Shorts, turned into a pro-nano rant

1. Michael Dell -- the wealthiest Texan -- and Governor Perry held a news conference to announce that Dell would be bringing 500 new jobs jobs to the area. Dell credited the economic climate of Texas.

2. Perry is giving the headline speech to NanoTX '06 on Wednesday morning.

Though there are many such conferences around the world, nanoTX'06 arrives in Dallas as Texas tries to compete with other states for business investment and research dollars, said Kelly Kordzik, president of the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative, a statewide advocacy group.

"We need to return to having a conference in Texas so that we can center the world's attention back on this state," he said.

Texas has long been a hotbed for the field. The state was home to pioneers like the late Richard Smalley, a Nobel Laureate and Rice University professor who in 1985 helped discover buckyballs, a new, soccer ball-shaped form of carbon. He died from cancer last year at the age of 62.

According to the Nanotechnology Foundation of Texas, a privately funded research organization, there are about 30 nanotech businesses operating in Texas.

I may (but probably won't) be involved in another one. I'm trying to be!

More relevantly, the libertarian in me believes that government is ill-equipped to make efficient/correct decisions, because legislative processes are unlikely to predict hot research areas as optimally as markets. [You can make an argument about market failure, and I think market failures were more likely to be true in the past.] But in a world of second bests, government is going to fund research, so we should do our best to make sure government makes as intelligent as possible research decisions.

Therefore, our legislature (and our Congressman and US Senators) should be appropriating as much money as possible for nano in Texas, and particularly in Houston. This is particularly true for those on Appropriations -- Kay Bailey Hutchison (on health and education subcommittee), Chet Edwards (representing A&M), John Culberson (representing Rice, St. Thomas, and the world's largest Medical Center), Henry Bonilla, Kay Granger (TCU, also serves on Education and Health subcommittees), and John Carter (Southwestern, Tarleton State, formerly had A&M). [Of course, it'd be nice if we still had Tom DeLay on Approps and as Majority Leader, but the Houston Chronicle and Ronnie Earle ran him off. Ceteris paribus, that was a pretty dumb decision for Texas and Houston, since nano research could potentially make Houston the next Silicon Valley. We owe Tom DeLay for having so many Texans on Appropriations, where we're vastly over-represented in large part because of Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.] The number one metro area for nano research right now is probably Houston, so it'd be nice for our elected representatives to do their best to make sure we capitalize on this opportunity. While hotbutton social issues often define campaigns, it is often issues like these that most influence Texas' tomorrow.

Kudos to John Culberson for getting it on nano research. It's also good to see Perry talking to the conference.

3. The Statesman scorecards Perry on his 02 promises. (You like scorecards as a verb, don't you?)

Posted by Evan @ 09/27/06 07:20 AM


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