1.) What are the arguments for and against government science funding?
The two main arguments for (and against) government science funding are this:
1. Claim: Because there is no profit in basic science, there is no chance it will ever be privately funded.
Response: In reality, 90% of new research stems from previously existing technology, and basic/academic science research only accounts for 10% of new discoveries and technologies. Also, when looking back in history, one would find that despite the fact that Britain had no government funding for science, and there was substantial government funding for scientific research in Germany and France, they both consistently lagged behind Britain.
2. Claim: Private firms cannot claim exclusive profits from scientific discoveries, and so they will not get involved in funding scientific research in the first place.
Response: Firms are known to trade laboratory space to scientists for the up-keep on the latest knowledge in the scientific community. This is done by having scientists working in their lab space agree to attend conferences, saving everybody time and money by keeping scientists from having to spend all their time in libraries reading previous studies rather than doing their own (in the labs). Basic/academic science has been funded by foundations, private university endowments and private industry in the past, not to mention being extremely more generous than government funding has even been.
On another note, government funding has been the well known cause of the politicization of scientific research in may cases; it also stifles opposing claims and approaches, causing a clog in the free-flowing wealth of information and communication between scientists that is so crucial to the discoveries we have already, and are yet to discover.
2.) Is “income inequality” a problem, in your opinion? Why or why not?
Income inequality is not a problem in my opinion, because the real issue affecting income is economic freedom. This is proven by looking at the fact that no matter what country you live in, the bottom 10% of earners will earn 2.6% of the country’s total income. (As of 2011) in less free countries, 2.6% of the countries total income was equal to about $932; however, in more economically free countries 2.6% was equal to an average of about $10,556! According to these statistics, people residing in “unequal” countries are earning more, because these countries are the ones that are the most economically free.
1.) What are some of the problems with the concept of public goods?
There are two main issues with the concept of public goods (not including the fact that the government produces them with the public’s money). The first issue is the fact that even “public” goods such as railroads, streets, etc. can be limited to those who pay for them (in the first place). The second issue is the fine line between public and private goods, and the flimsy distinction between both. A rose garden in someones front yard for example, is privately owned. However, while it is not a public good, the passerbys on the sidewalk are not prohibited from enjoying it from the distance of the public sidewalk. Public goods are non-excludable to those who pay (but, how does one know if someone else has paid or not?). Private goods have rules set by the owners; so, in this case, how would one exclude someone who did not help pay for the rose garden? What about in the case of a public rose garden that one has not helped pay for?
2.) Describe the process by which the market economy tends toward an improvement in the standard of living.
The free market economy encourages saving and investment, which leads to an increase in capital goods, which ultimately creates a greater amount of consumer goods. A great amount of consumer goods reduces poverty by making the available consumer products cheaper. It also frees up people to move on to creating other consumer goods (because capital goods have made way for less hands to create the same amount of products in a shorter time). Increased production ultimately creates lower product prices relative to wage rates.
Inflation affects each and every one of us on a daily basis in the United States (and many places elsewhere across the world). It doesn’t interfere with my life in a good way either; every time inflation rises, my dollar has less and less purchasing power. Inflation also neglects to take an equal affect on the entire market; severely screwing the majority of the population while favoring a very slim few. Inflation affects me every time I spend money; food, clothing, internet, even a house.
According to Numbeo, the current average cost of a gallon of milk (where I live) in Boston, MA is $3.65. Using an inflation calculator to go as far back as 1913, I found that what bought me a gallon of milk today could have bought me $87.98 worth the products (CPI). That is like one gallon of milk vs. one small grocery trip (today). In 1950, that same $3.65 would have had the purchasing power of $36.14 (CPI 1). Money is losing its value almost quickly enough to sit and watch.
“Food Prices in Boston,+MA, United+States.” Food Prices in Boston,+MA. Numbeo, July 2015. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://www.numbeo.com/food-prices/city_result.jsp?country=United%2BStates&city=Boston%2C%2BMA>
“CPI Inflation Calculator (1).” CPI Inflation Calculator. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=3.65&year1=1950&year2=2015>.
“CPI Inflation Calculator.” CPI Inflation Calculator. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=3.65&year1=1913&year2=2015>.
Which promotes greater personal responsibility, the free market or the welfare state?
The free market promotes greater personal responsibility than the welfare state, by a landslide, to say the least. In fact, the welfare state exemplifies the exact opposite of promoting personal responsibility by using coercion as means by which they steal from working party A, to support party B. What this is really teaching people is that they don’t need to be worried about themselves, or their families, because they can depend on the government. They need not look for a job, because they have comfortably large checks coming in to feed and clothe their children with; checks that were filled with money stolen from the people actually working to earn a living. (Reward the dependent citizens, punish the independents workers.) The free market, on the other hand, not only promotes personal responsibility, but it requires it. If one can not keep up with their finances, supply and demand, marketing, etc. then they can not survive. One must be disciplined and hard working to become a top competitor; no state granted monopolies here.
When observing a community of liberty-loving free marketers, one finds that success is abundant. Everyone has what they each need; there is peace and unity in a voluntaryist society such as this one. The fruits from each beings successes are shared and celebrated among many. However, on the other hand, should one observe a community submerged in state regulated price floors and ceilings, the entire market pricing system would be found a palpable lie.
This is because state regulated prices aren’t fluctuating based on a supply and demand route; and when price floors are implemented, there is over production. Price ceilings result in shortages of goods. In a free market, the key to knowing how much of an item to produce is all found in the prices, seeing as how they display the demand of that particular item at a certain point in time. Price decision should stay between the buyer and seller, and when it does, the market will function healthily; without surplus or shortages.