≡ Menu

Some Links

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Charley Hooper and David Henderson are appropriately blunt: “The Inflation Reduction Act gives the government the ability to ‘negotiate’ prices. People will die.” Two slices:

The Inflation Reduction Act has eight provisions intended to reduce future drug prices. Some observers were surely pleased that Congress gave the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services new powers to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. They shouldn’t have been. The Inflation Reduction Act won’t noticeably reduce inflation and it will do little or nothing to lower the cost of healthcare. Forcing drug companies to charge lower prices will likely lead to fewer new drugs.

Virtually no products are more valuable than the modern medicines produced by the biopharmaceutical industry. They cure diseases and extend lives. We’ve all heard that Americans pay higher drug prices than people in other countries. That’s true, but only when comparing retail prices of brand-name drugs. Very few Americans pay retail prices; most pay a fraction—a copay dictated by their insurance plan. Most country-to-country comparisons also leave out generics. Nine of 10 prescriptions in the U.S. are filled with generic drugs priced lower than in most other countries.


Even though the U.S. shoulders the lion’s share of global pharmaceutical R&D costs, Americans get a great deal. New drugs are a fantastic investment for humanity, and Americans benefit as much as everyone else. Whether to accept that deal and get a good outcome or reject the deal and get a worse outcome should be an easy decision. Before Congress attacks drug prices again, it should account for the tremendous value of the products that originate from this amazing yet maligned industry and consider the possibility that the U.S. will be shooting itself in the foot if it tries to imitate more-restrictive governments.

Americans’ health is being put in peril also by the FDA, as explained here by Martin Cullip.

Also writing in the Wall Street Journal is Ward Connerly, who urges us to recover the ideal, as expressed by JFK, that “Race has no place in American life or law.” A slice:

America has come a long way since 1939, when I was born in Jim Crow Louisiana. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925, which required federal contractors to take “affirmative action” to ensure that employees wouldn’t be discriminated against because of race, creed, color or national origin. It wasn’t meant to discriminate against formerly favored groups. “Race has no place in American life or law,” JFK said.

Martin Luther King Jr. believed Kennedy’s order was insufficient to achieve integration, and he lobbied President Lyndon B. Johnson to strengthen affirmative action. After Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, LBJ signed Executive Order 11246 on Sept. 24, 1965, firmly establishing that nondiscrimination in employment would be the law of our land.

Yet this strategy to prevent discrimination ended up driving discrimination against whites and Asians in education—all in the name of “diversity.” That’s a word I rarely heard before I began my 12-year term as a regent of the University of California in 1993, but I heard repeatedly until my departure in 2005. It wasn’t a description but a goal, something we were expected to make a conscious effort to “build.”

As I delved into this new world of building diversity, it became apparent that given the profound disparities in academic achievement, diversity could be achieved only by applying different standards. Wasn’t that discrimination—a violation of the 14th Amendment?

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy warns of the negative impact of rising interest-payment obligations on the U.S. government’s profligate indebtedness.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino, writing at National Review, explains that a rail strike in the U.S. could well cause a further rise in prices at the pump.

Richard Rahn applauds the increased economic freedom in many former communist countries.

Ralph Schoellhammer writes that “Germany is committing national suicide” by its allegiance to “an eco-obsessed elite.” A slice:

Indeed, Berlin plans to increase organic farming in Germany to approximately 30 per cent of all agriculture until 2030. As science journalist Axel Bojanowski points out, this policy would turn Germany from a self-sufficient grain producer into a net importer of grain.

This would be a disaster with global repercussions. We have already seen how Western nations’ decision to reject domestic gas exploration in favour of buying gas on the global market has driven up prices to a level only they can afford – while in developing nations like Pakistan the lights go out. Germany’s move towards organic farming, which the rest of Europe is expected to follow, will have a similar effect on the price of grain and other foodstuffs.

Jacob Sullum reports on “Biden’s sneaky censors.”

Masks are not a small thing. They’re not sensible and they’re not normal. They’re ugly, they stink, many of them are full of carcinogens, and they’re ruining our kids and our lives. It’s time to stop.”

Vinay Prasad tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

It’s especially hard to read this knowing that the AAP reversed its initial position (discussed in article) to get all kids back to school in fall of 2020, the moment Trump wanted it. AAP hated Trump more than they loved kids. Thats exactly why the organization failed kids.