is willing to voluntarily contribute money directly to your research, then that’s a pretty good hint that your research isn’t really wanted anyway.

    You pay for your hobbies, I’ll pay for mine.

    Why does AEI call itself conservative? Conservative how? Best I can tell, this place is no less socialist than the Obama administration.

  3. Its all well and good to state that the constitution doesn’t support such esoteric items as r&d. But while we spend money on other unconstitutional items – like medicare – then a moonshot program to eliminate alzheimers, kidney disease, diabetes, etc, would drastically reduce those medicare costs. And no, hospitals don’t do a good job at this – they are too interested in years long research where they keep their results secret – and don’t publish the failures. You need a concerted effort – basically a national lab where the govt funds it to begin with. Returns on patents from the research should eventually allow these centers to get off the govt dole…

    As for the real moon shot, I think its great that we are finally having companies like Space X taking the lead. There still needs some support – specifically because there is a huge defense component in space travel, including planetary defense (those Tunguska asteroids won’t steer themselves away from us!!!)

    Beyond that, R&D tax credits are a must. I don’t see it as a gimme – while there is a corporate tax, there needs to be a good R&D tax credit. Such a thing could bring back places like Bell Labs, that was critical in developing the telecommunications and computer industries. And that we don’t have much of now (google has done a crappy job of focusing on research, even though they keep babbling on about how they support it…)

    1. Government can give nothing that it did not take from someone else.

      The constitution is the law of the land. If you advocate policies that violate the constitution, then you advocate lawlessness, cronyism, graft, and mob-rule. You advocate against the entire idea of the United States.

      Spending by government is not superior to spending by private individuals and organizations. It is inferior to private spending. It is wasteful.

  4. As for AEI being socialist. OK, they aren’t pure. I bet you’re so pure you won’t be voting for Romney.

    Pure insanity. Since you don’t like AEI’s position on things, and have no real constructive criticisms or discussions (beyond I don’t like it, and I don’t even want my state to do it…) perhaps you can found your own think tank.

    1. You confirm your affinity for socialism.

      I have presented a constructive criticism: Follow the constitution.

      Begin the ending of Social Security.

      Begin the ending of Medicare.

      Shut down the EPA. Shut down HHS. End the student loan program. Shut down government involvement in the mortgage industry. Privatize the national parks or transfer them to the states. End NASA and transfer anything that can be considered directly defense related to the Air Force. Shut down the SBA. Stop subsidizing farming, energy, and any other industry in the United States. Shut down Amtrak. Shut it all down. If it is not explicitly authorized in the constitution, then SHUT IT DOWN.

      There. There is some constructive criticism. It is constructive because it would un____ the economic catastrophe that socialists have created in the United States – the catastrophe that crooks, old money aristocrats, and incompetent airheads with Ivy League credentials but insufficient IQ to run a lemonade stand to profitability without a federal subsidy have created.

      Henry Hazlitt and Milton Friedman trump your Keynes and Galbraith.

      Productive, competent people do not need help from the government.

      We need government to get out of the way.

  5. John Mata

    The government ought only be a driver and philosophic innovator of R & D for energy, Science ( Medicine) and technology . The fuel system must, in this specific iteration (USA), of a free enterprise system, be pushed and pumped by private enterprise, private capital and in some cases The academic enterprise. If the Government feels compelled to actually invest our tax monies into private corporations that are friendly to whomever is in power there must be accountability .
    This admin. has notably avoided even the basic tenets of being responsible stewards to our revenue contributions and that is the basic flaw in liberal policy direction . It appears that only liberal wish lists are fully respected

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