Who Funded the "Job Creators"?

Answer: Largely you and your taxes. Fighting the deficit by returning tax rates on the top 2% of households to the levels of the 1990s is fair and appropriate because the "job creators" have gained their wealth by capitalizing on tax-payer funded research and development. That's a good thing, but they should not turn around and destroy the mechanism that made their wealth possible. The inventions listed below (just in the area of computers) were all pioneered by government supported research. Where would the “job creators” be without these:

Page numbers from Funding a Revolution: Government Support for Computing Research from the National Academies Press.

The transistor (the basis of the modern computer chip). The transistor was invented at Bell Labs, which was largely funded by a tax on phone service (p. 95). In addition, 25% of the research into transistors at Bell Labs in the 1950s was funded by the Department of Defense (p. 87).

The Internet, Email, and Company Intranets. ARPANET, the predecessor of the modern internet, was developed in the ‘60s and ‘70s (p. 172). It also laid the groundwork for the development of ethernet networking at Xerox PARC.

The mouse and windows, which were developed at Stanford with funding from ARPA and NASA in the late 1960’s (p. 109). The technology was borrowed by Xerox PARC, where Steve Jobs saw it and incorporated it into the Macintosh.

Databases. Relational databases (like Access, MySQL, and Oracle) were first developed at IBM, but brought into the mainstream through the government-funded Ingres project at UC Berkeley in the ‘70s and ‘80s (p. 164).

Word Processors, pioneered at ARPA’s Project MAC at MIT in the ‘60s (p. 104).

Computer Aided Design (CAD) – used in all modern manufacturing and design (p. 104).

Fundamental concepts of programming, such as compilers, interpreters, and debuggers. Three quarters of the entire computer field in the ‘40s and ‘50s was funded by the government (p. 86). The bulk of all theoretical research in the field of computer science has been funded by the NSF (p. 186).

Computer Graphics, developed with defense funding to improve command and control, flight simulation, etc.

Work that led to the creation of the UNIX Operating System, the basis of Linux and Mac OS X.

Computer Aided Design (CAD), used in all modern manufacturing and design.

Cryptography and computer security, developed with extensive federal funding.

Virtual reality software and hardware

The United States post-World War II partnership between government and industry has been the greatest engine of wealth creation in history. Don't destroy it now.

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