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Welfare Queens

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Welfare Queens

No Mercy / No Malice,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The world’s largest and most successful venture capitalist is the US government.

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  • Eye Opening
  • Bold
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The US government is the largest venture capital firm – with enormous resources of money, time and patience – and one of the world’s most successful. Public grants and subsidies to start-ups like Tesla, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft jumpstarted what became behemoth successes. Yet, as professor Scott Galloway notes in this bracing commentary, many of the beneficiaries tend to disparage government investment in research and innovation. Galloway makes a bold case for the deep pockets and patient capital that has helped foster private sector development in the United States for decades, and he proposes that more of those rewards go to US taxpayers.


The US government is the oldest and largest venture capitalist in the world.

The 800-lb gorilla of venture capital firms has been in existence since the beginning of the American republic. US public investment in technologies has a long history. The government has underwritten the development of the computer, the internet, genome sequencing and fracking technologies. The American taxpayer acts as a limited partner in this grand-scale undertaking.

For example, a decades-long government investment in wind power research has totaled some $3 billion in R&D and tax credits that substantially lower the cost of wind power. The most recent example of government investment...

About the Author

Scott Galloway is a professor of marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business.

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