Why is Government Funding A Dirty Word?

October 19th, 2012 by Michael Tabor
Written by guest blogger, Karl Larson

In the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s was the beginning of the growth of technology that eventually created the mobile phone, computer, internet, and GPS, it was government funded university research; the military funded Military Air & space programs and NASA that originally fueled these industries. These technologies would have never been fueled by private enterprise most of the tough specifications required funding that might be considered too risky for private enterprise. These early stages of development and success created in industry and system of venture capital investments that snowballed the process fueling the exponential growth in the 1980’s 1990’s and early 2000s.

We are using everyday products that were created during this time that we only read about in Science fiction novels / movies and television shows. Who would have thought that more than 3 Billion people are connected everyday via the mobile phone or that 1/6 of the world’s population can communicate on an internet device daily via Facebook. These were all created by the process explained above not by just private enterprise but by government programs and private enterprise working together sometimes not even knowing it, but working together all the same.

We are currently stuck in neutral and need other program(s) like these to fuel the next innovation and growth boom. Private enterprise can not create this alone, we need to have programs that to some seem unprofitable to fund technologies that might seem way too risky for the private investor. Government programs can fuel economic growth as they did in the past. Private enterprise and small business alone can not drive economic prosperity in the USA. Private and public enterprises all demand a profit, and shareholders today wish to see that profit in months not years or decades. Government backed or generated programs are not in it for the profit, the programs should be designed to fuel new unproven technologies. Some will fail,but the successful ones will create new markets and business’s we have never even predicted.

Austerity and Cutting of spending will only lead to more economic uncertainty. Fighting with China for their low paying jobs is a losing proposition. Putting tariffs in place will not work. The Low paying jobs that went to China will not come back; we need to focus on what will work here now. Focusing on high tech alternative energy and technologies, New ideas fueled within the university system. Aerospace, Military and NAS programs. if we expand H1A Visa’s foreign students who get their degrees here in the USA will actually stay and work here innovating HERE not in China or India or Japan, Korea. It will be these students and our own kids who will create industries that we don’t even know about or can imagine yet. Making it easier to manufacture here with minimum restrictions and regulations and low Business taxes will make it more attractive to actually innovate here then keep the manufacturing here and not ship it to Contract Manufactures in south east Asia.

Whomever is the President in January needs to work with the congress and get this economy out of the mud and make this country a powerhouse of innovation and prosperity for all. That in my opinion is the most important issue. I have not heard from either candidate a solid action plan that will really create these opportunities. What happened to accountability? What happened to actually holding these guys to a standard of telling us exactly how they are going to get it done. Where is the plan? I have only seen fluff and meaningless vaporware.

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3 Responses to “Why is Government Funding A Dirty Word?”

  1. Rick Says:

    Mike, I think government funding is great if used in the correct manner. Heres some examples.

    Nasa- For space exploration. (Not Islam relations)
    Energy development for energy research (Not for failed projects like private solar energy companies)
    Public TV- doesnt need funding. Sesame Street would do well in the private market it doesnt really need public funding. The only true public un-biased programs are C-Span
    Pet projects- This is specifically the biggest con job of the government going on for years. Its the lets make a deal of government. You scratch my back I’ll scratch your with my vote. It has blown up our deficit since before we were born.

    People are frustrated with waste, therefore Public funding in all manners gets a bad rap especially when their feeling the pain of a bad economy.

    We need to trim the fat and it hasnt been done during our lifetime in a correct way.

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    No doubt about it Rick, there’s a lot of wasteful spending & I mean a lot ! However, some of the things you pointed out, I’m not sure I agree with you for example:

    . You know I’m a man of science and I think funding for space exploration is awesome and EXCITING. However, these are tough times, and I understand why someone would want to take care of planet earth first. Having saiid that, I still wouldn’t cut here; there are so many other areas we can cut like spending a 1/2 million dollars on why chimps like to throw their poop.

    . We spent 90 billion dollars (I’m not sure of the exact dollar amt., but it’s substantial) on solar energy projects that have not panned out. However,we simply cannot rely on coal and extracting fossil fuels forever – there’s a limit, not to mention the damage to the environment. We have think to about our granchildren.

    . I love C-SPAN and the programming provided by PBS. And as far as radio goes I get my news from NPR. This is such a tiny fraction of the budget that it’s not even worth discussing. The private sector is tough and if it’s not some inane programming like the jersey shore, these intellectual publically funded shows don’t have a chance, besides who wants commercials.

    I agree with you on the pet projects… you scratch my back you have my vote, etc.

    Note: I will blog sometime in the near future about this & provide a lot more detail. Yes Ameica is bankrupt and we have to get lean, but it’s just a question of where.

  3. Rick Says:

    I think the chimp poop is funny as hell. Your great Mike. Im conservative and your liberal, why cant the congress work on what we agree on. I hope the future of bipartisan begins.

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