With socialism comes stagnation 2

Invention depends on individuals, even if they work in teams, having new ideas and incentive to develop them.

Socialized medicine takes away incentive for innovators to advance medical research.

This is from Investor’s Business Daily:

There are many problems on the health care road the country is being forced to take. But one not getting as much attention as it should is the harm done to a critically important sector: medical innovation.

The high costs, restricted choices and eventual rationing that will result from the Democrats’ health care plan are being discussed to varying degrees by those who are uncomfortable with what’s being rushed through Congress. But the final legislation’s effect on medical innovation has been somewhat lost with so much attention focused elsewhere. So let us clarify:

The Democrats’ plan will slow innovation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. …

If the profit motive is removed or weakened by legislation increasing Washington’s control of health care, drug companies and medical device makers will lose the incentive to bring lifesaving and life-enhancing products to market. For now, the rest of the world follows America because the socialist health care systems abroad discourage innovation. But the U.S. will fall back to the pack under a health care regime designed by the Democrats.

How socialism will bring stagnation to the US 0

Hullo socialism, good-bye innovation. Socialism crushes inventiveness, as it purposefully does all private enterprise. Nothing new of any importance has come out of continental Europe since it turned socialist.

In Britain where the first Industrial Revolution took place, yes, there is still a remnant of the old inventive genius at work, though it’s slowly dying. Out of Britain has come one big new thing – the world-wide web, invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, blessings be upon him. (NOT by Al Gore, who claimed he invented it, but could not, we believe, invent a hand fan for a breeze.) 

To invent, men need not only their ideas but also a superfluity of time and money, even if they do it in their own garages as so many did in the Second Industrial Revolution in Silicone Valley. (I say men because women have invented sweet blow-all.) Free time and extra money, and the incentive of gaining great riches, are among the great benefits that only capitalism can bestow.  

Now that socialism is coming to the United States, incentive, opportunity and the urge to innovate will start to wither. Nationalized health care, for instance, will mean the stagnation of medical research. Will the billions needed to develop a new drug come from the state when the state is the only buyer?

The only sphere in which innovation has worked well under state control is the military. That was because American leaders have taken defense, the paramount responsibility of the state, very seriously. But now America has a president who believes that the nation is over armed – and should aim at totally giving up its nuclear defenses. Obama reckons, we are told, that if America castrates itself in this way, other nations will be so impressed by its ‘moral leadership’ that they too will give up the nuclear weapons they have, or the wish to obtain them. Either he really believes this sentimental hogwash or his motive is much darker and more sinister.

Michael Barone writes in Townhall:

Most people in the rest of the world are free riders on the productivity and ingenuity of the American military and American medicine. They get the benefits of American military protection and American medical innovation without paying, or without paying in full, for them. 

This has been the case all through the six decades after the Second World War. The American military has protected democracies from Communist expansion and today protects people all over the world from Islamist extremists. They get this service, if not free of charge, then at reduced rates. American taxpayers have been spending 4 percent of gross domestic product on our military and during the Cold War paid twice that share. NATO and most other allies spend significantly less.

American administrations of both parties have tried to get others to spend. But this is Sisyphus’s work. We are entitled to take pride in the fact that, in the spirit of “From those to whom much is given much is asked,” we are able to do so much for others.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration wants to do less. Defense has been scheduled for spending cuts. We are halting at lower than scheduled levels production of the F-22 fighter, whose brilliant advanced design is intended to assure American control of the skies for decades to come. The administration also seems to be scaling back missile defense, which could protect friends and allies from nuclear attack and over time might discourage nuclear proliferation…

We also may be at risk of squandering our high-tech advantage in medicine. As Scott Atlas of the Hoover Institution points out, the top five American hospitals conduct more clinical trials than all the hospitals in all other developed countries. America has outpointed all other countries combined in Nobel Prizes for medical and physiology since 1970.

American theoretical health research financed by the National Institutes of Health and by American market-oriented pharmaceutical companies outshines the rest of the world combined. And the rest of the world tends to get the benefits at cut rates… 

Pharmaceutical companies that produce benefits for patients and consumers get the profits that support their research disproportionately from Americans, because other countries refuse to spend much more than the cost of producing pills, which is trivial next to the huge cost of research and regulatory approval. Getting these free riders to pay more is, again, Sisyphus’s work.

The Democratic health care bills threaten to undermine innovation in pharmaceuticals and medical technologies by sending those with private insurance into a government insurance plan that would be in a position to ration treatment and delay or squelch innovation. The danger is that we will freeze medicine in place and no longer be the nation that produces innovations that do so much for us and the rest of the world.

Biochemical truths are not politically correct 0

Looking after our health and getting medical treatment when we need it is our own responsibility, like getting food, clothes and shelter, and should not be the business of the government. Now medical research finds that treatment for many diseases needs to be  tailor-made for individuals, and ethnicity and gender can make a difference.

Peter W Huber writes (read his whole article here):

No privacy-protecting, discrimination-banning law, no promise that someone else will pay, will ensure that a drug that suits others will suit your genetic profile too… 

This is where diversity blather gives way to the rigorous diversity science that’s taking over the medical show. Drugs supply almost all the real health care these days, because human hands are too big to grapple with the microscopic things that cause most of our problems. Eugenic drugs reflect how biochemically separate and unequal people are. Some, indeed, target genes that track sex, race, or ethnicity; their FDA licenses affirm truths unmentionable in polite society and approve conduct illegal in every other sphere of commerce and public life. All are terrible news for anyone determined to pull people together, pool medicine’s costs, equalize its benefits, and lose diversity in the crowd. The doctors of equity promise universal access to the Mayo Clinic, where the real doctors now brew discriminatory cures and card your genes at the door…

The patient’s chemistry matters as much as the drug’s. Americans are biochemically diverse. Only so much can be learned at the Mayo Clinic; the rest has to be learned from patients whose chemistries weren’t invited to the trial. Trying to invite them all leads to quagmire and stifles learning before it begins. Getting from where we are now to universal care at the pharmacy will involve far more information than Washington can ever hope to assimilate.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 27, 2008

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