Too much of the Biden administration now comes down to self-righteous compassion and fiddle-faddle analysis without a hint of wisdom, or even of common sense. A recent example – with more to be reviewed – is an absurd decision to strip U.S. pharmaceutical companies of a patent that, like so many others, protects their accomplishments, profits and lives all over the world.
The point is to deny them intellectual property rights for their creation of vaccines shielding people from COVID-19 infection so that other entities can produce them free of cost. Supposedly, this move will alleviate misery in countries such as India right now suffering mightily. The truth is these countries could actually suffer more as a consequence.
It’s hard to watch TV news, see Indian heartache and not want to help in some way or the other, but means of meaningful assistance have been in the works. After years of assiduous study of vaccines and technical conquest, drug companies in the United States are gushing with wondrously effective anti-coronavirus doses ever closer to availability for overseas rescue. It’s reported the firms had been establishing foreign partnerships that could chip in with proper guidance.
What we did not need was a president exerting powers he does not have. Patent laws should be and have been up to Congress, and this autocrat’s announced deal with the World Trade Organization will deliver intellectual property to foreign producers for free so that they can fumble while robbing pharmaceutical masters.
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Even though consumers will never quit complaining about high drug prices, understand that our competitive, free-market system has incentivized more health-enhancing, life-saving drug discoveries than in any other nation anywhere. Yes, some companies have crossed the line just as most have been squeezed into higher prices through the established bureaucratic principle of regulatory miscalculation.
What we’re now talking about is weakening the rights that spur innovation and make us great. Let’s see what happens as Moderna and Pfizer stock shares plummet and other companies worry about similar mistreatment now and in the future. Regressive progressives will tell us how anti-capitalist aspirations solve all problems eventually. Actually, when you substitute punishment for rewards due medicinal heroes and their humanistic visions, you are more likely to kill people.
As another example of miswrought sympathy, now consider how Biden and congressional buddies whooped it up for at least a $300 federal addition to state unemployment insurance checks, making it just maybe more profitable to stay home, sip some beer and watch TV instead of searching out jobs among the 7.4 million increase in them a couple of months ago.
In March, virus-plagued Americans snapped up 916,000 employment opportunities with the expert expectation that, in April, they would grab a million. Instead, they took 266,000, a real letdown that could also relate to fears of infection, the kinds of jobs most available and lack of necessary skills, for example. But here is what you should not suppose – that the Biden trillions aimed at socialist delight won’t decrease enthusiasm for long commutes, possibly dicey bosses or even the pride, dignity and independence of providing socially and economically crucial products and services.
Meanwhile Biden has plans to pay for at least some of all the government spending, debt increases and printed money backed up by undue optimism. Even putting aside legalistic loophole research, the cost will be strains on wages and new jobs. Prices will get higher as we get ever closer to equality of hardship.
Compassion needs a compass.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Email email@example.com.