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Old May 19, 2011, 07:22 PM
Jim Thomerson is offline
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Economic benefit of taxpayer funded scientific research


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj

This is an analysis of how much was added to the US economy by an investment in genomic research. I think the general thrust of the article is true, but I have no idea how solid their numbers are. Can one extend the argument to conclude that funding, in addition to genomic research, of a broad range of research will have similar positive economic results?
Old May 19, 2011, 07:59 PM
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Where are the analysis of the results of using this capital where the market actually wanted it, instead of the place it was directed?

Yes, money used where the market didn't want it did something. But the opportunity cost is unseen and unknown.
Old May 19, 2011, 08:03 PM
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A LOT of research done in the private sector was/is accomplished via federal dollars. In addition, look at the technology transfer which regularly occurs from federal to private research centers.

Hey... I used to work at one of those.
Old May 20, 2011, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MtnGoat View Post
Where are the analysis of the results of using this capital where the market actually wanted it,
'The market' doesn't want anything except money. People want new and better stuff, but they won't get it (or even know that they can have it) unless somebody creates it. If left to 'the market' you are more likely to get variations on existing products (eg. cheaper Viagra, toad genes in tomatoes) than ground-breaking research.

Quote:
Yes, money used where the market didn't want it did something. But the opportunity cost is unseen and unknown.
That $3.8 billion could have been spent on any number of other things. But the opportunity cost of them would be not getting the human genome sequenced.

Mapping the human genome was clearly a desirable goal. However it seems that the benefits were underestimated, so it's doubtful that it have happened if left solely to private enterprises. They probably would have preferred to spend their money on other things which provided more short-term profits, but left us poorer in the long run.
A private company, Celera Corp., undertook a parallel effort.... But several key benefits—such as drugs tailored to a specific patient's DNA—have been slow to materialize.
The problem with expecting a private company to do stuff like this is that returns may not come soon enough, or be profitable enough, to carry it through the expensive research and development stage. Private companies may also be less efficient due to their competitive nature. Several firms may be involved in the same research, but if each one is doing the same work and not sharing information then the result is duplication of resources and wasted effort.

This is where the government can step in. It has no short-term profit needs or rival firms to worry about, so it can coordinate the efforts of its own agencies and/or private firms, to produce results faster and more efficiently.

The only danger is that the government may be doing the wrong research - but that's why we (hopefully) elect smart people with vision, who will do the right thing. But even if it doesn't always work out well as we hope, it's still better than relying on a brainless anarchistic 'market' whose only guiding force is profit.
Old May 20, 2011, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
'The market' doesn't want anything except money. People want new and better stuff, but they won't get it (or even know that they can have it) unless somebody creates it. If left to 'the market' you are more likely to get variations on existing products (eg. cheaper Viagra, toad genes in tomatoes) than ground-breaking research.
Wow. Completely backwards, a result I suspect of the crap that the last few generations have been taught in the US progressive school system.

Fortunately, progressivism doesn't always get a foothold with the kids who actually do some thinking on their own:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/429901...her-said-what/


When the girl in the video says "I didn't notice anything", that says it all about how young kids are fed propoganda from the get-go so that they don't get any other information other than the Socialist crap that the system wants to feed them.
Old May 20, 2011, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
.....
This is where the government can step in. It has no short-term profit needs or rival firms to worry about, so it can coordinate the efforts of its own agencies and/or private firms, to produce results faster and more efficiently.

The only danger is that the government may be doing the wrong research - but that's why we (hopefully) elect smart people with vision, who will do the right thing. But even if it doesn't always work out well as we hope, it's still better than relying on a brainless anarchistic 'market' whose only guiding force is profit.
......and this efficiency of government is how we got 14+ Trillion dollars in debt and are running a 1.5+ Trillion dollar deficit and are borrowing approximately 40 cents of every dollar we spend?
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Old May 20, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post

This is where the government can step in. It has no short-term profit needs or rival firms to worry about, so it can coordinate the efforts of its own agencies and/or private firms, to produce results faster and more efficiently.
Because, as we all know, having no short term goals or accountability is the best way to efficient results. Lol your statement is beyond logic or reason. It's completely irrational.
Old May 20, 2011, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Highflight View Post
Wow. Completely backwards, a result I suspect of the crap that the last few generations have been taught in the US progressive school system.
I have no idea what's taught in the US 'progressive school system', so I doubt that it had any effect on me. But perhaps you meant something else?

Here's what I would really like to see happen in the US:-

1. Kill the FED and go back on the gold standard.
2. Let the banks fail. No bailouts. Don't increase the debt ceiling.
3. Close your borders.
4. Privatize the school system.
5. Lower taxes. Flat tax rate. No tax on interest, dividends, or corporate profits.
6. Cut out all those entitlements. Kill Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare, SS.
7. Reduce the size of your government (the smaller the better). No government sponsored research. Kill NASA, USPS, AMtrak etc.
8 No minimum wage. Make unions illegal.
9. Remove all barriers to the free market (duties, subsidies, restrictions, trade agreements, copyright, patents, government regulations etc.).
10. Get your butts out of other countries!

Can you imagine how awesome that would be?
Old May 20, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by saltyzoo View Post
Because, as we all know, having no short term goals or accountability is the best way to efficient results. Lol your statement is beyond logic or reason. It's completely irrational.
If not for DARPA, we wouldn't have the net, this site, billions in commerce...
Old May 20, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
I have no idea what's taught in the US 'progressive school system', so I doubt that it had any effect on me. But perhaps you meant something else?

Here's what I would really like to see happen in the US:-

1. Kill the FED and go back on the gold standard.
2. Let the banks fail. No bailouts. Don't increase the debt ceiling.
3. Close your borders.
4. Privatize the school system.
5. Lower taxes. Flat tax rate. No tax on interest, dividends, or corporate profits.
6. Cut out all those entitlements. Kill Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare, SS.
7. Reduce the size of your government (the smaller the better). No government sponsored research. Kill NASA, USPS, AMtrak etc.
8 No minimum wage. Make unions illegal.
9. Remove all barriers to the free market (duties, subsidies, restrictions, trade agreements, copyright, patents, government regulations etc.).
10. Get your butts out of other countries!

Can you imagine how awesome that would be?
Me too.
Great post! May be the best of the decade.
Old May 20, 2011, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by California Condor View Post
Me too.
Great post! May be the best of the decade.
Too bad he didn't realize it!
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Old May 20, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lcj View Post
too bad he didn't realize it!
Nice
Old May 20, 2011, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dll932 View Post
If not for DARPA, we wouldn't have the net, this site, billions in commerce...
Probably not true. The Internet undoubtedly would have been delayed, but IMO, not by more than 5 years. A lot of universities and companies, were putting non-government and NSF money into creating the net. The IPSS was created in the UK. BBS's were very prevalent in the early 80's, and so I think that it would have hapened even without DARPA, just more slowly.

Madsci -- A former ARPANET user.
Old May 20, 2011, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dll932 View Post
If not for DARPA, we wouldn't have the net, this site, billions in commerce...
Naah. that was Al Gore.
Old May 20, 2011, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Abbott View Post
'The market' doesn't want anything except money. People want new and better stuff, but they won't get it (or even know that they can have it) unless somebody creates it. If left to 'the market' you are more likely to get variations on existing products (eg. cheaper Viagra, toad genes in tomatoes) than ground-breaking research.
I couldn't disagree with this more. Competition and a free market drives innovation unlike anthing else in the world and at a faster pace. Government research is good on somethings but not for a lot of innovation. The free market is much, much better than the government at innovation.

You are right about one thing. The market wants money. That is what drives the innovation. If a company stands still it will be left behind. If it innovates and creates it will flourish.


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