It wasn’t Steve Jobs and Apple that invented the hugely popular and profitable iPhone.

It was the federal government, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insists.

“Anybody here have a smartphone?” Pelosi asked attendees at a hearing on the Democratic National Convention platform. “In this smartphone, almost everything came from federal investments in research… They say Steve Jobs did a good idea designing it and putting it together. Federal research invented it.”

She said government research invented GPS and developed special alloys used in the iPhone.

Because Pelosi is a government employee with a poor understanding of the private sector, she fails to comprehend that minus capitalism there would not be an iPhone or computer technology.

“The profit motive becomes a much stronger force for a company once much of the basic and applied research has been completed and, at that point, it becomes a much better idea to let the private sector take over and create a product that consumers want to purchase. You don’t want the government manufacturing iPhones because that’s not government’s business,” write Gene Quinn and Steve Brachmann.

“The fact that the government invested in basic science doesn’t mean that all follow-on innovation that utilizes the discoveries was built and paid for by the government. Such an argument is completely disingenuous.”

Communism Produces Nothing

Consider the former Soviet Union. The communists depended on the West for innovation. In addition to producing knock-offs of US military hardware—most notably the Boeing B-29 Superfortress reversed engineered in the Soviet Tu-4—the communists copied the designs of cameras, automobiles, computers (beginning with a copy of the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair Research Ltd.), and video games. The Soviets even appropriated western cultural icons (for instance, Winnie to Poo) for their cinema productions.

Economist and historian Antony Sutton documents how the United States played a major role in developing the Soviet Union’s technological and manufacturing base. Sutton argues that US taxpayer funded assistance to the Soviet Union was used during the Cold War to “generate multibillion-dollar armaments contracts” beneficial to defense industry corporations.

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