Archive for May, 2014
Chances Are that You Have No More Expertise in Economics than You Have in Astrophysics

Although the statement is commonly attributed to Mark Twain, his friend Charles Dudley Warner was the one who said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Regardless of who said it, the statement was and remains fairly accurate. In contrast, we might observe, “Everybody complains about the economy, and a...
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Do Patients Have a “Right to Try” New Medicines Before the FDA Approves Them?

Earlier this month, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper signed the nation’s first “right to try” law. The law allows a patient suffering from a disease, for which no medicine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to try an experimental new medicine before the agency approves it. The law allows, but does...
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For John Kerry, Where He Stands Depends on Where He Sits

Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry told Chuck Todd today on MSNBC: “Edward Snowden is a coward. He is a traitor. And he has betrayed his country.” Snowden gave documents to journalists that revealed the scope and reach of unconstitutional spying by the federal government on American citizens. Today Kerry also told CBS...
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How Valuable Is a Federal Grant?

Sometimes, a federal grant is worthless. The federal government has the ability to attach enough costly provisions to its grants that the net value is less than zero. A recent case in my home town of Tallahassee illustrates this. The Tallahassee Democrat, May 21, page A1 (sorry, no link because a subscription is required)...
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Once Again, Government Displaces Real Aid

The history of the growth of government is riddled with government programs driving out well-functioning arrangements for the private provision of assistance and social services, including welfare, healthcare and hospital services, unemployment assistance, disaster relief and more. So it should come as no surprise that now Obamacare is doing the same. As reported in...
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Using Marketable Vouchers to Speed Up Drug Approvals

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new drug for leishmaniasis, an extremely rare disease which is spread by sand flies in poor countries. Why would a for-profit company invest in inventing a drug for which there is no way to make a profit? The FDA offers a prize to any firm that...
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Big Pharma, Trial Lawyers, and Harry Reid Kill Patent Reform

Now that the smoke has cleared after the collapse of efforts to push patent litigation reform legislation through Congress, pundits are busy discussing just what happened. The President and members of both parties agreed that some reform was necessary. Reform legislation seemed to be a sure thing. Sources close to the negotiations on reform indicate...
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Common Core: Raising the Bar-barians

“Barbarians at the gate.” That’s what Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called opponents of Common Core national standards earlier this month. His remarks are symptomatic of just how far elected officials within and outside Arizona have strayed from our Constitution, which doesn’t even contain the word “education.” Supporters claim Common Core will...
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Stagnation Nation? High School Seniors’ Results on Nation’s Report Card Didn’t Budge

The U.S. Department of Education recently released grade 12 results in reading and math from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. In a nutshell, performance stayed largely unchanged from the 2009 assessment. What’s more, experts worry that students are graduating largely unprepared for college or...
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This Memorial Day Honor Vets with Education Savings Accounts

President Obama has vowed to fix the intolerable mismanagement of Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital, which resulted in dozens of deaths and reports of patients put on secret waiting lists for care. Thankfully Arizona is not waiting around to do the right thing for veterans and their families—and neither should any other state. On April...
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