Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Mother of Invention

I was going to post this in Megan's comments, but evidently I "am not permitted to make comments" there. I wonder why?

Megan says government stifles invention.

I know this is going to sound crazy controversial, but the reason that healthcare companies innovate is to make a profit. And those profits are the first thing that politicians target when they aim to keep costs down. Sadly, so far there's little recorded success with things like drug and medical equipment development outside of the private sector.


The record of governments at inventing consumer goods is, she said with characteristic understatement, somewhat spotty.

Hey, Megan! Ever heard of NASA?

Every day, in a variety of ways, American lives are touched by space
technology. Since 1976, about 1,400 documented NASA inventions have benefited
U.S. industry, improved the quality of life and created jobs for Americans. The
Apollo program has helped change the way of life in America, especially in
health care. Here are some of the inventions contributed by the Apollo program.

[1]: Kidney dialysis machines were developed as a result of a NASA
developed chemical process that could remove toxic waste from used dialysis

[2]: As a medical CAT scanner searches the human body for tumors
or other abnormalities, the industrial version, or advanced computed tomography
inspection system, finds imperfections in aerospace structures and components,
such as castings, rocket motors and nozzles.

[3]: A cardiovascular conditioner developed for astronauts in
space led to the development of a physical therapy and athletic development
machine used by football teams, sports clinics and medical rehabilitation

[4]: A hospital food service system employs a cook/chill
concept for serving food. The system allows staff to prepare food well in
advance, maintain heat, visual appeal and nutritional value while reducing
operating costs.

[5]: Athletic shoe design and manufacture also benefited from Apollo.
Space suit technology is incorporated into a shoe's external shell. A stress
free "blow molding" process adapted from NASA space suit design is also used in
the shoe's manufacture.

[6]: Freeze-dried food solved the problem of what to feed an
astronaut on the long-duration Apollo missions.

[7]: Insulation barriers made of aluminum foil laid over a core
of propylene or mylar, which protected astronauts and their spacecraft's
delicate instruments from radiation, is used to protect cars and trucks and
dampen engine and exhaust noise.

[8]: Water purification technology used on the Apollo
spacecraft is now employed in several spinoff applications to kill bacteria,
viruses and algae in community water supply systems and cooling towers. Filters
mounted on faucets can reduce lead in water supplies.

Dear Heaven, she's ignorant. And she's being rude to commenters who tell her the simnple truth: She has no idea what she's talking about.


Anonymous said...

"she said with characteristic understatement"

I have to laugh. The problem with Megan's writing is that it is invariably overstated. It's one generalized, ill-informed argument repeated for three or four paragraphs, sprinkled with misused fifty cent words and pathetic attempts at humor.

Susan of Texas said...

Now she's asking for discussion topics. I have one: How to make money in your spare time, by pandering to the powerful. No ability necessary.

Anonymous said...

NASA aside, I do NOT see the role of government in "inventing consumer goods". Who decided that was government's job?

I happen to be a federal government regulator. I'm not going to say more than that, as I try to stay away from my job when blogging, for some obvious reasons. But one reason that the government might be "stifling" new products is that we are trying to keep the consuming public safe. Right? That would be the role of government. And one reason that government does as little "putting on the brakes" as it does is that stuff that industry sometimes wants to do has very little to do with ensuring safety and most everything to do with making money. Just look at some of the new medicines that have been recalled after their initial introductions or a mine that has collapsed, dooming the trapped miners to their deaths. Right, Megan? We are trying to keep people safe, not invent a bunch of crap that possibly puts the public at risk.

Sorry, but I get a little pissed when people start badmouthing government regulations without really knowing what the hell they are talking about.