Down at the end, I'll offer an excerpt from an essay on my alternate site asking "Does government-funded science play a role in stimulating innovation?" Both the far-left and today's entire-right share in common a cult reflex answer to that question. An answer emblematic of the lobotomization of our time.
But do hang around for that excerpt, at least!
== Another milestone raises a serious question ==
With the passing of the "Greatest Generation" (GG) - parents of the boomers - and now Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter - perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the America... and world... that they made.
Especially the Rooseveltean social contract that transformed the USA into a world titan, science-leader and awash in wealth, while setting us down an inexorable road toward some kinds of equality: first regarding social/working class. But then (admittedly far too-slowly!) race/gender and the rest.
That social contract directly correlated with the highest rates of middle class prosperity increase, fastest startup entrepreneurship and lowest levels of wealth disparity the world had ever seen. But it has been - since the 1980s - carved-away on a range of incantatory excuses and partially demolished by a massive campaign of conservative 'reforms'...
...economic and social theories that were supposedly aimed at enhancing creative market freedom, but that correlated exactly and always with reduction of innovation and competition, while restoring the one trait that the Greatest Generation despised most... born-class as the primary decider of a child's destiny.
This campaign was justified by guys like Milton Friedman and Robert Bork, and think tanks such as Heritage and AEI, that continue pushing utterly-disproved notions like "Supply Side (voodoo) Economics" - that never had one successfully predicted positive outcome.
(In science, a theory is abandoned in the face of relentless predictive failure, but cults don't do that.)
In the 90s, those pro-oligarchy economists were augmented by "neocon" imperialists who urged both Bushes and Dick Cheney etc. to plunge us into blatant traps that had been laid for us by Osama bin Laden and his ilk. Those Middle Eastern wars were supposedly in revenge for 9/11 attacks that (always remember) happened on their watch. The neocons openly brayed their ill-disguised glee at transforming an 80% benign American Pax into a thumping, gallumphing empire.
(My hero - George Marshall - held meetings in 1945 revolving around a question that no leader had ever asked, before: "We are about to become an empire. What mistakes did all other empires make and how can we make something that succeeds? That won't make us hated and eventually destroyed?" (paraphrased))
Look at the blared yowls of Wolfowitz, Nitze, Adelman and the other neocons, in those days, and tell us you see any signs of wisdom, or awareness of the traps they were falling for. Alas for them, their orgiastic era was brief. America soon soured on imperial preenings that distilled down to $trillion dollar ripoffs. At which point those poor neocons were promptly flushed away by the Republican establishment - without even a word of thanks - as oligarchy decided to veer republicanism away from armed adventures, over to populist/isolationist/lobotomizing/nerd-hating classic confederatism... now called Trumpism or MAGA.
But don't be distracted... all along, those apparent gyrations were superficialities. The central goal has always been the same. To defend and expand "supply side" tax grifts for aristocracy while crippling the Internal Revenue Service, so that a myriad cheats and thefts should remain hidden.
No other 'priority' (e.g. the border) got more than lip service. That is, until the virulently riled MAGAs ('Do you still think you can control them?' Watch Cabaret!) demanded real action on abortion and other social incitements.
A lot of dems/libs went along with Supply Side (SS) in the 80s and even 90s, until, by it's 4th round, the effects grew clear: that not a single positive outcome prediction - not one - ever came true.
democrats enact pro-competition and pro-liberty measures. (Have your attorney contact me when you have escrowed $$$ wager stakes over that assertion; but first look at things like the ICC, CAB, AT&T and the damned War on Drugs - and now on reproductive rights.)
Here, in this New York Times article - Google on Trial - a corner of this program is appraised -- whether anti-trust laws can and should be used to break up super-corporations like Google who have inherent advantages. And yeah, that's a major issue. Cory Doctorow rails about it, entertainingly.
Left out are more imaginative solutions. Like whether it's time to help mom & pop America and get needed revenue by instituting a 5% National Sales Tax on interstate internet purchases. Since you-know-who (a South American river) is no longer a baby - but now a market dominating behemoth. In fact, since we all rely on that central market, without much other choice, isn't that the very definition of a public utility? (Ponder that. Treat that unavoidable e-marketplace like electricity and water and trash pickup. If there's no competition, then regulate it to be flat-fair-for-all?)
But the core issue that I keep returning to is one of tactics - at which Democrats (the Union Side in this 8th phase of the 250 year U.S. Civil War) have proved utterly inept!
In this conversation, Evan Anderson, CEO of INVNT/IP, an expert on global manufacturing and supply chains, takes us on a deep dive into the power dynamics between the United States, China, and Taiwan.
== Merits and drawbacks of government-funded science ==
And finally, as promised, here's that excerpt from an essay on my more formal, WordPress site asking ""
There's a deep-cult that underlies many of our familiar political cults. What do the far left and today's entire right share in common? A desperate urge to AMPUTATE our options and methods down to only the few that they prescribe. And hence I posted (on my formal WordPress site) a dissection of this shared, sanctimoniously-oversimplifying, mania.
If you are interested in this... and especially whether government-funded science has played a big role in "Making America (and civilization) Great," then drop on by.