Finally, a Nobel Prize winner after my own heart!
Every year I grumble about the Peace Prize and the Literature Prize. This year the Peace Prize went to an arborist who believes HIV was created by scientists for biological warfare. The Literature Prize went to an otherwise obscure writer of “linguistically sophisticated social criticism” plays, novels and poetry, while the Committee ignores brilliant writers, like Mario Vargas Llosa and John Updike, who are actually able to live off their literature without the Nobel award. And you can actually read Vargas Llosa and Updike.
Imagine my surprise, then when I saw this headline: 2004 Nobel laureate wants bigger tax cuts. “Tax rates were not cut enough, Prescott said, adding lower tax rates have historically provided a greater incentive to work”. Edward Prescott should know what he’s talking about — he and co-winner Finn Kydland of Norway were chosen for their study of how economic policy drives global business cycles. May the good Lord bless them.
Even more surprising, the BBC has an article, Monty Python and the spirit of enquiry (could I resist an article with Monty Python in the title? No) prasing America’s culture of research and enquiry:
A culture of research and enquiry is also necessary. Overall, the US spends 2.7% of its gross domestic product on research and development, compared with 1.9% in the European Union.
Nobody quite knows how culture and economic development interact but it’s clear that they do. Theocracies, for example, don’t tend to foster technological breakthrough. If the only questions deemed relevant are those pertaining to a god, then other questions don’t get asked.
Wonders never cease.