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As Goes California…

Jan
20
2005

This week’s eWeek column is about stem cell research. It’s a follow-up to the passage of California’s initiative allowing the state to spend $3 billion over the next 10 years to fund such research,
Everyone, it seems, is getting in on the act. Any state with a major university – New Jersey and Princeton, Connecticut and Yale, New York and Columbia as well as Rockefeller and Cornell, Massachusetts with Harvard, MIT and the UMasses – is worried about being outclassed by California.
The working total of money that could be authorized? Another $3 billion, give or take. Not all these proposals are going to get enacted. But the political grandstanding is certainly meant to reassure large institutions worried about losing funding – and jobs – that their local politicians are behind them.
So, one ballot initiative has unleashed the potential to double the amount being spent on this research. I’m not exactly sure this is what conservatives have in mind when they talk about federalism but it’s a good example – a great example, in fact – of the course Democrats could steer in the future in a number of different ways. And it’s a fine, fine example of Progressive libertarian thinking: the belief that government isn’t always the answer and that focused efforts, led by business-minded individuals or groups can get a lot done.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 11:16 AM | Permalink

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