Thursday, October 31, 2013


Conservatives routinely attack government spending as wasteful and unproductive even though they somehow believe that spending on defense IS productive.  I've noted before that Federal government spending has been very productive and Mariana Mazzucato offers more support for this claim:
Indeed, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants have funded a higher percentage of early stage seed finance than private capital. This is because private finance is too risk-averse -- afraid -- to engage with industries characterized by high technological and market risk.

...the U.S. government has been a leading player in funding not only the Internet but all the other technologies -- GPS, touchscreen display, and the new Siri voice-activated personal assistant -- that make the iPhone, for example, a miracle of American technology.

...the technological leadership in countries like Singapore, Korea, China, Israel, Brazil, Finland, Denmark and Germany is a result of the well-funded network of state agencies in those countries that are able to attract expertise and drive change, working of course, alongside the private sector, but often leading it.

There simply are not enough large businesses today playing the role that Xerox PARC (the Palo Alto Research Center) and AT&T (Bell Labs) played in the past.

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