Are Tang, Teflon, and Velcro NASA spinoffs?

Source: NASA.

This item surprised me when I came across it.

You sometimes hear people say that government R&D spending is beneficial for the economy because of the innovative goods that derive from it. You should also wonder, of course, about the innovative goods private R&D spending might have produced had it not been diverted into taxation.

10 thoughts on “Are Tang, Teflon, and Velcro NASA spinoffs?

  1. When Teflon frying pans came out, ads attributed Teflon to NASA and my father called BS on that.

    He told me that they used Teflon to lubricate the machine guns on their B-24s in WW2 because at the subzero temperatures at their altitude oil got gummy.

    That said, the benefits to communication, weather forecasting and navigation alone have more than justified every dime we have spent on the space program.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “That said, the benefits to communication, weather forecasting and navigation alone have more than justified every dime we have spent on the space program.”

      Easy to say in hindsight; not so easy to predict with foresight. Either way, the puzzle of the seen and unseen presents itself.

      Like

  2. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2007-03-05-0703050135-story.html

    An article that separates myth from reality and why.

    NASA didn’t invent everything, but they popularized it, improved it or applied it to new uses.

    Considering how many inventors, business ventures and global impacts Americans have had, and continue to have, the onerous nature of our government must not be too bad after all. Rather than wondering about taxation being a brake on innovation, it might very well be that taxes have given us a country where science could flourish rather than trying to please a dictator.

    Unfortunately, those top billionaires morphed into those who think only little people pay taxes, so the payback to our nation has been scoffed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “An article that separates myth from reality and why.”

      What does your Chicago Tribune link say that the NASA link I based the post on doesn’t?

      Like

  3. “You should also wonder, of course, about the innovative goods private R&D spending might have produced had it not been diverted into taxation.”

    Kind of funny that every time big corporations get tax breaks we are sold a bill of goods that those breaks will go to things like R&D and resource management, but instead go to stock buybacks, dividends and other things that benefit the company, it’s C-suite denizens, and stock holders.

    Cry me a river about money that should go to R&D being spent on taxes when companies work very hard to AVOID taxes, even after Congress grants them a massive cut.

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    1. RE: “Kind of funny that every time big corporations get tax breaks we are sold a bill of goods that those breaks will go to things like R&D and resource management, but instead go to stock buybacks, dividends and other things that benefit the company, it’s C-suite denizens, and stock holders.”

      Clearly Tang, Teflon and Velcro — wrongly attributed to government R&D — were produced by private R&D at the expense of “stock buybacks, dividends and other things that benefit the company, it’s C-suite denizens, and stock holders.”

      There are two issues here:

      (1) Companies pass the cost of taxes on to consumers.

      (2) The incentives which control private and public R&D spending are different. For example, private enterprise invests its own wealth; government invests someone else’s wealth.

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      1. You appear to claim that because of taxation there is limited resources available for R&D. I am saying that even when the capital is available, companies are not investing in it.

        Companies pass on the cost of EVERYTHING to the consumers, not just taxes. And most large companies, after receiving a HUGE cut in corporate taxes did NOT pass on the savings to consumer. They passed it on to the C-suite and stock holders. Not even the employees who DO THE WORK got anything resembling a fair piece of the pie.

        When private enterprises start spending their own wealth on R&D, then I’ll cheer it. Until then, I will continue to beat the drum that if they are getting tax breaks, they should be investing in R&D, resource management and their own workers. Not growing the wealth of those who benefit off the efforts of others.

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        1. RE: “When private enterprises start spending their own wealth on R&D, then I’ll cheer it.”

          As stated, private enterprises spending their own wealth on R&D is exactly where Tang, Teflon and Velcro came from. It is also useful to contemplate who the shareholders of private company stocks are. For the most part, they are your neighbors and any retired person you will ever meet.

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          1. You are living in the 50’s and 60’s because that is not what is happening in the 21st Century. 2017 tax “reform” act comes to mind.

            I have my fair share of retirement funds. As does most of my family. BUT, stock buybacks and c-suite bonuses for people making 300 times more than there workers is not effecting my portfolio. Instead of buying their own stocks or putting BILLIONS in the pockets of C-suite denizens, why not do a little R&D, develop NEW products or improve existing ones and then watch everyone get a piece.

            Like

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