I tell ya - after reading this and knowing people suffering fromvarious diseases, the profit making of the pharmaceuticalindustry and the many shareholders(Can you say"Congress?") off of perpetuating suffering andsickness is disturbing and should make many more people angrierthan they are about this.
Did the pharmaceutical companies develop HIV? Do they have aninstant cure or vaccine that I haven't heard about, and they arerefusing to sell to anyone? Then how exactly are theyperpetuating suffering and sickness? And would you rather theyDIDN'T try to make money off of sick people, and instead didn'tdevelop medications?
I assume you don't mean that a government should not prefer itsown citizens over others -- which would be absurd, in my view --but instead that a government should not prefer one segment ofits citizenry to another. In that case, I agree that it shouldnot be a government goal to advantage one subset of itspopulace to the disadvantage of another -- but the practicaleffect of government's proper goals is likely to involve thecreation of some disparities. The key, in my opinion, is whereand how the lines of differentiation are drawn. For instance, itmight be totally unacceptable for the government to implementpolicies that treat people differently on account of religion,but it may be acceptable for the government to implementpolicies that treat people differently on account ofparticipation in the work force.
Socialism may not be an instant panacea, but there is no instantpanacea. But I'm not sure I understand your last point. How doessocialism provide a "gloss of do gooding," and sincewhen does socialism not require "real work"?
I generally agree with your conclusion, though I'm not quite inline with your approach. Yes, American pharma companies investhuge amounts of money, time and resources in developingtherapies for very ill people, and they deserve a fair return onthat investment. Whether any single person is capable of afraction of that development or not is irrelevant; the questionof what constitutes a fair return is open to debate, and BigPharma in the U.S. has engaged in some tactics to maximize thatreturn -- seeking to extend patents on drugs to keepless-expensive generics out of the marketplace, for instance, orseeking patent protection for natural botanical extracts -- thatare certainly open to question.
But your point also raises another quesion: When it comes to thehealth and well-being of the general populace, does one who hasgreater capacity to help also have a greater responsibility tohelp? From a pure free-market approach, the answer is no -- thegreatest good is to maximize profit/return on investment. But Ithink people have a sense that a pure free-market approach isnot as appropriate in the health care arena as it might be inthe case of "widgets" like cars or computer games.(Leaving aside the effect of patent laws on the pure free-marketapproach.)
So it is perfectly understandable, and should not be a cause forderision, that some people might think Big Pharma and its alliesin the U.S. government ought to take a different approach tomaking treatments and therapies more widely available.
Frankly that's what inspires my distaste for the movement. Youthink healthcare in the US sucks? What have you done to changeit lately?
I disagree with your summary of what's transpired in theseposts. :-)
Whatoriginated this discussion? An unequivocal claim that Brazil wasmore 'compassionate' than the US. How much more gloss in theabsence of effort do you need to see? It is not the fact of allsocialism that it requires no real work, only the fact of casualsocialists on the 'net who merrily complain and b*tch beforepiling back into their gas guzzling SUV to drive down toMcDonald's and stuff their faces. It has been my experience onthe 'net that American socialists are the single most whiney
ineffectual political group in existence. Always willing to tella company or program what they should be doing, never willing toattempt to get it done.Frankly that's what inspires my distaste for the movement. Youthink healthcare in the US sucks? What have you done to changeit lately?
"clearly a numbingly foolish idea""to say ... is simply disgusting""points back to utter incompetentcy"