Gaffs & Goofs

Limited

Yes, but we won't care
DarthFerret said:
At least he is veto'ing the newest Stem Cell legislation. All morality debates aside, don't ya think that the companies that will end up making profit off of this should foot the initial startup costs, instead of us taxpayers?
I don't agree.

Sure, it would be nice if companies would invest their money in this kind of research, but apparently it is too big a risk at the moment. Companies can only do investments that have a reasonable expectency of making profit within a limited time. So until other research lessens the risk or a company is willing to make a bigger gamble than most, the research will not be done.

But what if the research would be good for the people? What if it potentially cures diseases and lengthens lifespans? Improves the quality of life? At this point, it is the job of government to decide if they can take the risk where the companies can't, because the companies bottom line is money and governments bottom line is (or rather, should be) the quality of life of those it governs.

An added advantage to government funded research is that the results, if favorable, not only return the investment by selling the results to companies. The results are owned by the government and they can sell them to multiple companies so that more people can expand on the research. If a single company made a large investment in a risky venture, which happened to pay of, they might keep the results to themselves and only expand upon it themselves.

Besides the difference in the bottom line, it is also a fact that the government has deeper pockets than most companies, meaning that for them it is less of a risk.
 

EricBess

Active Member
Limited - The potential payoff, however, is astronomical. There are plenty of philanthropers (sp?) and people willing to take on "risky" investment opportunities without having to force the public into it.

The problem is if breakthroughs are made, someone WILL stand to make a lot of money. If you want the public to pay for the research, then you should make the results of the research widely available without someone making a killing. Unfortunately, available supply when breakthroughs are initially made usually mean that this isn't possible and wealth is typically the determining factor in prioritization.
 

Limited

Yes, but we won't care
I am just pointing out that, without government funding, the research wouldn't be done at all. So, the government should decide (or let the people decide) if this research is worth the money. In essence, they are buying an possible improvement for the quality of life.

Sure, once the government makes funding available, several companies will compete for these fundings by writing great proposals and prognostications. The government selects the one and they go with it.

I'm not entirely sure how patents and stuff work, but I can imagine there is way to get government funding and retain the rights to the results/products you create. In this case, the selected company makes a bundle. And yes, the people have helped fund their good fortune.

But this is similar to a town that decides they need to build a bridge to the other side of a river. Some construction company is going to get the contract and they'll make a bundle. It won't really compare to the profits made of patents, but they also didn't invest any of their own money and took a lot less risk. They also might get contracts for maintaining the bridge or gain the inside track to future contracts. The fact remains that the government just bought the availabilty of the bridge/the medicine for the good of its people, and the company who gets the assignment gets paid if they do the job well.

Next to that, I also believe that government-funded research can come with strings attached, forcing the company to make all results public.
 

EricBess

Active Member
I think that's where we disagree. Plenty of research goes on all the time without government funding.

I don't know a lot about stem-cell research, but it seems to me that there isn't a certainty of return. That being the case, private industry probably doesn't feel it is worth the risk.

The problems come in that the information presented to the public is never impartial and is rarely presented directly. Proponents of stem-cell research present it as a foregone conclusion that they will find the cure for cancer (perhaps not literally, but to that effect). Opponents speak about moral imperatives.

In the case of the gasoline in California, they want to force people to use their gas by bringing up environmental issues.
 

Limited

Yes, but we won't care
I didn't know there was a lot stem-cell research going on without government funding (or do you mean research in general?), but it doesn't really change my argument. More funding mean more results, which means the benefits will be reaped sooner. So now it becomes to governments job to figure out if speeding up the research is worth an X amount of money.

And of course the information we receive isn't impartial. It never is. I do wonder though.. are there arguments against stem-cell research that isn't based on morals? Also, are you guys for or against stem-cell research?
 

DarthFerret

Evil Sith Weasel
Honestly, I am against in personally for a purely moral basis, however, I am also not one for foisting my opinion onto others. As a whole, the conservative christian right is also against it. Bush is a conservative (no matter his opinion on illigal immigration), and our president, therefore this Veto shoulda been apparent.

Just a note: Bush has only exercised his presidental Veto 3 times, and two of those times have been on the subject of Stem Cell research....
 

Limited

Yes, but we won't care
DF, if you don't mind, can you explain to me why you are against stem-cell research? Are against all stem-cell research, like on the embryonic cells that are 'left overs' from IVF?
 

EricBess

Active Member
I echo DarthFerret's comments on this one and to comment on your question, Limited, I'm against the intentional creation of fetuses for the purpose of experimentation. I don't have a problem with the research itself. I don't know details on In-Vetro, but I also think you need to be careful that people aren't using "research" as an excuse to do thing inappropriately.

As for not being one to foist opinion on others, I completely agree with that. However, I believe where Darth and myself disagree is the purpose of government. I do agree that one role of government is to collect and distribute taxes for public goods that no one would otherwise pay for. For example, roads, parks, etc. I do not believe that should extend to anything that benefits private individuals.

There are a lot of private funds set up for cancer research by private individuals. Why should tax money be spent there? And where tax money is spent on research, why shouldn't the financial rewards reaped from that research go back into funding additional research instead of more tax dollars? I wouldn't be nearly as opposed to such a structure.

To me, any tax that goes into this sort of thing is effectively people foisting their opinions onto others.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
EricBess said:
As for not being one to foist opinion on others, I completely agree with that. However, I believe where Darth and myself disagree is the purpose of government. I do agree that one role of government is to collect and distribute taxes for public goods that no one would otherwise pay for. For example, roads, parks, etc. I do not believe that should extend to anything that benefits private individuals.

There are a lot of private funds set up for cancer research by private individuals. Why should tax money be spent there? And where tax money is spent on research, why shouldn't the financial rewards reaped from that research go back into funding additional research instead of more tax dollars? I wouldn't be nearly as opposed to such a structure.

To me, any tax that goes into this sort of thing is effectively people foisting their opinions onto others.
Makes sense to me. Limited's method would also seem to work.

It seems that if the government funds the research the right way, the advantages would be that the results would be public (which could potentially be very beneficial) and that they have a large amount of backing to give any sort of research.

I see two problems, though. The funds are far from infinite. They have to pick and choose who gets funded. If the people who make those decisions REALLY know what they're doing, this could be great, but they'd have to be extremely knowledgeable, informed, and rational.

Also, we need someone to actually do the research. It's difficult but possible to sort out who would be best for this, but there's a risk of corruption.

On the other hand, if the same research is done by private interests, they'll keep their research to themselves and often protect their ability to profit of their discoveries by branding things as patents, trade secrets, etc.

They will also be selective as to what research gets performed, but the successful companies will probaby be very good at figuring out which research is most likely to turn a profit. This won't necessarily be as good for the public as choosing the research most likely to benefit them, but it would still be pretty good and seems like it would be less likely to waste a bunch of money. The same goes for researchers. Companies would make more money by finding the best ones, so that's what they'll try to do.

Overall, it seems that the advantage here would be more research, with the most profitable operations continuing to produce results consistently. But it would take more time for some things than the boost that the government could provide...
 

Killer Joe

Active Member
If "Stem Cell Research" is successful in finding a cure for, let's say; Diabetes then the pharmacutical companies are SKA-Rooed! Lots of moeny to be lost and nearly an entire industry wiped-clean off the earth.

It should all be privately funded and if there are any profits for share holders then the Gov't. should take it and make more war-thingys.

The real Bottomline for me: Let's find a cure for cancer by any means possible and let's get out of Iraq a.s.a.p.! And while I'm at it how about a National I.D. for all U.S. Citizens that should take of those Mexicans. REALLY!
 

EricBess

Active Member
Interesting observation, KJ. Makes me wonder if there is more research into maintenance medication then there is into cures (in general).
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
EricBess said:
Interesting observation, KJ. Makes me wonder if there is more research into maintenance medication then there is into cures (in general).
Most research isn't exclusively one or the other.
 

Mooseman

Isengar Tussle
I guess the real question is which research proposals get more funding from the pharmacuetical companies, maintenance medication or cures.
How about Government funding?
Now that would be interesting data.
 

Nightstalkers

Creature — Nightstalker
Anyone heard about this Tomas the Train problem that has come about? The brief story: A US retailer hired out to China to have a bunch of Thomas the Train Engine toys made. It was found out that they used lead based paint on the toys and the company wants to issue a recall. China is protesting because they think after the big animal food scare that the US is just picking on them.
 

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
I briefly heard about that but it was just a blurb in my paper, not a whole lot of details (although I haven't seen today's paper).
 

Killer Joe

Active Member
We SHOULD be picking on them for "Bio-Terrorism".

NEWS-FLASH!


sorta...

How about that Ann Coulter kicking Mrs. Edwards square in the face at Mrs. Edwards request for Ann to stop using "Hate Language" against her husband and other Dem candidates.

"Oh, so basically you want me not have Free Speach." said Coulter on Chris Matthews show Hardball (Softball for Moosie :p )

I'm tellin' ya, Ann Coulter and Al Frankin should get married and have kids together.... :D
 
Top