To The Daily Sun,
Ever get tired of hearing the same old mantras by government haters? That is: "Government holds back American capitalism"; "Big government intrusion in our lives"; "Government control hurts those struggling to achieve the American Dream"; "government is remarkably inefficient compared to the private sector". It's like listening to "It's a Rainy Night" over and over again sort of like watching EWTN. People actually believe this stuff but then again you can fool some of the people all the time.
Take the core technologies that make the iPhone work, the Internet, GPS, touchscreens and cellular communication — that's right, all because of direct government investments in research and development (R&D). Companies such as Apple, Compaq and Intel? That's right. Early financing via the Small Business Innovative Research program. Government haters often cite the fact that tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Google thrive in this country because the state sector in European countries is much larger than in the U.S. That's right. It's always been government investments in R&D that venture capital firms generally consider too risky to undertake that has given the U.S. an edge in tech firms.
Take another sector — pharmaceuticals. That's right, 75 percent of the innovative drugs brought to market by Big Pharma were discovered in national laboratories funded by the state. They then claim that they have to charge exorbitant prices for their drugs to cover the high cost of ahem R&D? That's right. They spend two and a half times as much on marketing and administration than they do on research.
According to Physicians for a National Health Program, single payer health care is actually more efficient than private for profit health care for a whole host of reasons. One third of health care dollars goes to administration and paper work. That's right. The potential savings on paperwork — 400 billion dollars per year could provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying anymore than we do now. The song and dance routine goes on and on: charter schools, private prisons, privatized public infrastructure. That's right, substandard and/ or inefficiencies or both.
These myths have been fueled by a neoliberal orthodoxy for the past 30 years. Privatization, deregulation, and lower taxes were touted as the solution for societies' ills. Even before this neoliberal onslaught the most conservative economists had accepted the need for the state to intervene in order to "solve" market failures. They didn't like it but they still believe this way!
Here's another reality check for you. The political elite, the rich and corporations only dislike government spending when they aren't the beneficiaries — which explains their disdain for welfare spending that benefits the poor. They love to jump in and make massive profits after the government has taken the risks. That's right. Socialize the risks and privatize the profits.
Both parties love to spend the big bucks on defense while at the same time "ending welfare as we know it" (Clinton). That's right. The War on Poverty has become the War on the Poor. I have no problem with people dependent on Big Government but I do with people who complain about Big Government. To continue to function properly, capitalism will always need the intervention of the state to save the system from itself.