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August 13, 2009

Sheila Jackson Lee's Phony Doctor

Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) doesn't always yap into her cell phone when citizens try to get through to her at town halls meetings. No doubt she listened attentively when a self-identified doctor named Roxanna Mayer voiced her support for socialized medicine. From the Houston Comical:

One supporter, Roxana Mayer, praised the reform plan for overhauling a broken system. "I don't know what there is in the bill that creates such panic," she said. Mayer identified herself as a physician who does not live in Jackson Lee's district.

But…

However, her name does not appear in the database maintained by the Texas Medical Board, which licenses all doctors in Texas. In an e-mail to the Chronicle on Thursday morning, Mayer confirmed she is not a licensed physician. "I have been advised to refrain from making any further statements," she said.

Actually, Roxanne is an aspiring social worker and — although the Comical didn't find this worth mentioning — an Obama delegate.

In short, she's as phony as cute little Julia Hall and the rest of the dog and pony show staged to distract us from the systematic destruction of our country.

Our liberal elite rulers have an Achilles heel: they really do think we're stupid.

rep-sheila-jackson-lee.jpg
Socialists like Sheila Jackson Lee want to tear down everything we've built.

On tips from SK, KT, and BURNING HOT. Hat tip: The Jawa Report.

Posted by Van Helsing at August 13, 2009 7:24 AM

Comments

one wonders what is the name for "fake" astroturf, pseudoastroturf?

Posted by: weewilly at August 13, 2009 7:33 AM

Oopsie! Another one caught out!

SJL has always been an arrogant piece of work with major entitlement issues. She has been embarrassing Houstonians for a looooong time. But we can't seem to shake her - her district is filled with like-minded individuals. (Yes, even Texas has a few.)

Posted by: Jules at August 13, 2009 7:48 AM

And that surprises me, Jules. Is there really no hope? Even a blue dog on the horizon?

Posted by: Karin at August 13, 2009 8:45 AM

Video: ObamaCare fans take Astroturfing to a new level; Mayer an OFA organizer

Video: ObamaCare fans take Astroturfing to a new level; Mayer an OFA organizer

Posted by: J at August 13, 2009 8:53 AM

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/13/video-obamacare-fans-take-astroturfing-to-a-new-level/

Posted by: J at August 13, 2009 8:55 AM

This woman looks a little nutty and kind of familiar. Who is she? Cynthia McKinnon's long lost twin?

Posted by: sam at August 13, 2009 8:59 AM

"...distract us from the systematic destruction of our country."

There is no systematic destruction. What are you even talking about? You are bat$hit insane if you actually think moderate healthcare reforms are the end of the universe. Nobody plans to eat your grandmother's still-breathing body and burn the rest as fuel. Nobody is going to be forcesd to work as slave-labor in the abortion mines. In fact, you people are all completely bonkers.

"they really do think we're stupid"

Uh... they're right?

Seriously. If you actually think this is the end of the world, you have been listening to Glen Beck too damn much. Grow up, people.

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 9:11 AM

Meh what are the "moderate" healthcare reforms you are talking about.By the way try an original post not more of your warmed over reconstituted BS.

Posted by: Farmer Ted at August 13, 2009 9:26 AM

Isn't Jackson Lee the same idiot who went to NASA for a tour and when shown their plans for a manned mission to Mars, asked if they were going to bring Neil Armstrong's flag back?

Posted by: Refuter of Liberal Vermin at August 13, 2009 9:27 AM

Sam, who's stupid here?

You call the plan to move to a single payer system that will force out all private insurance in a few years "moderate healthcare reforms"? Now this is only what is proposed in the yet to pass house bill, but that's nothing I would call moderate.

Why do we need healthcare reform when 85% of the people in this country are happy with what they have? Oh yeah, we need another massive social program to provide for those who won't provide for themselves.

Maybe you should try a little research instead of just listening to talking points.

Posted by: James at August 13, 2009 9:53 AM

Jackson-Lee, the same idiot that takes a limousine ONE block to her office ON the taxpayers dole. So much for carbon footprint and all that crap.

Posted by: TED at August 13, 2009 9:55 AM

And then this little tidbit from HotAir:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/4r9wf

The woman was part of Obama's campaign.

Posted by: Kevin R. at August 13, 2009 10:21 AM

James, Sam didn't write that, Meh did.

Meh, telling grownups to grow up is not a persuasive argument. Why are you here?

Posted by: Karin at August 13, 2009 10:27 AM

Karin - I am here because I am damned curious about how it is there are so many people reaching such profound levels of rage over things that are not real. I do not see websites in towering psychosis over the Easter Bunny's plans to steal the world's carrots and kill us all with them... but here you are. Hence, curiosity.

It is astounding to me that people out in the great unwashed public actually think the government will kill your grandparents. Eat your limbs. Whatever. None of that is real. And just as factually, current insurers are far more interested in profit margins than providing healthcare. So you are all standing up in favor of corruption just because you happen to be sad you didnt win the most recent election. Fox and the sour grapes...

Think with me here. I want to know which of you actually thinks this is the end of the world. Show of hands.

Meh.

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 10:40 AM

here's a timeless little article that really breaks down her arrogance.....
Sheila Sucks!

Posted by: Contrarian_Libertarian at August 13, 2009 10:49 AM

Meh, Go back to your Moveon.org site and let the grownups talk. Your arrogance and disdain for an opinion that doesn't cooincide with yours is evidenced by your "great unwashed public" reference. If you don't understand the genuine concern people have with a government run health rationing system, then, well, you're a Statist. And that' a swear word in these parts.

Posted by: Contrarian_Libertarian at August 13, 2009 10:54 AM

...I am here because I am damned curious about how it is there are so many people reaching such profound levels of rage over things that are not real...


Like global warming?

Posted by: Dodger at August 13, 2009 10:57 AM

"Your arrogance and disdain for an opinion that doesn't cooincide with yours"...

My opinion is based on economic and social realities. Your opinions are based on fantasy, myth, or downright deliberate falsehood. See how those are not equivalent? Nobody has addressed the disincentives of the capitalist approach to healthcare; alll the responses are "you're dumb". So, prove it. Do the math for me. Chart the ways in which the existing system is flawlessly efficient, berefit of wasteful practices, and is incented to provide the best possible care.

Answer me honestly. Do you really think ObamaCare will result in the government killing your relatives? In Stephen Hawking being sold off as spare parts? In (whatever nonsense the FauxNews crowd is using today)?

I want to hear you say it out loud. "I think the government is coming to kill me".

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 11:13 AM

"Your arrogance and disdain for an opinion that doesn't cooincide with yours"...

My opinion is based on economic and social realities. Your opinions are based on fantasy, myth, or downright deliberate falsehood. See how those are not equivalent? Nobody has addressed the disincentives of the capitalist approach to healthcare; alll the responses are "you're dumb". So, prove it. Do the math for me. Chart the ways in which the existing system is flawlessly efficient, berefit of wasteful practices, and is incented to provide the best possible care.

Answer me honestly. Do you really think ObamaCare will result in the government killing your relatives? In Stephen Hawking being sold off as spare parts? In (whatever nonsense the FauxNews crowd is using today)?

I want to hear you say it out loud. "I think the government is coming to kill me".

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 11:14 AM

Meh if you're so damn smart why do you keep double posting?

Posted by: Farmer Ted at August 13, 2009 11:28 AM

Gah GAHHHH quick, hide the bananas!!

Posted by: Shooter1001 at August 13, 2009 11:48 AM

And just as factually, current insurers are far more interested in profit margins than providing healthcare.

There's a valid, albeit half-complete, thought in there trying to get out.

Now complete the thought: to the extent that current insurers are far more interested in profit margins than providing healthcare, what are current politicians far more interested in than providing healthcare?

And please don't attribute altruism to politicians (or indeed, anyone else, but politicians least of all). Laughing that hard is bad for the health.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at August 13, 2009 12:18 PM

I want to hear you say it out loud. "I think the government is coming to kill me".

I want to hear you say it out loud: "I think the government should make all my decisions and take care of my every need, because they know best."

Posted by: Jay Guevara at August 13, 2009 12:22 PM

Profits = Innovation.

Obama administration actually spoke of SLOWING innovation to cut costs... Idiocy by any definition.

Your government-run system will give no incentives to develop new drugs.

Find the window that is nearest to you (preferably a few-story drop)... yeah, you know what to do. K thx.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 12:23 PM

Ok, here's a little example for you.

Let's say a drug takes $10B (research and design).
Drugs take years to develop so let's say it takes 10 years to develop this drug.
That equates to ($10B/10years) = $1B / year. Still with me? I know these numbers are hard to comprehend.

Ok, patents are very short-lived and, on a breakthrough, these companies (with reason) seek patents early.
Let's say the patent is 20 years (not sure of the exact number for private production but I think I overestimated).

Now, let's say they got the patent in the 5th year of development. Therefore, 5 years of the patent would be wasted during R&D.

Therefore, they have 10 years to recoup their costs... right? Let's say this drug, over those 10 years, treats 50,000 people (and that is a HORRRRRRRRIBLY gross over-exaggeration which makes this example even scarier).

$10B ($10,000,000,000) / 50,000 (people) = $200,000 per case. Sounds expensive, right? And to think, that only BREAKS EVEN.

By that time (breaking even), generic drug companies can go into mass production, thus MASSIVELY lowering the cost of the drug without having to put forth any of the initial R&D. Therefore, the incentive to actually be the initial developer is gone.

Imagine if that drug would've failed FDA approval and was scrapped. There goes $10B ($10,000,000,000). Those costs HAVE to be recouped by some means. Therefore, the next drug they develop will have to cost more... as you can see, this snowballs.

The fact of the matter is, you are ignorant to reality. What makes it even scarier is that your "superiors" (elitist pricks) are pushing to have the patent times REDUCED. Thus, they'd have LESS time to recoup the R&D costs.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 12:37 PM

And that goes to show that profits are ABSOLUTELY necessary to drive innovation. These products don't just magically appear, free of cost.

So you can go back to your fantasyland of rainbows, sunshines, and lollipops where you expect everything to be handed to you without understanding how things came to be.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 12:39 PM

"Meh if you're so damn smart why do you keep double posting?

Yeah sorry about that folks. Crappy office internet connection results in strange refresh errors from time to time. Such is life.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 12:57 PM

"I think the government should make all my decisions and take care of my every need, because they know best."

I trust insurance companies 0% of the time to do what is best for the health of a patient. They openly admit that they do not do so. It is all about the benjamins. The government would NOT be motivated by profit. See how that is a different set of inputs for the equation? (You don't, do you...?)

I notice nobody has said it out loud... So we can all agree that it is nonsense when Bible Spice says on TV that your grandma is doomed to be eaten? Impressive. We are making progress...

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 1:03 PM

Anon @ 12:57 -

First off, I am talking about insurers, not drug companies. But, if I must: 2nd (and see if you can follow me here) the for-profit model COMPLETELY removes the incentive to CURE diseases. Treatment makes $ with every dose every day for a lifetime. Cure it, and you only get paid once. What was the last disease CURED by Big Pharma?

What if instead of a pure-profit motivation, we incented based on IMPROVING HUMANITY? There would be less incentive to make boner pills for the old folks, but curing actual diseases would suddenly happen again. Smallpox was quite awhile ago, folks. And we anti-religious secular humanists are supposed to be less interested in such altruism. The jesus freaks should be leading that charge... right?

I have tried to make you see how the raw economics of healthcare are such that it is one of few industries where the capitalist framework collapses.

Someday, one of you will address that directly, please... anyone? care to take a stab at actually backing up your loud noises with some logic?

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 1:17 PM

The government would NOT be motivated by profit.

Which guarantees that fraud and abuse of the system will drive the costs to many times the $1 Trillion already calculated... which we already cannot afford.

Remember Dear Leader citing the post office as an example of government competing with private enterprise... last I heard, the USPS has lost $9 billion in the second quarter, and was looking to close 1,000 branches and end Saturday delivery. Great example, chief.

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at August 13, 2009 1:19 PM

trust insurance companies 0% of the time to do what is best for the health of a patient. They openly admit that they do not do so. It is all about the benjamins.

And I trust the government -1% of the time to do what is best for the health of a patient.

The government would NOT be motivated by profit.

No, it wouldn't. But here's my question to you: what would it be motivated by? Please do answer this question: it is the crux of the matter.

See how that is a different set of inputs for the equation? (You don't, do you...?)

Of course. But when you answer the question above, you'll realized that there are worse inputs than the profit motive. Much, much worse.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at August 13, 2009 1:20 PM

Meh I addressed your BS health insurance providers are evil in another post go find it if you're so damn smart.

Posted by: Farmer Ted at August 13, 2009 1:22 PM

Meh, read.. Anonymous @ 12.37.

It is true you don't understand... anything.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 1:34 PM

But, if I must: 2nd (and see if you can follow me here) the for-profit model COMPLETELY removes the incentive to CURE diseases. Treatment makes $ with every dose every day for a lifetime. Cure it, and you only get paid once.

Meh, please. Don't be willfully obtuse, and spare us the leftist comic book version of economics. I have worked in pharma, and consult for it now. You overlook ...well, it's a long list...but let's hit some high points:

1. Pharma researchers, executives, and their loved ones get sick too. (Yes!) They'd rather like to have their diseases cured, if they could. Making "profits" (boo!) doesn't make you feel good when you're burying a family member, or do you much good when you yourself are dying.

2. I'm embarrassed even to have to point this out, but there is a small but noticeable incentive to cure a disease if you can do it. Get a Nobel Prize, be set for life, hug it out with Jerry Lewis on a telethon? No sir. Not for us that Jonas Salk thing. Spare us the accolades, the trips to the White House, the ticker tape parades. We have the cures, of course, but we'd much rather toil anonymously in the lab until we drop. So we have to bury family members? A small price to pay to keep the stock riding high.

3. You grossly overestimate our knowledge of disease, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, systems biology, pharmacodynamics, and physiology, to name a few things. We only wish we had the knowledge to finetune drugs so exquisitely as you imagine.

4. The boner pills for old folks did not result from directed research. They were discovered serendipitously during work on a cardiac drug (not so frivolous an undertaking, yes?) when the drug was administered in Phase I clinical trials to healthy young male volunteers (as is usual – no menstrual cycles to potentially confound pharmacokinetics, no chance of pregnancy, in case the stuff turns out to be teratogenic) and the nurses taking blood got quite a shock.

5. The "curing actual diseases would actually happen again" comment frankly bespeaks profound ignorance, to be blunt (and not to give offense). Smallpox was quite awhile ago, but polio, not so much. Polio has been cured in my lifetime. I had measles as a child. It's virtually unknown today. Rubella – gone. Tuberculosis – gone. Syphilis – gone. Gonorrhea – gone. (Although the fags are doing their best to keep them alive.) Tetanus – gone. Ulcers – gone.

Note that these diseases are all infectious: they result from bacterial or viral infections. Viral infections are very difficult to treat (because the virus hijacks the host's metabolic machinery, so it is difficult to distinguish a healthy cell from an infected one), and therefore are better prevented by vaccines, to sensitize the immune system to fight them. AIDS has resisted efforts to develop a vaccine because it mutates so rapidly. Influenza vaccines depend on guessing which distinct strain wll be the problem in any given flu season.

In contrast, most diseases facing us now are degenerative. Cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's syndrome do not result from an infective agent, but rather from...living long enough to get them. There's no invading organism to fight off. Those are very tough diseases to "cure." In fact, there may well never be a "cure" for any of them. Imagine trying to design a pill that targeted, say, the knee, but didn't hit anything else (where it would necessarily exert unwanted side effects). That's the problem pharma is dealing with.

Other diseases we face are genetic. Cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs, muscular dystrophy, to name a few. Pretty tough to "cure," since the "cure" would entail...messing with the genome. (No unanticipated side effects there!) What about stem cells? They are undifferentiated or incompletely differentiated cells that can grow into anything. Great. Of course, that's kind of describes cancer cells, too. Uh oh.

Bottom line: we've cured the easy diseases, and we're left now with tough ones. The government won't do one jot better than pharma now, and almost certainly will do a lot lot worse. Stand in line at DMV if you doubt this.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at August 13, 2009 1:57 PM

I wonder if it is illegal to publicly impersonate a physician in TX?

Posted by: Viking04 at August 13, 2009 1:58 PM

Thank God (and algore) for the Internet!

Posted by: Morris at August 13, 2009 2:01 PM

"No, it wouldn't. But here's my question to you: what would it be motivated by? Please do answer this question: it is the crux of the matter."

Dude that's the whole freaking point. If we remove the 'answerable-to-the-bottom-line' from the equation, then individuals (researchers, surgeons, whatever) can start doing what is GOOD instead of what is PROFITABLE.

Am I the only person on earth who thinks that doctors, when removed from the 'dollar-dollar-bills-y'all' mentality, will genuinely just go out and help people? That's kinda the point of that whole Hippocratic Oath thing, as I recall...

What the shit, guys? I thought us atheist lefties were supposed to be the ones who didn't believe in humanity.

Healthcare is the one industry that should just have a blank check from the government. Think you can cure a disease? Give that man a research lab. Why not? What the hell do you care? We spend $11 gazillion on worthless F-22's... I'd rather see that $ doing something like curing diseases. Or whitening teeth in your sleep. Whatever. As long as it is useful to the average American. Innovation PROSPERS when you remove the disinventive for creqating everything except pills you have to take everyday.

Who gets it? Who can follow me?

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 2:02 PM

The government would NOT be motivated by profit.

That's a good thing, is it?
Then why would anybody take a risk to develop a new drug? Or do anything more than absolutely necessary?
If there are no filthy capitalist profits then bonus' and salary increases (rewards for hard work) can't be paid. We'll all work our asses off to break even then? All nice and equal. Right!
Why would I work harder than you? I'll make the same anyway? Matter of fact, fuck you, I'm leaving early today, big shipment of vodka at the gov't store.

Now if I get to buttfuck the hopeychangey unicorn after work, maybe I'll unload a few more crates. Just today though.

Posted by: Shooter1001 at August 13, 2009 2:05 PM

Jay -

Damn. That was good. Hmmmm..... Interesting. But still, I think a giant infusion of capital, added to the removal of the disincentiove to look into less-valuable research branches certainly can't hurt... Dunno. Need to do more reading. Will catch up w/ you next time.

(See guys - This is exactly what I am looking for. Well-supported, well written argument from a factual basis but from the other team's perspective. And just as I was losing all hope... thanks JG. Good man.)

Posted by: "Meh" at August 13, 2009 2:07 PM

You do realize that a member of Obamadinejad's administration vowed AGAINST the Hippocratic Oath?

Facts be-damned.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 2:14 PM

I'll post this again since you don't seem to pay attention.

Ok, here's a little example for you.

Let's say a drug takes $10B (research and design).
Drugs take years to develop so let's say it takes 10 years to develop this drug.
That equates to ($10B/10years) = $1B / year. Still with me? I know these numbers are hard to comprehend.

Ok, patents are very short-lived and, on a breakthrough, these companies (with reason) seek patents early.
Let's say the patent is 20 years (not sure of the exact number for private production but I think I overestimated).

Now, let's say they got the patent in the 5th year of development. Therefore, 5 years of the patent would be wasted during R&D.

Therefore, they have 10 years to recoup their costs... right? Let's say this drug, over those 10 years, treats 50,000 people (and that is a HORRRRRRRRIBLY gross over-exaggeration which makes this example even scarier).

$10B ($10,000,000,000) / 50,000 (people) = $200,000 per case. Sounds expensive, right? And to think, that only BREAKS EVEN.

By that time (breaking even), generic drug companies can go into mass production, thus MASSIVELY lowering the cost of the drug without having to put forth any of the initial R&D. Therefore, the incentive to actually be the initial developer is gone.

Imagine if that drug would've failed FDA approval and was scrapped. There goes $10B ($10,000,000,000). Those costs HAVE to be recouped by some means. Therefore, the next drug they develop will have to cost more... as you can see, this snowballs.

The fact of the matter is, you are ignorant to reality. What makes it even scarier is that your "superiors" (elitist pricks) are pushing to have the patent times REDUCED. Thus, they'd have LESS time to recoup the R&D costs.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 2:15 PM

How easy it is to say that 'answerable to the bottom line' should be taken out, but what does the same bunch say about tort reform or loser pays? That always brings up a big 'WHOA NELLIE' from the Left.

Profit out, have Harvard Med School drop tuition to Community College Level.

Profit out, a vote for this plan should lock that Congresscritter into using the government plan for the rest of his or her natural life. In fact, let's let Ted Kennedy beta test it. Would the new plan have allowed him to fly to Duke for treatment? Let the rich Dems lead by example.

Posted by: Viking04 at August 13, 2009 2:28 PM

Meh

you really should get in touch with this chick! I think you ans she will be in tune and maybe she can even give you some help on resolving this health care issue!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5oVzbwYWpg&feature=player_embedded

Big hooters too!

Posted by: Shooter1001 at August 13, 2009 2:37 PM

Dude that's the whole freaking point. If we remove the 'answerable-to-the-bottom-line' from the equation, then individuals (researchers, surgeons, whatever) can start doing what is GOOD instead of what is PROFITABLE

Am I the only person on earth who thinks that doctors, when removed from the 'dollar-dollar-bills-y'all' mentality, will genuinely just go out and help people?

Yes, actually I believe you are. Nothing against doctors, but they've got to make a living too. Can't pay the rent with that feel-good stuff. Pay them minimum wage, and see how many "just go out and help people." How many physicians – e.g., anesthiologists - have left medicine because after paying malpractice insurance premiums they can't make enough money to make it worth their while?

Why would you expect doctors to be any more altruistic than insurance company execs? Even leftist agitators (per the recent ads on Craig's List) expect to be paid for their "work." Do you work for free?

And to be clear, my question...

But here's my question to you: what would it be motivated by? Please do answer this question: it is the crux of the matter."

...referred to the government, not the doctors. You'd said the insurance companies were motivated by profit. Absolutely true. My question (I apologize for the ambiguity) was what would the government be motivated by?

I think the answer is votes, and thereby, power. For my money (pun intended), I'd rather have someone motivated to continue keeping me happy so he can make a profit. Once the government gets power, there's no recourse. Lefties often rail against "corporations," but appear to recognize that the government, too, is a corporation (i.e., a legal construct that treats a group of people as though it were an individual – i.e., had corporeal form, hence the term "corporation.") Moreover, the government is not just another corporation, but a monopoly, and one that, unlike any other corporation, has means of coercion (police, courts, prisons, military, and of course, taxes). Give Microsoft an army, police force, prisons, and the ability to tax, and you've got a small, relatively weak government.

That's the concern. Right now, you're thinking of Obama in charge, and everything is sweetness and light. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a religous fundamentalist were elected in 2012, and decided that government healthcare would not pay for abortions, or for AIDS drugs, because AIDS patients had brought this on themselves, and had the votes in Congress to impose his views. Then what? Do you see the problem? Now, because the government is involved, healthcare is necessarily politicized. Who gets what care is decided by who's got the electoral and/or organizing muscle. Right now we spend wildly disproportionate sums on research for AIDS and breast cancer, relative to their incidence. Why? Because pressure groups distort the spending priorities for research.

You're probably thinking that, well, private insurance companies would still exist. (Suddenly, they're not so bad.) But how confident are you of this? Government-subsidized healthcare could easily run them out of business, if it chose to; how can anyone compete with such an unlevel playing field? What would stop the government from taxing, legislating, or regulating them out of business?

Maybe the government wouldn't do that – now. But it might, someday. And that day might come pretty damned soon. That's why we're concerned.

Don't think the government would interfere with private business to advance its political agenda? That will come as good news to holders of GM secured debt. That's what they thought too.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at August 13, 2009 3:40 PM

Healthcare is the one industry that should just have a blank check from the government.

You lost me there. No one should have a blank check (except me, of course). Blank checks guarantee waste, by which I mean a misallocation of resources. (Except in my case, again; I'd spend it wisely, on beer, women, and cars.) Subprime mortgage holders essentially got a blank check. GM got a blank check. That money is gone. Nothing to show for it except...debt.

Think you can cure a disease? Give that man a research lab. Why not? What the hell do you care?

Let's analyze this statement. Resources – time, money, lab space, equipment, reagents, researchers – are all finite. That means that allocating them to one purpose prevents their allocation to another. Economics is basically the study of outcomes as a function of the allocation of resources. There is a point beyond which spending on anything achieves diminishing returns.

Innovation PROSPERS when you remove the disinventive for creqating everything except pills you have to take everyday.

Innovation prospers when potential innovators see that success might benefit them personally. Doing research is hard. Very hard. And very frustrating, too. I used to tell my grad students that if 10% of their ideas actually worked, they were doing very well indeed. Testing an idea takes a lot of time and effort, and generally ends in disappointment. (Grad students who were easily discouraged invariably quit.)

Drug research is all that, and expensive as hell into the bargain, and risky to boot. Consider Pfizer's torceptatrib , a cholesterol-lowering drug that crashed and burned in Phase III clinical trials in 2006. Fifteen years of work (by hundreds of researchers) and $800 MM went poof! Just like that. (And that after many years of exhaustive work, with mice, rats, dogs, probably monkeys, and healthy humans, had failed to find any problems.) So when someone does run the gauntlet successfully, they expect a reward.

And don't knock once a day drugs. Consider cholesterol-lowering drugs. Most cholesterol (85%) in the body is generated metabolically; that is, we make it ourselves. Even if we could metabolism permanently – which we cannot - would you want yours changed? Would you glue light switches into the "on" position? It's kinda nice to at least have the option of undoing whatever you're doing in case you later decide it wasn't such a good idea.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at August 13, 2009 4:07 PM

the for-profit model COMPLETELY removes the incentive to CURE diseases.
Boy, you sure can tell when a liberal gets on board here; that is definitely a statement of major ignorance.

Two examples to the contrary since the pharmaceutical industry came up:
if you held in your hand right now, a pill that could CURE Alzeimer's Disease, it would be worth over $2 trillion. That is a low-ball consensus. Not a bad brass ring and that's why so many pharmaceutical companies are working toward it.

Secondly, no properly managed pharmaceutical company would put significant money (i.e., clinical trials) behind a cancer drug that does not kill 100% of detectable cancer cells in a validated preclinical model of cancer. Again, the brass ring is a chemotherapy that CUREs.

There are other examples, but those are the big profit ones.

Humanitarian/profits go hand-in-hand.
Pain drugs are a big industry and getting bigger as the world population ages; pain drugs don't cure but the research is designed to find safer and more effective pain killers without the side-effects.

To expect any kind of medical research to proceed without profit is like asking a swimmer to swim underwater without air. He'll be out of business soon. And BTW a small percentage of federal grant money is earmarked for small pharmaceutical businesses with the expressed intent that they go on from a proof-of-concept to a full-blown commercial product. These are called SBIR and STTR grants. Academic grants (RO1s, eg.) have no such expectations or conditions attached.

Man... the arrogant ignorance of liberals never fails to stun me.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2009 6:59 PM

Oops! That was me.

Posted by: Fiberal at August 13, 2009 7:01 PM

Great posts, Jay, if there's one thing lefties just consistently fail to understand is that government is the biggest and worst business of them all, with not just the ability to monopolize, but to coerce as well. For all of Meh's criticism of profit motive, he fails to acknowledge something far, far worse.

Who would you rather have to deal with - someone who has to keep delivering in order for him to keep your business, and gets to keep a portion for his hard work in keeping your business instead of losing it to someone else...

...or would you rather deal with just one 'option' (now there's an oxymoron) that has no fear of losing your business, stands over you with a big stick and the ability to put his hand in your pocket at will? For all your talk of incentive, Meh, you seem to be blind to the fact that profit drives it, because any company that achieves something cannot afford to stay where it is, it has to continue to innovate to continue to make profits in the future. It has the motivation of losing the future to someone else - government doesn't have to worry about that - it knows it has you for life, no matter how badly it delivers.

Furthermore, capitalism more closely resembles democratic ideas in principle, because the market gets to 'vote' on specific products and services every day. A company, for example, has 10 products, 9 good, 1 terrible. The market gets to tell that company what for - specifically. But how do you decide what to do when government is the only supplier and they have 10 'products', 9 good, 1 terrible. Where do you go? How do you vote the every few YEARS you get to exercise your power in a non-specific way?

If you care about freedoms, you will NEVER advocate for an increase in government programs.

It's possible, just possible, that Obama truly believes that the basic government run model can work, in case of which he is just deluded, not evil. True believers just don't understand that the cold hard reality of economics cannot be fooled by feelgood slogans or worthy motivations alone - it has to work in its most basic form, and the fact is it just doesn't. Never has, never will.

Posted by: Stephan at August 13, 2009 9:57 PM