TRUTH about US R&D SPENDING from BRITISH NATURE

John Edstrom edstrom at slugo.hmsc.orst.edu
Sun Apr 21 17:38:52 EST 1996


In article <4labkh$3l68 at b.stat.purdue.edu>,
	hrubin at b.stat.purdue.edu (Herman Rubin) writes:

...
>
>I do not expect a for-profit company to do research on the dangers of
>their products, but as a libertarian, I would make the issuing of
>false statements a cause for massive fines against the individuals
>responsible, whether those individuals work for a corporation or for
>a government.  Withholding relevant information would be included.
...

But how will anyone know if the statements are false unless there is
independent research and knowledge?

>
>It is time to get the research universities back on their independent
>feet.  This will take a lot of doing; the availability of federal funding
>caused the universities to not only drop their own funding of research,
>but to rely on federal research funding for other purposes.  This tar
>baby will take a lot of unsticking.

Might there not be a reason why the universities abandoned alternative sources
of funding to support research when federal funds became available?  Like
maybe its easier and cheaper to deal with a few buearocracies rather than
several hundred buearocracies?  Nothing precludes non-federal funding and
organizations like the Musclar Dystrophy Association, Diabetes Foundations and
others provide funds for research.  There is nothing to prevent them from
doing what you suggest beyond the difficulties inherrent in the piecemeal
raising of funds from millions of independent sources (people and businesses)
by thousands of organizations.


>
>There is another source, which has been reduced by government action.
>That is the field of non-profit foundations.  The government put in 
>major restrictions on the formation of these, and on the ways in which
>they can manage their funds.  There are many bad reasons for this; the
>most notable of these is that the government wants control.  The next is
>that the government would lose some tax revenue; it would rather take in
>some of the money and allocate it for research, with massive overhead,
>than allow foundations to give it away.

Are you saying that non-profit organizations shouldn't be regulated?
Non-profit organizations are notorious being vulnerable to bad management and
abuse.  Many are fine and deserving organizations that are well managed.  But
there are many others that use the charities as money-making schemes.  Every
week, it seems, there are reports of some charity or other busted for fraud or
denounced becuase more than 90% of the funds go to "overhead," such as big
houses, fast cars and loose women for the directors.  The many bad reasons for
the restrictions you mention above need to be evaluated in the fuller context
of what non-profit organizations actually do, not what the idealized
non-profit organization should do.  If its a bad thing for the goverment to
control the organization it is a good thing, in my mind at least, for the
government to protect people from predatory and rapacious hucksters.

...

>-- 
>Herman Rubin, Dept. of Statistics, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette IN47907-1399
>hrubin at stat.purdue.edu	 Phone: (317)494-6054	FAX: (317)494-0558


---
 John Edstrom | edstrom @ slugo.hmsc.orst.edu

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