February 2, 2009

The Ripple Effect: Infrastructure Spending & Particle Physics

Talking Points Memo points out how much more fiscally solvent Obama's stimulus plan is compared to the GOP's preferred tax cuts: under Bushonomics, returns to total GDP growth were somewhere near $.30 for every $1 invested; comparable infrastructure spending yields $1.59 in real GDP growth for every dollar. Seems like a no-brainer--but he's back in Texas now, so optimism reigns!

In this month's Symmetry Magazine, Elizabeth Clements writes about the similarly robust ripple effect particle physics provides for society as a whole, and the need for a quantitative analysis to prove the point to economists and lawmakers. Healthcare, technology, education, business, and ecology all stand to improve the quality and efficiency of their research and products when particle physics are added to the mix; existing labs like the Argonne National are already working with pharma companies to improve safety and efficacy of new drugs. I say, just in time. Sheesh.

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