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Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
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Roses_R_Red
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Roses_R_Red,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2014 | 4:22:35 PM
Department of Technology
I don't think it's necessary to create a cabinet level US Department of Technology. There is such a thing as too much. I believe that the United States can create a Technology Administration within one of the other cabinet level departments and still be effective at helping technology to spread into everyone's hands without giving the tech industry too huge of a political voice. I worry about the political dangers of creating a cabinet level agency solely for technology. There are already too many cabinet level departments as it is.
GeorgeJ404
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GeorgeJ404,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/3/2013 | 4:26:31 AM
re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
A former bureaucrat suggests that we need more bureaucracy?

He also might have more credibility if the company he founded, after he made connections in DC, wasn't trying to siphon tax dollars.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
8/2/2013 | 8:45:36 PM
re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
Mr. Pradhan is right, the idea of creating a Ministry for Technology is not new and has been attempted in many socialist style democracies where the government is sought to provide for or regulate everything. The USA has, thankfully in my opinion, managed to avoid this stagnation of government intervention which has allowed innovation in the private sector to flourish. I would challenge though that the foundation for a cabinet level entity already exists (CIO Van Roekel) and the idea is simply a formality. Drawing the lines is traditionally tough for interagency government entities though. Why not include the Cyber Warfare sections of DoD, NSA, and DHS? Would we place NOAA under that rather than Commerce and then what would be left in Commerce? Has the OCIO proven itself such a resounding success at coordinating across the board FedGov initiatives that it can be expanded and formalized?
UberGoober
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UberGoober,
User Rank: Strategist
8/2/2013 | 8:44:21 PM
re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
Except for the National Defense Highway System (the Interstates), the feds don't build a lot of roads. Most are state and local. Of course, that's beside the point, nowadays, since roads are out with bureaucrats and high-speed rail is all the rage. Here in Houston we spent $10,000 a foot (literally) on a 7 mile route that 'goes to' lots of places, but doesn't 'come from' anywhere near where people live. Metro exaggerates ridership (one person going on a ride that passes 7 stops is reported as 7 rides) to meet their ridership goals. But hey, it took about 300 cars off the road in its first year (by crashing into them). Typical gubmint project, but California is doing their best to make it look good...

Chris, bureaucracies sometimes start out doing OK, but essentially all will quickly devolve over time. Look at NASA. In 9 years we got to the Moon, but now we can't get a man into LEO without hitching a ride with the Russians. The next American rocket to get a man into orbit will be run by SpaceX.

Or consider Head Start; the government's own studies show that there is no discernible improvement after 3d grade, but we continue to throw almost $20,000,000,000 at it every year. Try and apply logic to that one.

Its not that no good comes from government, but certainly the way to bet is that giving the job to them isn't going to end well.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
8/2/2013 | 8:02:03 PM
re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
I'd need to hear a stronger argument on what the problem is that this department would solve. I disagree with OldUberGoober's notion below that the government does nothing well -- think creating shared infrastructure like roads. But technology tends to be the opposite, fueled by highly distributed efforts.
UberGoober
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UberGoober,
User Rank: Strategist
8/2/2013 | 4:50:45 PM
re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
Do we never learn? The government is BAD at almost everything it does, and even in the very rare cases where it does a decent job (mostly parts of the military) it spends an inordinate amount of money doing so.

Government tech picking gave us Solyndra and A123. I don't think a political appointee presiding over a few tens of thousands of bureaucrats is going to help create the next Apple or Microsoft.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
8/2/2013 | 3:21:47 PM
re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
I'm not quite in the "lunacy" camp, but I'm highly skeptical that we need yet another government agency. This country has managed to lead the technology world without guidance from a Cabinet-level federal government bureaucracy. Here's a rule of thumb: For every Cabinet-level department we create from now on, we need to retire two that have outlived their ability to produce a strong ROI.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2013 | 6:22:11 PM
re: Do We Need A U.S. Department Of Technology?
Most outsiders would think its lunacy to create another cabinet department, let alone one devoted to technology, given government's history with DHS. But this is an intriguing, out of the box way to look at the growing need to get govt. and the nation better repositioned to leverage technology in a global economy. l'll be interested to hear what others have to offer.


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