Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – The basic idea the president is trying to get across is that government investment is somehow sacred and somehow superior to private investment. I’ve got to ask the question: Says who and why? The proposition is that if you just left the money in the hands of us knuckle-dragging Neanderthals out here, without being led about with pinkies stuck into our nostrils and our brilliant federal overlord researchers going through all the drudgery and toil of laboring away in their laboratories, that if this didn’t occur, nothing would be discovered. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
The initiative, dubbed Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or BRAIN [Mike: They even gave it an acronym, yay!] “aims to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury” . . . “There is an enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked,” Obama said . . .
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President Obama: Computer chips, GPS technology, the Internet, all these things grew out of government investments and basic research. Sometimes, in fact, some of the best products and services spin off completely from unintended research that nobody expected to have certain applications. Businesses then use that technology to create countless new jobs. The founders at Google got their early support from the National Science Foundation. The Apollo Project that put a man on the moon also gave us, eventually, CAT scans. Every dollar we spend to map the human genome has returned $140 to our economy, one dollar of investment, $140 in return. Dr. Collins helped lead that genome effort, and that’s why we thought it was appropriate to have him here to announce the great American project, and that’s what we’re calling the BRAIN initiative.
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Mike: So you spend a buck, taxpayer. Citizen, you’ll surrender one dollar U.S. for research of the brain, citizen. Of course, we don’t have any choice in the matter. They’re going to take the money from us anyways. So they’re going to spend a dollar and give you $140 back in economic activity. Of course, this happens through the magic of government-funded research. Of course, we can also unequivocally say, Mr. President, that had those agencies not done certain things or explored certain things, then no one ever would have discovered them, right? It’s impossible to disprove a negative, a negative being since that was already discovered by X, you can’t say that it might have been discovered by Y. Oh, yes, you can. I love the way that he starts his talk off when he says through accidents this was discovered, [mocking] “This was never meant to be a technology that anyone is going to use to create new jobs or anything like that.” To tell the story of how some government success story, if that’s what you want to call them, how much time would it take to just go through one industry or so and tell all the stories of the magic that happened without the benefit of government subsidy and all the things that were discovered just by happenstance, by guys dickering around in their garages?
For example, Apple Computer was famously begun in a garage by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. I believe that one of Wozniak’s brain children was the floppy disk reader. That didn’t exist until about the time that Apple’s computers were coming out. I believe that Bill Hewlett and David Packard, they began their business in a garage somewhere in Silicon Valley. You go all the way back to the Wright brothers tooling around with bicycle wheels and what have you and coming to the conclusion that, [mocking] “There may be something to the way these birds’ wings are shaped. You may be able to do all sorts of things with wing structures if we can mimic the way the birds’ wings work. Maybe that’s the secret to flight.” I’m not going to sit here and go through all the examples because there are tens of billions of them.
The basic idea the president is trying to get across is that government investment is somehow sacred and somehow superior to private investment. I’ve got to ask the question: Says who and why? The proposition is that if you just left the money in the hands of us knuckle-dragging Neanderthals out here, without being led about with pinkies stuck into our nostrils and our brilliant federal overlord researchers going through all the drudgery and toil of laboring away in their laboratories, that if this didn’t occur, nothing would be discovered. We’d never unlock the mysteries of the human genome. We’d never unlock the mysteries of space. We’d never know any of these things. We’d never know how to use computers. We’d never be able to create computers.
Of course, as I said, you can’t disprove a negative, but we have ample evidence that all of those things and more may have occurred. It’s far more likely that had the money and the initiative been left in the hands of the individuals instead of being directed by the planning, menacing hand of government, you don’t know what may have been discovered. It is impossible to know. You can see the possibilities all around you. Just go to any grocery store. This is one of my favorite topics to discuss when it comes to economics and how things work and how things are made. Go to any grocery store, doesn’t matter what the chain is, doesn’t matter where it’s located. If it’s in the United States, any grocery store will suffice. Go to one department. AG, besides buying almond milk, fresh kale and sugar substitute, what else do you shop for?
AG: We’ll go down to the meat aisle.
Mike: No, don’t go down to the meat aisle. That’s not a good example. Is there anything else you consume besides meat?
AG: Does the dairy aisle work?
Mike: Dairy aisle will work. How many different brands of coffee creamers are there?
Mike: How many different varieties from each individual brand? I realize these are not all inventions, per se, but they are variations upon an original theme. [mocking] “Maybe somebody ought to come up with a concoction that is premixed and premade, ready for me to use to sweeten my coffee or tea.” That’s a good example. Go into the spaghetti sauce aisle. There’s not just Ragu anymore. There’s Hunt’s, Del Monte, Prego, Emeril Lagasse. You can have a nervous breakdown trying to choose a spaghetti sauce. Here’s another variation: I’m not aware that the government mandated any of these things. Look at the labels on the cans. This one is gluten-free. Do you use any rice products? Do you see the gluten-free rices popping up now?
AG: Very much so.
Mike: You see gluten-free rice, all manner of different distinctions. My point is that the market is a beautiful thing. The market does all these things that Obama is waxing on about that only the — I guess he’s making the case here that only government-directed Center for Disease Control guys in white laboratory coats can do.
End Mike Church Show Transcript