Vanity funding

23 05 2008

Federal Science and Industry Minister Kim Carr is excited! He says he “couldn’t be happier” with the boost universities got in the budget. He is also very excited about the new alliance between UniSA and ANU, which according to Carr is “exactly the sort of initiative that would aid national innovation”.

There is a very well substantiated argument that government funding doesn’t really contribute to innovation and in many cases hamper it. It stands to reason that if centralised economic planing cannot produce better economic outcomes, than centralised scientific planning cannot deliver better scientific outcomes either.

As far as more funding for universities is concerned, we have already established that public funding of universities is not desirable. Such funding is highly unfair for low income taxpayers whose own kids rarely see inside the university. In addition we found that the argument that public university funding raises nation’s productivity is based on bad economics.

To top it all off, plenty of taxpayers’ money doesn’t go towards better education for their children but gets wasted on various vanity projects such as useless feminism/diversity/gender/post-modernism etc. studies, that are nothing more than elaborate work for the dole programs for those who can’t be bothered getting a job but want to have a cool PhD title on their business cards. All paid by Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer.

Senator Carr, who is very exited about government pouring more dosh into academics’ food trough, gave special mention to the partnership between UniSA and ANU that is promising to bring us the new and exciting program called Bachelor of Medical Science (Population Health). Wow! I think we already have medicine degrees and medical science degrees in this country, why do we need the Population Health degree? I can’t tell for sure but I suspect it will be just the sort of vanity project mentioned above. The overtly paternalistic name suggest Population Health will be about fashionable public health crusades like “obesity epidemic” and banning junk food advertising. This will gel very nicely with Labor’s latest desire to micromanage the sort of shite us plebs put in our mouths. Now we can all look forward to that!

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