Republican presidential candidates frequently argue for limited government. They don’t realize the technology and jobs that are created from government programs.
Almost everyone knows at least one of the more than 20 million Americans employed in public education, state and local government, federal agencies and defense. The multiplier effect creates additional private-sector jobs.
Just as important as direct government employment is the role that government-funded research has played in supporting the growth of many of our major industries. Those include computers, aircraft, the Internet, nuclear power, nanotechnology, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, etc. It was the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that spawned the Internet.
Much of that funded research occurs at universities, such as the University of Minnesota, where $51.3 million in state bonding funds built the new Physics and Nanotechnology Building.
Work there supports part of the millions annually that the university receives in federal research grants, a potential source of new businesses and jobs.
Government is not the problem that one former U.S. president suggested. It is an important partner to American industry as we compete in a very high-technology world.
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