By Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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Extra info for (NAS Colloquium) Science, Technology and the Economy
To protect against inefficiency and corruption, the government has adopted extremely complex procurement rules, basing product procurement on audited production costs when competitive bidding is not feasible. In such a system, recovering the costs associated with financial risk and exploratory R&D in the procurement price is uncertain at best. Thus, the firm that produces for the government faces another form of a public goods problem in undertaking R&D: even if the knowledge can be kept within the firm, the firm still may not benefit from it because of the government’s procurement rules.
This represents a real cut in total R&D effort equal to roughly the rate of inflation (about 3%) and a general shift of priorities in favor of defense (about 1% real growth) and against civilian (about 7% real decline). In the nondefense category, every major category of R&D took a cut except NIH. 5%. If, as we conclude, the next few years are likely to witness a steady decline in real federal R&D expenditures in all categories, including the national laboratories, two major issues arise. The first is prioritization of the cuts among areas of R&D, and the second is how to spread cuts in an area of research among institutions.
Under fast track, the Congress commits to vote a trade agreement up or down without amendment on the floor of Congress. This process prevents any single member from trying to assist a local industry by proposing an amendment to increase its protections. Historically, when Congress wrote trade legislation, logrolls among representatives led to the adoption of many such amendments. Under the base closure process, the commission, after listening to recommendations from the Department of Defense, submits a list of targets to the President.
(NAS Colloquium) Science, Technology and the Economy by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences