They Keep Not Getting It

SO RESOLUTELY THAT one is forced sometimes to conclude that they do so deliberately.

Senator William Proximire of Wisconsin used to ding government science programs as wasteful of taxpayer monies. People who favor research as a general good seemed to deliberately miss the point. They asserted that, because they view science as a good, government funding of research is an unalloyed public good.

Couldn’t be further from the truth.

Scientific research is none of the government’s business. As a matter of fact, the farther you can keep the government from science the better. It’s not a matter that some research grants are trivially made, it’s a matter that all government research is ill-advised.

Now, I’m sure that proponents of some government research projects are going to throw them back in my face — the space program, the Internet, atomic energy, electric vehicles, global warming… Do you begin to see my point? The space program has successfully retarded human progress for almost a century. If it had been left to private enterprise, I’d wager we’d be living on the moon by now. A good many wiser heads than mine thought so. The Internet is a spin-off of a military program. It was not until private enterprise took hold that anything really earth-moving came of it. And atomic energy has worked so well for a lot of people other than the Navy, hasn’t it? Electric vehicles? Don’t make me laugh. And global warming is actually an indictment of government — scorn quotes — “science”.

In reference to this article from the Hoover Institution.

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