State funding of science [Was:Re: Paul Davies' THE FIFTH

Max More (
Sun, 09 Aug 1998 12:20:15 -0700

At 06:47 PM 8/8/98 +0000, Tony Hollick wrote:
> Max, this is a _travesty_ of what Thatcher did, and why. Taxes
>_increased_ under Thatcher

Come now, Tony, you know very well that tax *rates* decreased under Thatcher. (They couldn't go much higher than under the previous Labour govt. which had rates up to 98% -- 83% income tax plus a 15% investment income surcharge.) Of course, total tax revenue increased as the economy grew and people had less incentive to hide their hard-earned money.

(so she had no problems with 'stealing' money
>from people); while 25% of British manufacturing industry (the sort of
>private outfits who might employ scientists -- although few actually do)
>just disappeared, crushed out of existence by high interest rates and a
>continuation of ruthless bureaucratic oppression. GNP growth was
>negligible -- all the suffering was for nothing. A cruel hoax.

For nothing? The British economy ended up in much better shape than it was. Anyway, more of your blame for the painful transition should go to those who propped up old, unprofitable manufacturing for decades. When the cure was implemented (of course it could have been done much better), the results were much more painful than they would have been if the economy hadn't been abused for so long.

> Not mean, Max, just unthinking.

Ah, of course, if I have a different view from you, I must be unthinking. Thanks for clarifying that.

95% of all the medical scientists and
> technologists who ever lived are alive and working right now. Ditto for
> other scientists and technologists who provide the backbone, the impetus
> and the detailed support for your entire programme! Now guess who's
> paying them.

Mostly private industry. Many others are wastefully employed by the state. No doubt, much productive research would be slowed if the state suddently stopped science funding *and nothing else changed*. But, if the state generally withdrew from life, the beneficial economic effects would soon mean more funding for science due to a stronger and faster growing economy.



Max More, Ph.D. (soon also: <>)
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies President, Extropy Institute:,