Originally posted by Mads1987
reply to post by HabiruThorstein
English is not my first language, and must admit that I am having a hard time understading your points on the scientific-technological elite, and how
it relates to the quote. Could you dumb it down a bit?
Either way - thank you for sharing the full quote.
Yeah, I'll be happy to try to as best I can-and if anyone out there catches anything I miss, please chime in.
What Dwight was trying to point out was that scientific and engineering research and development were becoming dependent on ever larger sums of money,
and that more and more often that money was coming from the governemnt. Not private individuals or independent researchers. Now, once the government
and big money researchers and developers start working together, their priorities can change because they could become dependent on each other. Let's
a fictitious example:
Congressman John has a company in his district that researches and develops new metal alloys. Congressman John is also a member of the House Defense
committee and knows that the Army wants lighter, stronger, faster vehicles. He uses his influence in Congress to get this company's research
department a large amount of grant money. Because of this extra help, they hire 50 new engineers and scientists and buy a lot of new equipment and 1
year later they make a breakthrough and sell this to the Army, making lots of money for the company.
Now, 1 year after that, Congressman John runs for re-election. The company really likes what he did for them and donate a big amount of money to his
campaign, and because he's got a lot of money for his campaign and he can tell the voters he got new jobs for the area, he gfets elected again. The
Army likes that he helped them get better vehicles, and John is on the Defense Committee again.
The company then hears the Navy wants new materials for their ships. They call Congressman John and tell him they want the contract to make the new
stuff for the Navy, and if they don't get the contract, they have to lay off the 50 guys they hired a couple years ago. So John now uses his leverage
to get the company another contract.
Pretty soon, all the parties have lost their objectivity. The Company and John work together for each other. John doesn't need to pay attention to
other concerns from his voting district because he can always depend on this company to get him enough money to win re-election, the Company doesn't
need to produce things for the regular consumer because they can make so much just by getting money from the government and John will see to it that
they get lots of contracts for the engineers and research grant money for the scientists.
Obviously this happens on a much wioder scale with large multi-national defense contractors in the real world, who might have 20-30 or even more
congress districts in which they have either factories or research and development facilities. And it also is not just military money, any and all
kinds of research are more expensive than ever.
So another example might be that a certain area has a resource the locals would like to mine. However the company that owns the mining rights knows
that if they wait 10 years, the mine would be worth 100 times what it is right now due to increasing scarcity. Before the mining can take place, an
environmental impact study has to take place. The local congressman gets some researchers together, tells them he has millions of dollars in research
grant money for them, a lot of which they can use on whatever projects they want to pursue. But he needs them to conduct a study that will prevent the
mine from being cleared to open right now. The scientists get their money, and give the congressman the result he needs. The company is happy with him
so they donate lots of money to get him re-elected. The congressman is happy because the extra money helps him win his campaign. The scientists are
happy because they are flush with lots of money from the taxpayers. But the taxpayers are screwed because they don't get their mining jobs with all
the additional jobs it would entail, their tax money has gone to support bad research, and they don't have much of a chance electing a different
congressman because he's got the big money company financing his campaigns.
edit on 12-12-2012 by HabiruThorstein because: typo
PS- I only came to think about posting this because a small pet project of mine is trying to 'follow the money' in the college textbook business,
which as anyojne who ever went to college knows is a scam of outrageous proportions. I went back in the 90's and it's a lot worse now. Not sure Ike's
warning about the scientific-technological elite quite applies in the case of the textbook scam, but it did cause me to remember the speech the other
night, thanks for all of you contributing!
edit on 12-12-2012 by HabiruThorstein because: postscript note