The rigors of daily life often keep us from paying as close attention to the doings of government as we should. After all, we have to earn the money to pay the taxes, or our elected officials won’t have anything to do.
As government grows increasingly complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine whether the policies they are pursuing are in fact necessary, or, as happens often, are designed more to prolong the problem than to solve it.
Why would they wish to prolong a problem? Because the massive transfer of dollars from the government to contractors hired to study/recommend/implement a solution frequently includes a list of contractors made up of family, friends and other assorted folks willing to kick back some of that cash to the politician who tapped them for the contract.
It is this sort of corruption the American people have been fighting against from the beginning, and as difficult as it is to discover, it is quite obvious in comparison to the far costlier (in terms of money and freedom) corruption of executive regulatory power.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has become the foremost expert on the use of junk science to justify radical overreach of government power. People routinely quote President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning, given in his farewell address to the nation; the one regarding the danger posed by the “military/industrial complex,” but only a fraction of those people know of the other warning in that speech – one which Eisenhower considered as dangerous, if not more dangerous…the influence and power of the “scientific/technological elite.”
From the speech:
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific/technological elite.
This has indeed come to pass, leaving the worries about the military/industrial complex to shiver and shake in the cold shadow of the information age. Universities have become entirely dependent on federal grant money to fund their research departments, leaving them vulnerable to political manipulation to come to desired results rather than accurate results.
It is this hegemony of purpose that has enabled the faux-science of climate change, driven by massive grant dollars all seeking to provide a basis for government to vacuum wealth from the private sector to fund the fantasies and fundamental transformation of the progressive Left.
It is this sort of corruption, on such a massive and nearly unknowable scale that makes a patriot long for the days when we worried about mere annoyances such as bid rigging and misuse of agency funds.
When government money is involved, the result is axiomatic. The primary focus of the recipient will soon shift from providing a quality product, to figuring out how to make sure the money keeps flowing. If that means “adjusting” the product to suit the funder, then that will happen. Every. Time.
The greater threat to our liberty and way of life comes from academia and those who would manipulate science for the purpose of an agenda. We are fast approaching (if not already past) the point where those upon whom we rely for data and research to guide wise policy will have so completely sold their little slide-rule souls to the point that we cannot trust a thing they tell us.
Pray we can cleanse the system before it degenerates to the point that “science for hire” becomes as ubiquitous as competing “experts” testifying about evidence at a trial.
Banana republics have two hallmarks – gun control and no access to information independent of government. Both are under assault in America.