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

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Apr 19 06:58:55 UTC 2008

On Apr 13, 2008, at 5:37 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> 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.

What is the good generally of science?  Why would you believe that  
people can only acknowledge that good and fund it by having a  
government be involved?   If the government truly is acting on the  
will of the people then why  wouldn't people care about and give money  
to the same causes without filtering it through a government or having  
a government force them to do so?  Conversely if the people do not  
care about these things in what sense is the government acting on  
their behalf rather than forcing them to support things they in fact  
do not care that much about?

The profit in scientific research is the tremendous expansion of  
opportunity that comes from what it discovers.   This is not lost on  
foundations, corporations and other groups of people.

>>> 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
> prevail.

If no people would voluntarily fund a program then it should not be  
done.   To do it any way and force people to support it is partial  
slavery.     The "taxpayers" are not customers or shareholders as  
those are voluntary roles and one can opt out if not receiving  
sufficient value for one's investment.   The "taxpayer" could most  
efficiently make a decision what to do with money than never left his  
hand.   No person is inherently justified in deciding how to spend the  
money of others unless they voluntarily give it to him to manage or in  
support of some cause.  We the people have almost no say whatsoever in  
how most of the money taken from us by force is spent.

>> 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.

That was a totally voluntary contract and there is no reason to feel  
guilty as the insurance company considered the odds carefully before  
writing your policy.

> 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,

I did not volunteer for any such "deal".   If it is not a voluntary  
contract it has no validity.

> and in return I will receive
> certain services if I need them.

Some services I need the government has monopolized.  This is hardly a  
manner of voluntary agreement either.  But most of the "services" that  
government provides are not only not wanted by me but are extremely  
pernicious to much that I value.

> 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.

What "deal"?  You are saying that is just the way things are but not  
that it is the way things should be at all.

> 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.

Not so as they don't generally vote on except in certain housing  
associations.  Generally the owner determines costs and a reasonable  
profit and divvies it up among tenants.

> 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.

False.  You would simply be asked to leave that association / rental  
situation and if you did not do so in a timely manner you would be  
tossed out on the street with your possessions.   You most certainly  
would not be imprisoned.

> 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.

It is not the same problem as pointed out above.   Governments have a  
monopoly on the use of physical force.  It is for that reason that  
powers need to be severely limited.

- samantha

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