How to Fund Science: Get government out of the process so they can’t corrupt it

We need to get government out of funding science

If we have learned anything from the embarrassing Covid experience worldwide, it’s the validation that you do not want government funding to be the lifeline to the sciences.  Because when it is, such as what we saw with the NIH under Dr. Fauci, we have the all too tempting scenario where scientists will say anything to get that funding, including whatever governments want them to do.  For instance, to control elections, like made-up death totals, false models, bloviated cable news statements about the danger of a virus, the origin of a virus, and the long-term consequences of a virus to secure that funding.  What we have in modern times is not the best science that a rich country can buy; what we have is essentially the Institute of Science that they had in the famous book Atlas Shrugged.  A superficial branch of the government which attempts to quell people’s concerns as the government seeks to dominate every aspect of our lives.  And that is partly why it took me so long to write my latest book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business; it’s not because it takes a long time to write a book. Still, instead, it took a long time to look at our world and ask and answer the hard questions about existence, how money is made, and what kind of world we should build for this next century.  To do that, we have to surgically take out a cancer called progressivism that started to seep into America during the end of the 19th century and advanced to critical mass before the roaring 20s.  Most of us wouldn’t know any better because it happened slowly over time before many of us were even born.  So nobody even thinks to ask the question as we build our assumptions on failure after failure disguised as success.  Yet, I had the fortune recently to travel most of the United States, particularly in the Old West, and dig into our history and consider what a healthy government should look like instead of what we have.  Two fine examples of why the government should not be funding science emerged, but that private industry should, became evident. 

When Andrew Carnegie told the famous paleontologist Earl Douglas that he wanted something big to fill the great museum that the steel tycoon was building in Pittsburg, it set Douglas west into the Morrison Formation site to achieve that goal.  Carnegie didn’t know what Douglas would find.  He just knew what he needed and discovered the fabulous quarry that is still there to this day and continues to tell the world much of what we know about dinosaurs.  If it hadn’t been for Andrew Carnegie’s money, the giant apatosaurus that Douglas brought back to fill that museum would have never been found if the government had been funding that endeavor; likely, the giant sauropod would still be lost out there in that Utah mountaintop.  It took a prominent thinking capitalist like we used to make in America to give science a platform, which was the case for most of the early development of the science fields from archaeology, anthropology, paleontology, even astronomy.  Remember when the Obama administration told NASA that they should be studying Islamic contributions to science in the past instead of thinking of going to the stars yet again?  NASA listened and did what they were told because they wanted continued government funding.  See the problem? 

Teton National Park at Jenny Lake

Another example is the long story of making Teton National Park possible because essentially John D. Rockefeller started buying up land in Jackson Hole to make it possible for the government to set that area apart for a national park eventually.  He wanted that site to stay pristine and undeveloped.  In a video I show here from Instagram, you can see just how beautiful the Teton’s are.  The amenities at Jenny Lake, for instance, are incredible.  Now I could make a lot of arguments that Jackson Hole would have been better off developed and that I might want to enjoy Jenny Lake from a condo porch rather than a National Park.  But the concept of our National Parks is a good one.  It is good to see these places as they have always been, undeveloped.  It’s suitable for scientific study to discuss the socialism of these National Parks managed by the government another time.  After seeing the Tetons up close, it was good that Horace Albright was able to convince Rockefeller to spend a small fortune to buy the land then donate it to the government to create Teton National Park as a separate park from Yellowstone.  It was then signed into being by the great president Calvin Cooledge because it gave us what we see today.  But it took a personality like John D. Rockefeller to do it.  Without big-time capitalists operating with such large amounts of capital, places like the Teton National Park would have never happened. 

This idea that rich people are evil, or that they should “pay their fair share,” as determined by some socialist government viewpoint or the lazy and wretched in society who are naturally below-the-line thinkers, is the sure way to secure failure in all aspects of life.  In July of 2021, it is not an accident that three private industry tycoons of significant capital are going to space.  Richard Branson is about to personally fly to space himself to demonstrate the safety of his Virgin Galactic company.  Right after him, Jeff Bezos is flying into space with his Blue Origin rockets.  And Elon Musk is planning to get his Starship into an orbital test flight on a fast track to get back to the moon.  The government is not doing these things at NASA.  Government funding shapes what they do, which is why they have been stuck in a holding pattern of innovation for such a long time.  Private industry driven by great capital enterprises is how science is best developed.  It’s also how you get the best answers to complicated problems. We see the failures with Covid and how big pharma tied directly to FDA approvals have to play the government game if they want to exist, so they will do so whatever the government wants.  The key is to separate these problems, not to join them together as one entity.

That is the offerings in my book to identify these problems and separate them as they have before for a better approach for the future.  I could speak all day about the need for more understanding in science.  We are learning a great deal about our past that makes our assumptions here and now seem silly.  Which needs attention in just about all the sciences.  Truthfully, where we are today is embarrassing when comparing the rate of discovery to what it was when private funding drove most of the results, such as in the examples provided here.  But that is the case with all scientific fields.  Instead of intelligent scientists finding the freedom to discover, they are more like prostitutes catering to the desires of perverts in government. If the government had discovered flight and stuck its fat socialist ass in the development of it, we would never have gone from flying a kite to landing on the moon in just 70 years; we’d still be looking for the string for the kite in the garage of the Wright Brothers.  Government is slow, unmotivated, and essentially corrupt no matter where it is formed in the world.  They are needed to some extent for a free society to function well, but they must be as small as possible to stay out of the way of actual progress.  And we’ve done it well before.  Our task for the future is to look at those times where we did get it right and learn to remove the cancer of progressivism that is now threatening to kill us as patients.  That’s essentially the problem of our times.

Rich Hoffman

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The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

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