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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Government: "Let Me Help To Kill You"

John Stossel has again provided a needed sobriety test to commonly-held beliefs of Americans with his 2-part series on the FDA. Nothing comes without a cost and the 12-15 year delay of drugs coming to market until the FDA finally approves it comes with a major cost. How many people die while the drug slowly makes its way through the regulatory approval process?

Stossel offers this assessment:

Some years ago, the FDA held a news conference and proudly announced, "This new heart drug we're approving will save 14,000 American lives a year!" No one stood up at the press conference to ask, "Doesn't this mean you killed 14,000 people last year -- and the year before -- by keeping it off the market?" Reporters don't think that way, but the FDA's announcement did mean that. Thousands will die this year while other therapies wait for approval.

You may want to wait. Many of us want to be absolutely sure a drug is safe before we take it. It's natural to want the "experts" to protect us. But why isn't the choice left to us? Why does the FDA get to force us to wait and, in some cases, die, when there are experimental drugs, however risky, that might save our lives?

The price of reducing all risks comes at a cost. And when our lives are in the hands of government bureaucrats rather than profit-oriented companies, the decision to delay a product to the market comes with no penalty. It is easy to deny the consumer access than to market a product with all necessary warnings.

We see the control by the bureaucrats killing people everywhere. In Africa over the past 3 decades, many millions have died and continue to die from malaria and AIDS due to the ban on spraying DDT. In countries with nationalized health-care systems people die waiting for life and death operations due to the government-induced scarcity of medical treatment.

I hold that the denial of school vouchers causes the death (slowly through the inability to be able to read and write competently) of thousands of minorities yearly. I hold that much of the 1960's welfare programs are the problem for African-Americans.

Per Walter Williams today:

What about the decline of the black family? In 1960, only 28 percent of black females between the ages of 15 and 44 were never married. Today, it's 56 percent. In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it's 70 percent. Some argue that the state of the black family is the result of the legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty. That has to be nonsense. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families, comprised of two parents and children. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households had two parents. In fact, according to Herbert Gutman in The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925, "Five in six children under the age of 6 lived with both parents." Therefore, if one argues that what we see today is a result of a legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty, what's the explanation for stronger black families at a time much closer to slavery -- a time of much greater discrimination and of much greater poverty? I think that a good part of the answer is there were no welfare and Great Society programs.

The costs you cannot see are the ones that perpetuate. Because the killers avoid blame. In fact, they feel pretty good about themselves. They get re-elected when they promise to continue and extend their programs.


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