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"The problem with the market is that it is so short-sighted, especially these days."

And so are business cycles. What was yesterdays' popular game is out of favor in 18 months. What was today's iPhone is obsolete in 18 months. What was your desktop is obsolete in 3 years.

with solar panels, the technology changed so fast that trying to pick 'a technology''d be behind the eight ball in 3 years. Say Solyndra.....the price of silicon dropped 90%in 3 years and their business model vaporized. 3 years.

It's not short sighted. These days it's reality. If you can't make it, sell it in 2 years and recoup your investment in 3, you probably will be obsolete. Obsolete! Obsolete!


" I do think government has a role in promoting new industries. Certainly almost every developed nation does so. I think that tax money spent to help emerging technology is a good idea."

New industries? Hardly. new technologies, yes.

The gov't almost killed the software industry several times. First COBOL, insisting the world had to revolve around COBOL, ALGOL and FORTRAN.

Along came Bell Labs and invented Unix.....

And MSFT and DOS and then WINDOWS and Apple COmputer and its operating system.

IN spite of Big Government.

Later, the Nanny state tried to impose ADA on the defense industry. SPent at least 10 billion - forcing companies to try and use it. What a disaster. Was supposed to come up with re usable code modules......

But the technology changed faster than ADA could adapt. C++, designed at Bell Labs, not the Nanny STate, turned out to be a lot better. Well, it started out as "C" and adapted to C+ and then C++.

Half the stuff wouldn't run on ADA, missiles wouldn't fly, radar systems would be bogged down. So it's all written in C these days. Sloppy C - compared to ADA with rigid typing ......


"One example of this is DARPA. Their investment in ARPAnet resulted in our being able to communicate on the Internet."

Yeah...research money. DARPA didn't spend a dime of setting up MANUFACTURING facilities for anything in the internet. Not a dime. BB&N and others did.

DARPA gave out research grants.

No one funded factories!......


" There are many other instances where government investment in technology has paid off."

In creating new technologies. Then innovators and capital venture firms stepped in to fund MANUFACTURING.

You confuse the two. And look at all the dead bodies in the 'computer industry' at the beginning. KAYPRO (saw one of sale at an noe would pay even 10 bucks for one)....the latest and greatest 'portable' in the 80s. NorthSTar - Radio Shack.....and a 100 other companies that tried and failed. Not a dime of fed money went into that industry. IBM bailed out of the PC market..

OH..and we can go back to the early mainframe market. Honeywell....CDC.....GE....Burroughs....ICL.....and a dozen other companies tried and didn't succeed. Not a dime in fed money. Other than in buying some computers....

Yep, the gov't will fund some super computers - buy them...Cray.....the Yellowstone..... IBM Blue Gene...... with the research and development included....but they sell to universities and others too. Oil companies own the biggest computers they can lay their hands on.


" By its nature, investment in new technology companies has high risk."

Exactly..which is why the government has no business being in the business....

other than research grants or buying the products for itself for good reasons. (ie, not buying Volts just to keep the line open).


"I think that overall the risk is worth the reward."

Reward? A trillion in failed projects resulting in no new industries? Reward? Ya gotta be kidding. Name ONE success where the government built a plant to make things!.....(other than military stuff like a-bombs).

" It a better use of my tax dollars than much of what our government spends."

What? 32 failed manufacturing plants so far under Obama? And not one success?

Ya must be smoking some powerful week.


" My favorite is still the Bridge to Nowhere, but there are too many others to count. "

You nailed it. Porkulus. A bridge than 100 folks a day would use. it would have cost $300 per person per day to build that bridge. Another caee of really helping people out.

We're 16 trillion in debt and you want porkulus by the megaton like Bridges to nowhere, unions shoveling cash into 'do work' projects like digging holes, then filling them back in and charging the government for the 'work'. and 'improvements'.

No wonder we are broke.

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