David Gray There are plenty of quacks out there that feed on the fear and desperation of others on so called 'medical treatments'. Michael Suede pointed out how Stanislaw Burzynski is being unfairly treated because he has a 'cancer cure' that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, isn't covered by insurance, and has no scientific backing. In Suede's world, there would be plenty more Burzynski's out there. The FDA doesn't prevent this from happening, but getting rid of the FDA would signal a free for all for any con-artist out there with some medical knowledge.
David Gray Again, if he had the cure to cancer people would be lining up for it and the FDA couldn't do anything to stop it. The point is he doesn't. He's a scam artist with no proof his 'medicine' works.
David Gray Michael, if this guy had a cure to cancer he wouldn't need approval from the FDA or recommendations from doctors. People would be kicking down his doors for the cure. In reality this guy is nothing more than a con artist with a medical degree.
David Gray Great article Alison! Funny how a random remark I made about the FDA spawned such rapid commentary. There are somethings that government should be involved in and the people should have a say about. I don't want pharm companies sending their data to an independent agency that doesn't answer to anyone other than their stockholders to approve a drug for sale. I want that data to go to our government, where I have a stake, for approval. Does the FDA need reform? Absolutely. Most experts agree that acetaminophen would never pass FDA muster today and is only on the market because it was grandfathered in. I don't know about you, but Tylenol has helped me a lot of times, so I don't understand how a simple drug such as that couldn't get approved today. That needs to change. Just because that needs to change though doesn't mean we need to abolish the FDA and send their job to the private sector to someone with a profit motive. There are other things that motivate people other than profit.
David Gray Its not all about profit motive Max. Some people are actually concerned about other people's lives and how a drug could help or hurt other people. Profit is not the only motivator in modern society.
David Gray Another reason why, as I have said before the FDA should be entirely reformed or completely removed and replaced. But not by a private sector counterpart! I want a say in what drugs are approved for general use by the public.
David Gray "And why can't a 3rd party do the same thing? Why *must* it be done by Gov.?" Because I want a say in what happens and what drugs are approved. If this is left to private entities, I no longer have a say.
David Gray The government has the ability to tackle massive projects with massive funding requirements that the private sector was unable to accomplish on their own. See NASA in the 1960s and the building of the interstate system in the 1950s.
David Gray There are other problems with the magnitude of hoops one must go through to get a drug to pass FDA approval. That is why I believe the whole system needs to be reformed and brought into the modern era. Drugs like tylenol used today by millions that were grandfathered in would never pass approval today. That is a big problem.
David Gray Medicine isn't always as simple as a product that can prove to be defective within a certain time period. Often times someone can take a drug for years and slowly over time the drug could be killing them or making them more susceptible to another form of illness or medical condition.
David Gray The proliferation of the mortgage backed security and the resulting fall of the entire financial market because of their lack of oversight was a result financial firms buying and selling them like wild cakes (see Bear Stearns).
David Gray No faulty assumption. I want a say in how drug manufacturers development and market drugs to me. I can't have that without government involvement. Handing this over to the private sector would be one of the worst decisions I can comprehend in modern times. There are just some things the government should have its hand in. I agree that the FDA is bloated. I even suggested it should be replaced entirely. Just not with a private sector counterpart.
David Gray They get the information provided to them from the banks that put the crap together in the same way the FDA gets product information and testing protocols. It's not apples to oranges. It's the same thing.
David Gray We have to have some way to regulate medication. Especially considering many times it takes years or decades before we discover that something was detrimental to ones health. Otherwise any quack could market low dose cyanide saying it cures cancer. I do agree that the FDA needs a massive overhaul. It may need such an overhaul that it should completely be dissolved and we should start from scratch. But I do not believe for one second that we would be better off without the government regulating medication as a whole. Leaving that job to the private sector would be bad news bears!
David Gray I think we are dancing around each other with the SS debate, so I'm gonna leave it where it stands. Population and tax rate change... Does that mean you believe we can no longer have labor participation rates in the 50s and maintain around 18% revenue to GDP? I don't believe that for one second!
David Gray A complete overhaul of the way the FDA regulates up to and including the possibility of shutting the FDA down and replacing with a new agency, I could support. Shutting it down and leaving it to the private sector? No thank you. The private sector is no better at regulating entities and no more corrupt than the government. At least a government agency must answer to public pressure. Private entities do not. Want proof? Look no further than the rating agencies that rated all of the bad investments that got our banks into trouble and helped lead to the financial meltdown as A+ investments.
David Gray Boomers moving into SS doesn't = any more people in SS than we have already planned and budgeted out. We already know they are going into the system. You cannot create a new Boomer out of thin air. They are already born and well on their way to retirement! I disagree that a lower labor pool means less taxes. Look at the tax tables through history. When the labor pool was in the 50s, we collected much more than we do today, respective to GDP. That means labor force isn't a good indicator of tax revenue. We can and have collected plenty of revenue as a percent of GDP when the labor pool was much, much lower. One of the things that is indisputable is that we are collecting far too little taxes and spending way too much money respective to GDP. We have to raise revenues and cut spending across the board, which means tax reform and entitlement reform. Both of those things are needed sooner rather than later.
David Gray That's just it. Getting Boomers onto SS doesn't add to the costs because we have already accounted for them to go onto SS. Reform will have to happen. I believe the last time it happened was in the 80s. The clock is ticking for another big deal to happen along the same lines. It will happen because it must. As far as companies holding onto more experienced people. I don't necessarily even mean that. Many Boomers are taking menial jobs to help pay the bills that would otherwise be held by younger generations. That is what I am getting at. It was one of the reasons why job growth during the Great Depression was awful. The introduction of SS helped solve that problem then. Once the economy gets back in swing, I would expect more and more Boomers that are still working but would rather retire if they could, will go into retirement and thus lowering the labor force even further. Again I ask. Is a lower labor force participation rate a bad thing? If you believe so, why?
David Gray No assumption needed. The first of the Baby Boomers just started to reach retirement age. That is what I am talking about. Do you know why they are called 'Boomers'? There are more of them than other generations. Future budgets for SS already factor in Boomers going on the program so the costs aren't going to go up. SS costs are solvent for most Boomers until they die. The program will be restructured before a single Boomer would lose any benefits and even when it is restructured, it is doubtful someone already on SS will see their benefits cut. So what we are talking about restructuring doesn't even factor Boomers into the equation. One of the problems with the job market today is that many Boomers are holding onto jobs instead of retiring when expected. Those are the ones I am talking about. I would expect that when they do finally decide to enter retirement that the labor force will drop even more. The current rate of decline is just the beginning.