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Californians have ponied up billions for stem cell research. The US has a very positive love affair with science and technology. The application of the results become commercial enterprises even through home garages. We are a futile growing zone for the "new and advanced" as opposed to old fashioned 'traditional' medicine and methods. America is the leader in accepting the cutting edge into our culture. Consumers hold back very little to advance to the latest and greatest that they can afford or even not afford. Minimalism has very shallow roots here.

Dean Esmay

I'm not against government funding of research--indeed, I think that on general principles it's a good investment of taxpayer money--but I'm rather leery of just assuming that more government spending = more worthwhile results. I think, for example, that NASA probably produces much better results (through things like JPL) than the NIH does. I'd also point out that the NIH increases are probably mostly in the area of HIV research, and it's not clear that this is the proper way to prioritize the money, especially as we learn more and more over the years that that particular virus isn't as dangerous or as widespread as was predicted in the past.

To be clear, I'm not saying private research is inherently better. There's a lot of waste there too. So maybe on average you're right--more overall spending will result in more positive results over time. But in specific, maybe not; if we doubled federal research dollars but devoted 50% of that research budget to research on fruit bat dietary habits, it's not clear what we'd get out of it exactly.


I'd certainly like to see more research in the energy field. We certainly need to diversify our energy sources so no tin pot dictator has us by the short hairs. Fermi Lab wanted a super collider in the past but the funding descision got mired down by the pork providers. When Bush I was in the White House, Fermi Lab wanted a larger one in du Page county and Bush wanted to put it in Texas. Why must he inconvenience the scientists so he can give his friends construction contracts. Then the project dies on the vine because of the "peace dividend" (snicker) and Ann Richars refusal to acknowledge a project started by a Republican might be a good idean. Geez, as the longer I type this post, the more cynical I get towards government funded research.

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