Re: Budget Cuts (Hurray!)

Nick Corduan (nickc@DORITE.IQUEST.NET)
Mon, 22 May 1995 18:10:38 -0500

Hi, All!

Didn't figure the post would go over too well, but frankyl I meant every
single word of it. I'm not just trying to get notereity for myself either.

I do appreciate, by the way, the tone of the replies I have so far received --
nothing overly hostile or nasty.

Now, on to the defense <g> . . .

First of all, I still maintain, public opinion be damned, that the government
has no business giving money to "soft" science (and I'll defend the
qualification in a moment). One gentleman told me that I was naive if I
thought the budget cuts saved me any money. This is mostly true. However,
the fact of the matter is that the United States government -- while not "a
third world country struggling to hand out diapers and milk" *is* in debt, and
*does* run a deficit. Whether I can afford fifty cents a year to support
science is not the question -- the problem is that the government itself
cannot afford it.

Now, re: my stipulations of "soft." Frankly, I am not all that happy with
government support of any science. (I'd much prefer, for instance, if NASA
were privately run.) However, there are immediate benefits of some
sciences. (e.g. NASA, which generates new technology, which in turn raises
the level of life and helps to stimulate the economy.) Unfortunately, while
anthro/archaeo-, etc... provide a wonderful understanding of history and even
inisight into ourselves, that it not a function that is necessary to a nation
by any stretch of the imagination.

Now, one gentleman also argued my point about the government choosing which
what projects get done. I did not mean to imply that they order people
around; however, by granting money to one project and denying it to another,
the government *does* control what gets done. (Since, with that money there
and availlable, we all run to the nipples to suckle.)

It's not that I don't have empathy for my colleagues, as one gentleman
accused. It is rather that I have an even greater empathy for the country's
citizenry at large.


Nick Corduan "...there is as much dignity in tilling
at a field as in writing a poem."
( --Booker T. Washington