reply to post by proximo
I have less faith in the omniscience of the private sector than you do.
The private sector values stability and predictability. Just watch any of the financial channels for a week, and you will understand just how much
they value them. They absolutely detest anything that introduces unknowns into the economy.
So they won't fund technologies that compete with the established system. Why do you think it's taken so long to get electric vehicles? Why is solar
technology so focussed on high-tech manufactured solutions to the exclusion of low-tech?
There are thousands of good ideas out there that $50K in free, no-strings-attached money would blossom into pools of strong economic activity. There
are citizens who have spent years grooming their ideas, shaving costs, honing efficiencies because they lacked the budget to do anything else, and the
idea was too good to let go of. Millions of hours of daydreams about gadgets that would solve this particular little problem.
The "private sector", when you stop to think about it, is really only a few hundred families comprising a few thousand individuals. This group will
never fund ideas that would revolutionize anything in a way that would threaten their frip on power, that would fundementally change the way the
economy works or is set up. So lots of good ideas won't ever be funded by the private sector.
So here's how I would set it up:
100K grants of $50K each.
Grants apportioned to each state based on population as reported in the latest census.
Within each state grants will likewise be apportioned by population according to the latest census.
Each state shall create local entrepreneurial screening boards to review applicants' plans and disburse grants.
Screening boards shall be comprised of fifteen members selected according to the folowing criteria:
All members are drawn from within the boards' geographic area of responsibility, minimum two years' residency.
2 members from the agricultural community, actual farmers/growers, not corporate office farmers.
2 members from the art community, again, actual artists, not executive directors of art institutes.
2 practicing members of the medical community.
2 independent retailers.
2 under-30 successful entrepreneurs.
2 members drawn from local manufacturers.
2 classroom educators.
1 generalist who is uncategorizable, nominated at large.
Potential members should be nominated from within their respective groups based upon their degree of pragmatism, intelligence, courage, vision, and
relative freedom from bias. A pool of 20 potential members for each class of 2 and 10 for the generalist would be created based on the field
recommendations. Whenever sufficient applications accumulate, say twenty, the board would be convened by selecting randomly from the available pools
and the applications analyzed and voted on by the board.
The board members may vote yes, no, abstain. Any application that receives more yes votes than no votes will receive the full grant within 72 hours.
Applicant must be a US citizen and have resided within the board's area of geographic responsibility for a minimum of one year.
Applicant provides a description of the product to be manufactured or developed for manufacture, or the service to be provided.
Applicant provides a cost/parts breakdown along with at least two bids from local vendors to provide the necessary materials.
Applicant provides at least two vendors who agree to carry the finished product.
Applicant may reapply with a revised or new proposal if turned down.
What else is needed to make sure it would work? From back of the envelope calculations based on 2009 census data, DC would get around 198 grants,
North Dakota 213, Arizona 218 at the low end, California would get 12,104, Texas 8,118 and New York 6,460 or so.
Enough boards would be required to ensure that a state's entire allotment isn't controlled by one area or group. This would be a one-year program
will all grants required to be disbursed within 15 months of passage, allowing three months to organize the boards. Any state which fails to organize
boards will lose out with that state's grants being redistributed as numerically evenly as possible among those compliant, starting with the smallest
states to largest states, reversing order for any uneven leftove amounts.
I think that such a program would generate economic activity and hope out of all proportion to its dollar value. The intellectual ferment of bringing
these different groups together to look at new ideas would be worth it by itself.
[edit on 26-7-2010 by apacheman]