●The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
Perhaps it is too much to expect a magazine titled, “Scientific American” actually to understand the principles of science, like demanding at least a modicum of evidence before promulgating wrong hypotheses. After all, they just are writers, not scientists. So the following post may be a bit unfair.
Anyway, SA has published numerous articles correctly decrying the failure of the U.S. government to support various science projects and education. But all their articles are hampered by one significant, wrong assumption.
Here is only the most recent:
Future Jobs Depend on a Science-Based Economy
The next administration must prime the true growth engine
The 2012 presidential election will be won by the candidate who can convince voters that he has the vision to lift the nation out of the economic doldrums.
The economy is the right topic, but the discussion neglects the true driver of the country’s prosperity: scientific and technological enterprise. Half of the U.S. economic growth since World War II has come from advances in science and technology. To neglect that power—and the government’s role in priming the pump—would be foolish.
President Barack Obama makes much out of having rescued Detroit’s carmakers from bankruptcy. This achievement won’t hold up, however, unless the thousands of small auto-parts manufacturers down the supply chain stay globally competitive.
One way to help them would be to foster initiatives like the National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium, which is providing independent manufacturers potent information technology at Purdue University and the Ohio Supercomputer Center.
Is providing manufacturers with “potent information” important to America’s growth. Of course it is. So why is there even a hint of concern about this obvious need? Read on.
The German government encourages a close partnership between technical universities and industrial manufacturers; it supports centers where scientists and engineers pursue fundamental research in close proximity to industrial colleagues investigating more applied technologies.
German battery makers, for instance, work with technical universities on nanotechnology, while textile makers contribute to research in carbon fibers for composite fabrics. Could there be a grander vision for harnessing U.S. research talent in this way? On this, both candidates have been silent.
Not exactly silent, but rather more concerned about reducing the budget than about having an insufficient budget.
The U.S. Department of Energy funded and helped to develop the shale-cracking techniques that have released the country’s current surplus of natural gas. And no nuclear reactor has ever been built in this country without financial and scientific support from all levels of government.
While Obama touts the $90 billion in federal investments in clean energy research made on his watch, Romney repudiates this “green energy agenda.”
His thinking is shortsighted. The bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra in 2011, which critics have used to argue against government support of energy research, instead shows why such investment is so important: experimental projects always carry a high risk of failure, which is why commercial firms are reluctant to undertake them. Yet without them, innovation will slow.
The DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy funds ideas that may sound like science fiction to some—genetically modifying microbes to produce fuel, for example. History shows that such bold efforts will yield the beginnings of new industries.
In 1962, for example, a researcher envisioned a fanciful “Galactic Network” that would connect distant computers, inspiring the Pentagon project that eventually became the Internet.
O.K., already. We’re sold. Government funding for science benefits America in myriad ways we cannot anticipate. So what’s the problem?
A high-tech economy needs the best scientists and engineers, yet in science and math, U.S. students are middling. The Obama administration has had some success by tying grants for K–12 schools to Common Core math standards, but neither candidate has come out in support of the Next Generation Science Standards recommended by the National Research Council.
Right. Scientific research, development and education is underfunded, much to the disadvantage of America. Why?
With looming unemployment and debt, such concerns may not seem urgent. Yet unless we invest in an economy built on scientific and technological skills, we will only be papering over our economic troubles.
And there it is. Scientific American magazine agrees with the popular notion that (federal) debt is “looming.” What does use of that word, “looming,” say about SA?
To me, it says SA buys into the myth that federal debt is an actual problem, is “looming” over the economy, like some giant vulture, waiting to peck our livers, rather than the benign and boring total of T-security deposits in the Federal Reserve Bank.
As a long time subscriber to SA, never have I seen an article discussing the reality (or rather, the mythology) of this silly belief. SA may opt for science everywhere – except in economics.
So long as the upper 1% income group is able to maintain the Big Lie that the federal deficit and debt are too big, no amount of whining, begging and pleading will produce adequate federal support for scientific research, development and education. The game is lost before the opening whistle.
It’s like asking your rich daddy to give you money for a round-the-world trip, but prefacing your plea with the statement, “Daddy, I agree the world is flat, but . . . “
My hope is to live long enough to see a science magazine publish an informed article about Monetary Sovereignty. (As you can see, I’m wishing myself a long life.)
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports