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Politicians and pundits constantly call for the government to step out of the way and let entrepreneurs and “job creators” build the industries of the future. New Left Project argues that this current conventional wisdom is all wrong, and more often than not, game-changing innovation is funded by the government, not the private sector:
It is assumed that the private sector is inherently more innovative, more able to think out of the `box’ and to lead a country towards long-run innovation-led growth. But many examples in the history of innovation, entrepreneurship and competition, in different sectors and across different countries, paint a very different picture – of a risk taking innovative state – especially in the most uncertain phases of technological development and/or in the most risky sectors – versus a more inert private sector, which only invests (in innovation, in new start- ups, in networks) once the state has absorbed most of the uncertainty.
Preliminary tests, however, revealed the unfortunate conclusion that the shovel’s blade was incapable of stopping the penetration of gunfire even from the smallest of enemy calibre arms. Its value as a digging tool was also questioned as soldiers commented against the shovel’s weight, its inability to be easily carried, and the fact that the blade was poor for shovelling loose soil as it contained a large sight-hole. With such a reputation, several high ranking Canadian and British military officials refused to press the instrument into service. With these developments, an executive order was eventually issued for the shovels to be reduced to scrap. A total sum of $1,400 was recovered in the salvage; a figure far less than the original contract price, which tagged each MacAdam shield-shovel at $1.35.
Originally posted by Sachyriel
To play a bit of devils advocate I would point to Google's 'Solve For X' campaign, where they are collecting new ideas and technology to solve the big problems of our time.
...Perhaps Google is not a state in the traditional nation sense,
I'd like to point out one example of State-Based innovation gone rotten.
...How do we expect minds to contribute to much when they don't have access to some of the most valuable commodities?
...the Military complex forges ahead as the US 'forced' most non-military R & D and growth industry outside of the US by outsourcing in their race to a world economy.
...Large businesses just like large governments like predicability. They want to plan the future and control.
Big companies give massive donations to politicians because they can use those politicians to craft protectionist legislation. ....As long as they cant pass the laws that support large businesses then those companies are left to their own devices.