Monday, September 8, 2014

Article: Where science is concerned, I must part company with some of our economists:
To transform our nation, we need to facilitate innovation in science on a scale we’ve never achieved. That’s too important to be left to chance, or to ‘market signals’

Ian Chubb is the "Chief Scientist" for Australia, a position he was appointed to by a Labor Party Prime Minister

It was fun to skim his editorial/commentary. He is obviously a socialist. The article itself is mostly bureaucratic waffle from a leftist point of view. What I am going to do is pull the "socialist-isms" out of article.

Let us start with the title:

"Transform." What? Is something so appalling wrong with Australia that it needs to be transformed? Tell us what it is. That might make a more interesting article than this one.

And why do you want to disparage your own country? What is so awful about it? Even that would make a more interesting read than this.

"Too important to left to chance or market forces." This is a slam on free-market or capitalist economies (not the same thing). Why is it "too important"? Because the enormous innovation that we have seen from the capitalist world, but not the socialist world, over the last century did not happen or was too puny?
I want an Australia that is more than just what is left after the economic trimmings work their way through the community’s digestive system. I want an Australia in which our economy is organised to support our aspiration and not to limit it.
"I want an Australia in which our economy is organized." The Marxist/Fascist/Communist/Fabian Society/Labor Party/Socialist dream of an "organized economy."  Every time the more extreme versions of it have been tried (the USSR and Maoist China), they have failed. Half-measures, such as in England and the EU, are failing.
I am happy to agree that our children would welcome a budget in decent shape.
I loathe being manipulated by a "for the children" appeal. If that is one of your best arguments, then you have lost.
I don’t think all our debts will be measured in dollar terms, however. 
Fiscal debt, a budget deficit, is not real debt. Real debt is something else. It appears to be air pollution.
There are other things our children should expect. 
Breathable air, for one. Oceans to swim in. Food that’s good to eat. The chance to raise a family and grow old. I seem to recall saying that a few times, too.
Ah, those you oppose are for bad air, bad oceans, bad food, forced celibacy and childlessness, and killing older people before they can "grow old."
I would be an idiot if I could not see science’s centrality to every challenge Australians face. 
No, you are an idiot because you claim to see something that is not there. How do want to apply "science" to the various challenges involving the Aborigines? Eugenics? DNA testing to determine who is a "real" Aborigine?
On one point, it strikes me that we can all agree. Science builds industries, boosts productivity and drives human progress. It is critical to national growth.
No, traditionally, industry paid for the science that gave them technology to build new things. Then the government got involved.
So science is awesome. So far, so good. Then we come to where the debate really lies today: the role of government in building science capability. It is here that I part company with some – although by no means all – of the economic commentariat.
Socialists see a government role for everything. Why not science? We have had 50 years of increasingly heavy-handed government intervention and we are in the state you are complaining about. The policies you have advocated have caused the problems you want your policies to fix.

And about those policies. Why do you think that 19th century, Marxist, "scientific socialism" (or even Labor Party, socialism-lite) will solve 21st century problems? You are an old-fashioned, backward-thinking, "apres-garde" reactionary.
There is a view in this country that too much thinking about the sort of Australia we want gets in the way of the “market signals” – the invisible rays that persuade 15 year olds to study physics, or not, that attract graduates into science teaching, or not; and convince the market to wear the risk of bold new ideas, or not.
OOOOH! "Invisible rays!" Your contempt for a free-market economy is obvious. The idea that "the invisible rays… persuade 15 year olds to study physics" is a straw dog logical fallacy. Only a socialist is stupid enough to argue that position.

Do you want to "convince the market to wear the risk of bold new ideas?" Cut taxes, if not across the board, then specifically for R&D budgets. But you would not be a socialist if you could abide reducing taxes for any purpose.
It adds up to the message that she’ll be right. And it would be an easy message for a chief scientist to sell – if it wasn’t contradicted by the evidence.
OK, do you have any evidence? Because if you do not, you just made a "proof by assertion" fallacy.
Yes, logic says Australian businesses have an incentive to innovate. 
"Logic says." Yes, but what does the Australian government say? Does it pursue policies freeing business from red-tape so that new companies can be created to force innovation in the older ones?

Red-tape protects existing companies. Cut it and innovation will happen, or the non-innovative companies will die. But you would  not be a socialist if you could abide reducing government regulations.
Three in five of them still say they don’t, while just one in five say that they have introduced new or significantly improved goods or services. 
Yes, it sounds like red-tape to me. A company that say it does not have to innovate is a company that is being protected by government regulation.
Yes, it makes sense to study a science at senior levels. Australian schools show a decline in the rates of participation in “science” subjects to close to the lowest level in 20 years.
OK, but why? Generally, people do what they are rewarded for doing. Over the last 20 years, what has changed about Australian government, society and schools to make STEM less rewarding? The Left has mostly taken over education at all levels (at least, this is true in the US). Maybe this has something to do with the problem.
We throw programme after policy into the mix, with no sense of how it all adds together to make a stronger Australia. 
Maybe that is the problem: "throw[ing] program after policy into the mix." If it was less of a problem before all that throwing, why do you think that MORE polices are going to help?
By-and-large, governments have found that rather than seeking to mandate conditions, they can and do help to create environments in which business, researchers and educators are able to perform at their best—in a cooperative and coordinated way.
Yes, by reducing taxes and regulations. By getting out of the way.

"Creating environments" certainly sounds better than "mandating." But again, the "mandating" was usually a policy of the left in the first place, how much are actually going to differ?
There is the lesson for us: top-performing stem economies are united not by their size or geography but by their capacity to organise then grasp their opportunities.
Dr. Scientist, how about data? Which countries? Which policies have been successful? Name one. And don't say things like "alternate energy sources." Anything can be "successful" if subsidized by enough government monies.

The US has been one of the "top-performing stem economies" and we don't do much organization.

Israel is, for it's size, the top-performing stem economy in the world. Why don't you look at they are doing and announce to the world that you are going to emulate them?

Oh, right, the loud-mouth Left/Labor Party in Australia hates Israel and would rather commit scientific suicide that emulate them.

I am old enough to remember when Japan was held up as a powerhouse economy that would over-take the US economy shortly, blah, blah, blah. They had great partnerships between their (near-monopoly) industries and government.

Nice, cozy, crony partnerships that kept the money flowing into politics. And for some reason, they are stagnate now.

The country that gave us the Sony Walkman now gives us "Hello Kitty."

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