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Government: It’s a job-creator and a partner, not a problem

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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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 02/24/2016 - 09:48 am.


    We don’t always agree, but I’m with you 100% on this one Mr. Westgard.

  2. Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 02/24/2016 - 11:58 am.

    What REPs really mean when they push for limited govn

    When REPs push incessantly for ‘smaller govn’ what they are really advocating for is what is increasingly becoming clear & the norm, after 40+ years of carefully planning & setting it all up:

    Big Business, or corporations–i.e., people the citizens did NOT vote for–calling all of the shots instead. Having all of the power. Dictating to the ‘little people’, or peons.

    Not more Depts of Education, or EPA, etc.. No more federal regulations preventing companies from polluting whenever they want, wherever they want. If that destroys the public lands & kills off many species, oh well. at least these companies are continuing to make hefty profits.

    Only the few elite in their ranks will make a lot of money. Everyone else will be forever locked in to low wages & dull & boring lives. But hey, only they–the smartest guys in the room–should expect anything more!

    More charter schools teaching REP agenda items (no more science, but lots more bible-based references!) while collecting federal tax $. to pay for it all.

    No affordable healthcare for anyone, except perhaps the richest.

    No affordable college for the masses. Only Koch Bros paid for colleges, who promise to teach only their approved Libertarian propaganda.

    And so on, and so on, and so on….

    People really, really, really need to wake up and counteract these insidious moves before it is too late. We are incredibly close to that time:(

  3. Submitted by Jim Million on 02/24/2016 - 09:36 pm.

    The author’s view

    seems also very much the European view, perhaps not quite.

    I have generally believed the U.S. view to be government as economic facilitator rather than manager.

    Certainly, that role has been changing recently.

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