Note that I’m not picking on women here, this is just the first example that came to mind. You can put cigarettes (over 35 billion for the US alone), or fast food, or any one of a hundred luxuries.
the point is that the common claim as to why we cannot afford working on Polywell doesn’t hold water. We are not “too poor” to do so– the United States is wealthier than almost any other nation in history– compared to the disposable wealth we have, the greatest Roman emperor was a piker.
If you want to move to more government controlled sources of funding, consider that a single B2 costs over 2 billion– far more than would be needed to take the Polywell from test to prototype to production machine. More importantly, the benefits of a functioning fusion system woudl far outweigh the benefits of a B2 (for one thing, it’d reduce our dependence on sources of energy that demand the use of said B2).
The problem is not money– it has never been money. The problem is one of allocating money effectively and convincing the people that it is important to do so. In other words, the problem isn’t science– it’s politics and public opinion.