Mod parent up.
This is why I favour X Prizes to solve various challenges as opposed to an expanded patent regime. X Prizes also solve the pesky problem of some government bureaucrat picking someone s/he thinks will be a winner. When people say they disapprove of government subsidies because it promotes government picking winners, they're not completely accurate. When government picks the 'how' and 'who' of solving a problem rather than the 'what' (i.e., desired outcome), it's merely picking the party it believes will come out on top, based mostly on cronyism, must less so on some much-vaunted and usually exaggerated 'breakthrough' that is merely promising rather than actually solving the problem. With X Prizes, at least, the money can't be claimed until some party comes forward with a demonstrable (not merely claimed or promised) solution to said problem.
US intelligence failures that led to the Iraq war which must surely lead one to lower the competence rating of the US intelligence services still further.
We must consider the distinct possibility that shoes-on-the-ground CIA operators and their handlers and analysts told Cheney through appropriate channels that there was no evidence of WMD's, but he didn't like that answer because he had vested interests in reality being the opposite -- so after the fact he could claim, 'Shucks, I guess there weren't any WMD's after all, but the doggone CIA fed me rubbish intelligence so blame them for getting us into that kerfuffle.' He had already made his money through the bombing and subsequent occupation and rebuilding, so he didn't give two shits about throwing the entire intelligence community under the bus.
I'm not saying that the CIA and other US intelligence bodies aren't completely rotten at the top, but when the (mostly) hard-working and honest people lower down in the hierarchy get blamed whole-cloth for policy failures, let's all take a step back and see whose agenda is most suspect.
So yeah, there are plenty of things that are scarce. And that will probably always be true. But, for some things, we most certainly live in a post-scarcity society. Today.
Food is cheap only because the true costs to the environment are externalised. Monoculture? Loss of species? Degraded soils? Peak potassium and phosphorus? Aquatic dead zones? If the agricultural sector had to factor in all of those costs, the price of food would be far higher. Let us also not forget the fact that our 'cheap' food is loaded with sodium and refined sugar, both of which are slowly poisoning us. Cheap food now, expensive healthcare decades hence.