McCain’s $300 Million Prize
Posted by Ryan on June 23, 2008
John McCain, if elected President, would offer a $300 million prize for any company or individual that produces a car battery which leapfrogs over the current wimpy ones on the market. I like the approach. Here’s my take:
Telling us that in order to eventually get away from gas, the government will encourage innovation by giving a huge financial reward for your product in a time of great need is great. It was one of the few things I really liked about Mike Huckabee’s approach which John McCain has adopted. Using the power of American innovation, the collective mind of the American people, and the free market, McCain’s idea will encourage us to get positively involved in the process on a national level, rather than keeping us as a powerless spectator wincing at the whims of almighty Washington dictates of conservation or diminution (you know, Jimmah Carter’s long-underpants speeches during the cold winters of 1977-78).
Telling us that gas prices will go up forever, so we must suck it up and wait around for a magic alternative energy source while we all suffer in the interim is a negative way of looking at things, and the solution the Dems have awaiting us if we become an Obama Nation this Fall. No real answers, just accusations and more of the same.
I love capitalism. I also think that people are best motivated when positive reinforcement is used, and the best ideas arise from necessity, competition, and incentives to solve problems — I’m a conservative, hence I’m an optimist at heart.
In my opinion, if government must get involved in something it should be in one of these four areas: defense, infrastructure, education and technology (DIET for short). McCain’s proposal is a market-oriented way that the government is helping on the technology front. I have no problem with contests of this sort. In addition, I think McCain should also add that the designer of the super-battery be given sole rights to the patent for at least two decades to ensure a huge future cash windfall for the designer.