Scientific knowledge and new technologies are the building blocks for long-term economic growth ... So it is astonishing that Mr. Romney talks about economic growth while planning deep cuts in investment in science, technology and education. They are among the discretionary items for which spending could be cut 22 percent or more under the Republican budget plan, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. ...Vir: Want to Boost the Economy? Invest in Science - NYTimes.com
We rely on companies to translate scientific discoveries into products. But federal investment in research and development, especially basic research, is critical to their success. Just look at Google, which was started by two graduate students working on a project supported by the National Science Foundation and today employs 54,000 people. ...
In 2010, the federal government invested about $26.6 billion in N.I.H. research; those investments led to $69 billion in economic activity and supported 485,000 jobs across the country, according to United for Medical Research, a nonpartisan group.
Moreover, the $3.8 billion taxpayers invested in the Human Genome Project between 1988 and 2003 helped create and drive $796 billion in economic activity by industries that now depend on the advances achieved in genetics, according to the Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit group that supports research for the industry.
So science investments not only created jobs in new industries of the time, like the Internet and nanotechnology, but also the rising tax revenues that made budget surpluses possible.
President Obama is proposing that the United States boost its overall national research and development investments — including private enterprise and academia as well as government — to 3 percent of gross domestic product — a number that would still lag behind Israel, Sweden, Japan and South Korea, in that order.
In an increasingly complex world, that should be only a start. If our country is to remain strong and prosperous and a land of rewarding jobs, we need to understand this basic investment principle in America’s future: no science, no growth.