Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Then Robert McGrath strikes

note: OSU's Robert McGrath responds with the university's party line.

Dear Editor:

In his response to my letter regarding the January 10, 2007 Dispatch article on the OSU Office for Technology Licensing, "Ohio State research is a losing proposition," Richard Lupton misses the point of the article. The only product of value mentioned was the small-child immobilization collar developed and brought to market without OSU assistance by the talents and efforts of entrepreneur, Marie Robinette; no state or federal tax dollars required.

Lupton implies that I would have desired more research dollars spent at OSU should one of my family members become ill in the future. According to the list of products coming out of the decades of discovery at OSU, I would have benefited from OSU research during the past ten years only if my family members suffered from heartworms, got lost on Mars, or were in desperate need of tofu soybeans.

In the real world, it is entrepreneurs such as Bill Gate, Steve Jobs, and now Marie Robinette who bring needed products to market, while at the same time, OSU research wastes billions of hard-earned tax dollars, yielding no benefit.

In his response, Robert McGrath of OSU confounds value with expenditures. I certainly agree that expenditures were made - to the tune of $2.3 billion. And it appears that we both agree that no products of value were produced. All that McGrath can hold onto is his claim of job creation. To establish this claim, he uses the refuted Keynesian multiplier effect to impute new jobs from research expenditures.

What McGrath forgets to mention is that new jobs are not created unless value is produced. He noted the positive side of the research equation, but he failed to mention the greater number of jobs that would have been created in the private sector were it not for the level of taxation and monetary inflation required to fund the research - jobs that would have added great value to the Central Ohio economy.

To believe McGrath is to believe that OSU should spend billions more on research for the sole purpose of employing researchers to engage in efforts that produce little value, and a huge economic loss.

Jim Fedako

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