Where Have All the Big Grants Gone?
NEW YORK – November 26, 2018
Every year, the US government spends millions of dollars on strange and, to put it mildly, fairly unimportant things. The Pentagon purchases thousands of Viagra pills for its employees, the State Department adds likes on your Facebook account, and scientists study sea monsters and an invisible bird, explore the behavior of women on dates, and study the influence of the self on the happiness of man.
In 2016, according to Senator Paul Rand, the US Government spent $1.404 billion on stupid and meaningless research. Paul estimated that the US government spent an amount equal to the average annual tax levies from more than 170,000 Americans.
Do you think the situation has changed since 2016? We have to disappoint you. The National Institute of Health is spending over $600,000 to use GPS tracking on transgender women of color in New York City.
The study, being conducted by New York University, is tracking transwomen on and off for two years to "know the travel patterns" of transwomen to mobilize HIV prevention efforts.
"This project seeks to use real-time geospatial methods to investigate relationships between social cohesion and social capital within Global Positioning System (GPS)-defined activity space neighborhoods and social networks in relation to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake and adherence cross-sectionally and longitudinally among transgender women (TW) of color (TWOC) in the New York City metropolitan statistical area (MSA) followed over two years," according to the grant for the project.
The study is recruiting New Yorkers who identify as transgender women, which the grant defines as "individuals who were assigned a male sex at birth who identify as women, female, trans women, trans female, male-to-female or another diverse trans feminine gender identity on the spectrum."
Study subjects must also be between 18 and 55 years old, have no plans to move away from New York City within the next two years, and be willing to "carry a small GPS device for two-weeks at five points over the course of two years."
The researchers will use GPS tracking to measure transwomen's "social networks" in order to try to influence them to take HIV prevention measures.
"The proposed study will be the largest GPS study of HIV disparities in any transgender population and presents a remarkable opportunity to study environmental influences on HIV," the grant states.
"[F]rom the GPS dataset we will know the travel patterns of [transwomen] TW and therefore be able to identify optimal geographic locations for HIV prevention interventions."
The study began this fall and has cost taxpayers $620,133 so far. Research will continue through April 2023.
And this is only one project! And how many other meaningless expenses have been racked up? And now think—how many animal shelters could be opened with this money, or, for example, new schools for children with physical disabilities? Yes, at least spend the money on something with real value!
Unfortunately, your opinion means nothing to the government.