Technologically speaking, the U.S.government has been groundbreaking in two areas. The first is defense, which brought us the computer and the internet. The second is the space program, out of which came the microwave and the cellphone.
Outside these two areas, government leaders have left much to be desired. Recently the government has promoted the use of fluorescent lights. These give us less light than did the old 100-watt bulbs. Many of them also have mercury, which runs contrary to the stated intention of giving us environmentally-friendly products.
Probably worse is the government’s interest in ethanol. Ethanol has proven itself to be a negligible source of energy. The corn that produces it, however, is a valuable source of food, and the government’s stockpiling of it has shortened our supply and jacked up prices.
Governmental technological ineptitude seems to be a trend. In New York State, where I live, the old voting machines have been replaced by a process that requires the voter to make drawings of sorts. The voting sheet provides questionable accuracy in ascertaining the voter’s wishes. As the voter is no longer behind a curtain, it also deprives the voter of privacy. Perhaps our New York politicians are jealous of Florida, and wish to experience for themselves something similar to the disaster of the 2000 Presidential election.
In the fields of lighting, fuel and voting, our politicians have helped us to take several steps backwards. If they wish to help us technologically, they would do well to reinvigorate the space program.