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No Plunder

Here’s a letter that I sent today to the Director of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis:

Dear Sir or Madam:

I received your e-mail encouraging me to ask my representatives in Congress to vote for H.R. 6567, which would “increase federal research funding for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.”

Even though in March IPF killed my dear mother, I cannot join your crusade for more taxpayer funding to fight this horrible disease.  Congress does not conjure resources from thin air; any resources devoted to finding a cure for IPF must be taken from some other use – and there’s no reason to suppose that Congress can judge better than private individuals how best to use resources.  Who’s to say that resources taken by government from the private sector to support IPF research would not yield even greater long-term benefits by being left in the private sector?  Perhaps resources devoted to IPF research would otherwise have been used to cure leukemia or to develop an automobile engine powered by water.

More importantly, being touched tragically by that disease gives me no moral claim to have Congress, in my name, take resources from other people.  I can, and do, ask people to voluntarily fund IPF research.  I cannot, and will not, support any effort to force them to do so.

Donald J. Boudreaux