Re: More Green Party

From: Bryan Moss (
Date: Fri Jun 30 2000 - 12:12:49 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:

> > I don't think it's too presumptuous of me to suggest
> > that the thriving US biotech industry is due in no small
> > part to the lack of a government monopoly in health
> > care.
> This might possibly be so. Then again, I see in the papers
> that the cures to flu and HIV infection have been
> developed by Australian labs. They have then been sold to
> the people with the most money, but brilliant innovation
> hasn't been noticeably stifled. Australians, pitiful
> victims of raging socialism though we are, developed in
> vitro technology and a lot of the fundamental work in
> immunology.

I'm not just talking about the sort of innovations we see in
university labs; perhaps more immediately important are the
ones that simply reduce costs or make some treatment
slightly more effective and therefore more available. This
is the sort of work usually done by the private sector.
(Not to mention incubating and distributing the innovations
that do come out of university labs.) Overall I would tend
to agree that innovation isn't being stifled - it may even
be helped, I find it difficult to come up with convincing
argument that a lot of "pure" research would get done
without public funding - but biotech and other industries
don't thrive on innovation alone.

I don't know how much privately funded research is being
done in Australia, but in Britain, where we are also victims
of raging socialism (not to mention "draconian" gun laws),
we have quite a few biotech start-ups and so on. However, I
get the impression that they're fairly reliant on the US for
money, which is why I'd be worried about the US adopting a
health care system similar to ours.

Elsewhere you mentioned a "guaranteed income floor" and
other similar measures; it occurred to me that I'd only
really be comfortable applying my earlier argument to health
care and other more direct forms of welfare that negatively
impact their markets. I could probably form an argument
that a guaranteed income would impact the "labour market"
but I think the issue is far more involved.

> It's a complex issue.

At the moment we have a number of nations taking a number of
different approaches, and I think that's our safest bet.


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