Friday, January 19, 2007

Ohio State research is a losing proposition

Columbus Dispatch Letter to Editor
Friday, January 19, 2007

Eighty years ago, esteemed free-market economist Ludwig von Mises proved that a society organized under socialism is bound to fail. The reason: Absent a free market and its requisite private ownership of property, planned economies cannot calculate profit and loss and, hence, are bound for chaos and poverty.

OK, that’s the theory. Now, how about the proof? The proof is evident in the Jan. 9 Dispatch article "Inventive thinking." Over the past five fiscal years, Ohio State University spent almost $2.3 billion on research that yielded $3.7 million in licensing revenue, for a loss of $2.3 billion.

A $2.3 billion loss? Think about it. That amounts to $209 in lost income from every adult and child in Ohio. Incredible. More so when you consider that this was considered a success by both The Dispatch and the OSU officials quoted in the story. They lost $2.3 billion, and they consider it a success?

Obviously the tax-spenders at OSU refuse to live by the tough rules of the market, at least when it’s someone else’s money on the line.

As government interventions in the market and our daily lives continue to expand throughout Ohio and the United States, keep in mind what economist Mises proved and OSU confirmed.

And, as Ohio continues to sell bonds for supposed investments in research and development, remember the likely return on investment: another huge loss, more money down the rat hole.


Lewis Center

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