The Telegraph has uncovered quite the horror of our age:
Britain faces an artificial intelligence “brain drain” as Silicon Valley raids its top universities for talent, data compiled by The Telegraph shows.
Around a third of leading machine learning and AI specialists who have left the UK’s top institutions are currently working at Silicon Valley tech firms.
More than a tenth have moved to North American universities and nearly a tenth are currently working for other smaller US companies. Meanwhile just one in seven have joined British start-ups.
People are being employed where they are the most productive. Given the global nature of the tech business the where where this is doesn't matter in the slightest. Thus the brightest minds being allied to the deepest capital pockets are off being productive - exactly the result we desire.
There is another point here too. The argument in favour of the universities - government funded of course - doing all the research is that it's all so long term, so much of a public good, that the private sector, private actors, just won't do it. Takes far too long, it's all far too risky, to do that research in a private company.
Now we've the complaint that everyone capable of doing this research is in a private company - wherefore our universities now? Well, clearly, the argument that only universities, only the government, can do that research has something of a dent in it, doesn't it?
And we do seem to have entirely demolished the idea that the universities must have more money in order to attract those brains to do the research that the private companies are already handling rather well.
In more formal terms the argument is that the private sector won't produce public goods therefore the public sector must. That doesn't then mean that the public sector must be funded to compete with private - it means that if the private sector is producing the public goods then we don't need the public option at all.