Willisms
Navigation

Buy WILLisms

XML Feed


Featured Entries

The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM

Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM

Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM

Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM

Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM

Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM

Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM

The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM

From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM

Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM

Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM

Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM

Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM

Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM



Donate





Links

Blogroll Me!







Search



Archives

July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004




Social Security Reform Thursday.
March 13, 2008

Caption Contest: Enter Today!
Due: July 29, 2008

The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006

Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008

Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007

Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006

A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006




Credits

Powered by Movable Type 3.17
Site Design by Sekimori




WILLisms.com June 2008 Book of the Month (certified classy):











The WILLisms.com Gift Shop: Support This Site

giftshopbanner.gif











This Week's Carnival of Revolutions: carnivalbutton.gif



Carnival Home Base: homebase.gif

























Willisms

« Shadowboxing. | WILLisms.com | Revolutionizing Revolution. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 138 -- Research & Development.

Research & Development-

researchanddevelopment.gif

Source:
American Association for the Advancement of Science (.pdf).

Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, and there could be any number of things happening in this graph, but it does seem to be the case that the private sector will gladly spend the bucks on research and development if the government mostly stays out of it. When the government monopolizes science, it stifles the competitive spirit that so many scientists might otherwise have. And large levels of public funding on certain projects might dissuade private entities from taking the plunge with their dollars.

That being said, certain scientific projects have costs that are so great, and benefits so nebulous, far-flung, and intangible, that the government must do what the market will not. In general, however, it's best that public dollars go toward building a scientific infrastructure, of sorts, upon which other scientists can base their research and development.

Next, and totally unrelated to the previous point, this research and development explosion roughly correlates with the rise in personal computing power. The beginning of the information technology revolution is vaguely like the beginning of the first printing press. People can share information, and more of it, more efficiently than ever before. People can also make calculations and create intricate three-dimensional simulated models that once might have been inconceivable on paper.

One of the mysteries economists have been attempting to solve in recent years is how American productivity growth was so robust immediately following World War II, then so flat for an extended time, and now so robust again today. R&D dollars likely have at least something to do with that.


-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Religions In Congress.

Posted by Will Franklin · 14 August 2005 11:33 AM

Comments

I would be interested in what the "other category" is made up of. Are those personal foundations / funds like Bill gates?

Also, it is interesting that investment in R&D rose in conjunction with cuts in income taxes - see the early 1980s.
nice one.
jp

Posted by: jp at August 14, 2005 12:36 PM

The worst thing that's happened in my lifetime is that the general agreement that the gov funds basic research, and industry funds applied research, has broken down.

First, the idea that universities should be patent holders, and compete in the marketplace, spread beyond the narrow domains of medicine.

Then, the gov gave up funding basics, and moved to things like hydrogen filling stations for the (bs) hydrogen economy.

I personally like clear understandable distinctions, and would like a return to gov/basic/long-term and industry/applied/short-term, but we've been screwed.

I think the people who screwed us are those recently in power (probably of both party) who didn't understand the fundimental difference between basic and applied research. What bs.

Posted by: odograph at August 14, 2005 02:47 PM

Strange. I went back to the original source ( http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf05308/secta.htm#fig3 ) and they don't seem to agree. The figure from AAAS shows federal inputs not growing much from 1965-on but the original source shows significant growth from 1965-1985...

Posted by: Yali Friedman at August 15, 2005 09:22 AM