A common mantra of economists and politicians is that “innovation is the engine of U.S. economic growth,” and one of the best fuels for that engine is investments in research and development (R&D). One study estimated that for every one percent increase in R&D spending as much as $122 billion in 2017 dollars is added to the U.S. economy. However, with stagnant gross domestic R&D spending over the last decade and anemic productivity and wage growth, many economists feel that the U.S.
The work of governements has typically been associated with human led endeavors into space, to the moon, and beyond. For example, man’s first trip to the moon was headed by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the International Space Station is a joint collaboration between American, Russian, European, Japanese, and Canadian governments. What many often fail to realize is that the high-tech spacecraft that have taken us the moon and allowed us to remain in low earth orbit have been built by private contractors under governmental supervision.