- Reason Awakes -

The New Independent Party Blog

This Blog is maintained by Mike Barron, Executive Director and Founder of the New Independent Party. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Party, its Board of Governors or its Members.

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Just Finished Reading Tom Friedman's New Book: "That Used to be Us"

This book is interesting. It touches on many of the same problems identified on this web site. I agree with Friedman and his coauthor's conclusions about 80% of the time.

Among my differences are that I don't favor public funding of Research and Development as much as they do. It's not that R&D isn't important. But I have a problem with the federal government controlling the direction of R&D as much as it seems that they want to. Obviously, for the kind of basic research that NIH and the NSF support, the government will be a primary source of funding. But for things like the development stage of energy projects, I would favor increasing the price of the fuels we are trying to discourage through taxes and letting that provide the incentive, along with a lower corporate tax rate. This gets the government out of the way in terms of picking winners. Also it has to be remembered that government funded research quickly becomes public information, not just in the U.S. but world wide. So while this research may be a very good thing in terms of combating global warming, it does little to improve America's competitiveness.

Another difference may be the extent to which Friedman and his co-author believe that it is necessary to raise income taxes. They talk about the market-signaling advantages of a gasoline and carbon tax, but they seem to ignore the possibility of putting taxes like that to work to both lower the deficit and reduce taxes on work and investment.

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