Yesterday, I wrote about the problem of regulatory capture:
Ultimately, the people chosen as central planners have a track record of enacting policies that enrich themselves more than everybody else. The people lining up at Davos calling for a new system, i.e. more government, are the same elite who have ruined the old one. As Jonathan Weill writes: “It’s becoming hard not to suspect that the annual gathering in Davos has become a conclave for global elites to promote crony capitalism and state-backed enterprise, ensuring that national coffers remain available to be tapped for private gain.”
Here’s a chart that illustrates the shape of that:
Plenty of money for bureaucracy, welfare, warfare and weapons contractors. But for basic science?
Not so much.
And that’s sad — because basic science seems to be one of the few arenas where government investment really does pay for itself.
A report by Families USA, a Washington DC-based health-advocacy group, found that every US$1 spent by the NIH typically generates $2.21 in additional economic output within 12 months.