Even as President Obama and his cohorts are busy clamoring for reins on various forms of weaponry available in the world, the Internet is chugging along, altering people’s lives on a daily basis. The myriad ways in which ordinary people can interact with each other, and even effect real change in governments and cultures, are only now beginning to become overt. The biggest hold-up to innovation is now likely to be governmental oversight and regulation, and the increasingly accepted mantra of ‘soak the rich people’—the very engines of change. While the government pundits have set themselves up as the only viable means to effect any realistic innovation, the facts belie this claim. Government research is hampered by rules, regulations, and mini-fiefdoms, while private innovation is circumscribed only by man’s imagination and the ability to extract funds from willing donors.
As the powers-that-be decide that more and more of life should be under their purview, it will become more difficult for those with an entrepreneurial spirit to either comply with increasingly esoteric and complicated formulae, or to evade such long enough to construct a prototype that can be shown as the reason to bypass the regulation that would have strangled its creation at an earlier point. Combine this depressing scenario with the dumbing-down of the next generation, and those folks who are currently alive may be the last to experience the head-spin that accompanies such an accelerated pace of innovation for quite awhile.
For whatever reason, unfortunately, at the very time that government is inserting its ever-growing proboscis into the private arena, more and more citizens are buying into the premise that the government is the engine of social change, and thus technological excellence, even though there is no rational relationship between the two of those concepts. It seems that we will have to endure a cycle of stifling of innovation (the Spanish Inquisition reprise, anyone?) before our descendants will be able to enjoy the breath of fresh air that is limited government. Until then, basements and garages will be the only hidey-holes safe from inspection—until some entrepreneur comes up with a method to pry into them, as well.
And all the while, the g-men will be clamoring for more money as the solution to all our problems; top advisors will claim that more regulation will enhance further growth; and ordinary citizens will continue to stumble along, clueless. Doomsday scenario? Perhaps. But based on past experience, the burble that is emanating from Washington, and the willingness of the public to swallow whatever is spun in their direction, more likely than not.