THE GOV CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!
You hear it all the time. It's as true as the Earth is flat and witches float. Or don’t float. I can’t remember. Oh well. Sorry, lady.
MATTHEW COOKE - NOVEMBER 19, 2019
Here’s a short list of things the government created (WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS):
• The microchip changed the world along with many other technologies that have come from the incredible collaborative efforts and billions of taxpayer dollars granted to universities and government agencies for research and development. The microchip arrived via DARPA financing in collaboration with TX Instruments among others.
• The internet was developed by DARPA's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network along with UCLA and the DoD.
• GPS aka the global positioning system we now use to find the nearest 7-11 was developed by Naval science and space exploration labs in concert with the Defense Department. Before the GPS we used a compass and paper maps.
• The underlying technology behind Google came to us thanks to The National Science Foundation.
• Same with bar codes and scanners.
• And Touch screens which the CIA contributed to creating.
• Vaccines were developed by our very own National Institute of Health. We're talking about hepatitis A and B , the flu shot, and the HPV vaccine to name a few.
• Wind energy is another success from DARPA.
• The accelerometer which is the central technology behind airbag deployment, guided projectiles and such delights as the Nintendo WII came about from government grants to the likes of MIT and others.
• Fire resistant clothing for firemen was developed by NASA.
• The aerodynamic truck was invented by NASA to mitigate the energy crisis we still need to solve.
• They also created space travel. Yeah. Space. Travel.
• Infant formula is actually the same technology NASA created that gives us algae-based oxygen recycling in outer space, which is going to come in handy when the earth doesn’t support life anymore.
For the moment I won’t mention social programs to focus briefly on the above inventions that were instantly financially profitable. As in world-domination profitable. As in changed-the-way-humans-live profitable.
Can you imagine the kind of dividends we the people earned by financing the major inventions that changed the wor— sorry... What’s that? Uncle Sam gave our technology away? For free? To mega-corps that now sell it back to us at full price? But these are major developments that belong to all humankind!
Well I’ll be darned. Turns out the government is good for lots of things! Changing the world. And convincing us to pay for things twice.
This brings me to another important human invention. Words. What do you call it when Uncle Sam gives away our investments to private industry to enrich themselves? A bad deal? Getting screwed? I’ll let you take this one from here.
And what’s another phrase for “private industry?” Maybe “the donor class” because they’re the only ones who can afford to buy public policy. Wondering how they got so rich? We just covered a few reasons.
What’s a synonym for the “donor class?” How about “masters of society,” "the oligarchy.” Or just “corrupt )@(*Q#^.” Come up with your own words!
Before we move on there's one more phrase we should all know a bit better. It was invented by a clever minority of wealthy, greedy, semi-conscious people we affectionately call our slave-holding founding fathers. A phrase they loved to use was: “The people.” As in “we the people.”
Except it didn’t include any black people. Or any native American people. Or any Mexican people. Or any Chinese people. Or anyone who didn’t own land. Or any women. In other words "the people" never included most of the people.
And outside that self-appointed aristocracy, the rest of the people have had to march, strike, and claw our way into sharing the gifts of this planet we all call home.
So how did these over-moneyed, soul-selling WASPS get away with this? The same way they get away with it now. By convincing "the people" that when they use that phrase it means everyone. That it means everyone’s interests. That’s why they wanted to call it a republic and not a democracy. We’ll handle it for you. Shhh. Just vote for one of us every once in a while. And our friends here will pay for it so you don't have to. Sound great? Um…
Look, having some degree of autonomy over our lives is still a great idea. In other words, let’s not give up on democracy and turn our genetic codes over to the overlords of gluttony before we absolutely have to. We still have a lot of freedoms in this country! Let’s use them before they disappear into the all-consuming-deregulated-Siri-Alexa-abomination-of-2045. I'll tell you about that later.
To avoid that, we need to recognize that the masters of society have an incentive to push “anti-government” ideologies which just means they want to further enrich their monopolies with zero accountability. Anti-government as a pseudonym for anti-accountability is anti-democratic. And I don't know what's more un-American than that.
Government or any non-profits can be horrible. Or they can be amazing. As the list above shows.
Corruption and greed and small-minded, self-serving bureaucracy can foul up any great idea. Just ask Moses, or Jesus, or Muhammad. And it’s hard to organize large groups. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.
I don't know about you, but I'm doubling down on democracy. And common decency.
When our investments change the world, we should all be rich. That's a fair deal. And having healthcare, education, transportation, guaranteed housing and other basic needs is the least we can do for being so awesome.
That's not socialism, a word which means nothing at this point. It's “civilization,” “efficiency,” “investing in your country,” “patriotism,” “humanitarian,”and “being like Roosevelt” (you remember him, he was a hero of the working class and won WW2). Perhaps most importantly it's called being responsible.
If we don’t take care of our home, if we’re not educated, if we’re unhealthy and financially insecure, if we’re dominated by oppressive monopolies that’s reckless. To our economy, our stability, and humanity.
Last note: If there’s a political party whose platform is anti-science and alternative facts we should probably get rid of it — only if we want to survive another century.