[ExI] Against government science funding was Re: New Hope for Alzheimer's Disease Vaccine

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 12:37:45 UTC 2008

On 13/04/2008, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>  >
>  > I suppose we can't stop charity but do you really want to rely on it,
>  >
> When the alternative is to rely on taking money from people by force
>  then yes, I do want to rely on private funding.  However, calling it
>  charity is quite mistaken.  Private persons, groups, corporations and so
>  on are more than capable of understanding the vast importance of
>  scientific research.   If you don't have government taking much of their
>  wealth by force then I suspect you would see a great deal more private
>  funding.

More private funding for private profit. Where's the profit in, say,
particle physics? There will probably always be some funding for basic
science but it will regarded in the same way as funding orphanages in
third world countries.

>  > and is it a success of the free market if you do rely on it?
>  Is it a success of people donating their time and money to what they
>  believe is important rather than having their time and money looted by
>  politicians to support whatever the politicians think is important?
>  Why is there this assumption that the politicians are any more wise or
>  benevolent or capable than the people who earned the money the
>  politicians took in taxation?   Isn't the evidence in the US of the
>  government taking 40 - 50% of all wealth and still running deficits so
>  large we are in hock for decades into the future quite clear that
>  government is not the solution?

Much of the money collected is wasted. It would be better if this
money were left in the hands of the taxpayers or spent on worthwhile
projects that private enterprise won't touch. The taxpayers are the
customers and shareholders and they have to make decisions as to what
to do with their money. If the decision is a bad one then the country
will falter and other countries which tax higher, lower or better will

>  Receiving money that was voluntarily paid for your efforts is more
>  degrading than receiving money coerced by threat of imprisonment?  Come
>  again?

If my house burns down my insurance company will pay to build me a
replacement. This is despite the fact that I may only have paid a few
hundred dollars in premiums: the deal was that if it burns down, they
will pay, and I don't feel guilty about taking the money from all the
other policyholders whose houses don't burn down. Similarly, the deal
in the country where I live is that if I earn income I will pay a
proportion of it to the Government, and in return I will receive
certain services if I need them. I know that this is the deal so I
should feel neither guilty if I get back more than I contribute nor
aggrieved if I contribute more than I get back.

You will doubtless point out that I am free not to insure my house but
that isn't always an option. If I live in an apartment building I will
be forced to pay my share for insurance and other maintenance costs,
simply because the majority of the other owners have voted that way.
If I don't pay I may be taken to court, and if I still refuse to pay I
may be imprisoned, or my assets forcibly seized. My only recourse is
to sell the apartment and move elsewhere. But it might be very
difficult for me to do that for any number of reasons, and in any case
if I move elsewhere I might encounter the same fees and regulations:
which is exactly the same problem I have if I consider moving to
another country because I don't like the laws and taxation.

Stathis Papaioannou

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