Sunday, October 26, 2014

There Should Be No Government Spending on Science Research

This is a difficult idea for most people to wrap their minds around, but it's just as valid as for any other form of government spending (save spending on those functions that protect our individual rights).  Why? Because it is a gross violation of individual rights and, thus, immoral.  In a recent Tuesday Night Links post, I linked to an article from the folks at the Cato Institute who advocate for this view (click here; it's the first entry); today, courtesy NotPC, I offer a strong defense of this view in an article published in 2002 and available at The Atlas Society.  Here's an excerpt:
Not only does the government overstep its boundaries by doing this, it violates the very freedom it is supposed to protect. It does this by denying people the right to use their money in whatever manner they desire and forcing them to use it according to the government’s evaluation of national interest or public benefit. The bottom line is that taxes are the source of all government funds—including those it spends on financing scientific research. The government has no moral right to take this money, which is the property of individual taxpayers, and use it in any way except for the direct protection of the taxpayers. If taxpayers do not want to spend their money on research, the government has no moral right to force them. Individual freedom is the fundamental basis of a civilized society. Without this guiding principle, other values hold little meaning. No matter how important science is to society, the principle of individual freedom is far more sacred.
This is a must-read article if you have an interest in this topic.