Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Profit Motive of Eureka

Yesterday on Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough mixed up his economics. While expressing disgust that a 4% of the world "taking" 25% of its resource output, he proposed that if
....we control the next wave of energy, we will own the 21st America we have eight of the top ten research universities on the planet. Why not tap into that and really have a focused effort to create the next wave of energy resources....
Those in the developed world do not take resources; they buy them. And they can afford so much because they produce so much, notably the technology that Scarborough wishes to see. Since private investors and inventors are creating the next waves of technology, his insistence of an American focused effort can only mean some sort of central government planning. This deadly pair--economic nationalism and government centralization--is truly wasteful. Technology becomes harder to produce under such large bureaucracies, especially when you restrain where in the world you can draw your inputs for discovery from.

There is a big push for new technology and it's been that way since the dawn of human civilization. Only in the past few hundred years has government been laissez-faire enough to let it truly flourish. And look how far we've come so quickly! Technology creates resources far more than it consumes them. It is our greatest source of genuine growth and with so much wealth up for grabs, it instantaneously creates a vast network of entrepreneurs far more focused than Scarborough could ever imagine.

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