Category Archives: Economy

Foreign Countries Freeload on U.S. Drug Research and Drive Up Costs for American Consumers

Because foreign countries can import new U.S. drugs and price them however they see fit, many have largely checked out of the innovation business themselves. The U.S. produced 57% of the world’s new medicines between 2001 and 2010, up from less than a third in the 1970s, the Milken Institute reported in 2011.

The bottom line is that foreign countries freeload off American medical innovation, enjoying the fruits of U.S. ingenuity while forcing American consumers to shoulder a disproportionate share of the burden of funding research – effectively causing the American consumer to subsidize the pharmaceutical needs of foreign consumers.

President Trump says American companies have been getting “systematically ripped off” by foreign governments and firms. He’s right. Yet he has backed a proposal that would make the problem even worse—permitting Americans to buy prescription drugs from overseas retailers, a practice known as importation. This policy wouldn’t help American consumers much, but it would gut American pharmaceutical companies.

Restaurant Automation Is Almost a Guarantee

Consumer preferences, reduced technology costs and government policies that increase labor costs are driving a trend toward automation in the restaurant business. If you make something more convenient and less expensive, it tends to catch on.

As recently as the 1960s, gas-station employees would rush to fill your car’s tank, wash the windows, check the oil and put air in the tires. Telephone operators made your long-distance calls and bank tellers cashed your checks. Those jobs now are either gone or greatly diminished.

Today, we reduce jobs whenever we shop on Amazon instead of our local retail outlet, use an Uber app rather than calling a cab dispatcher, order a pizza online, use an airport kiosk to print boarding passes, or scan groceries. Each of these changes in behavior has increased convenience and reduced labor costs—and competitive businesses pass the savings to their customers.

Marc Andreessen On When The Robots Come To Take All Our Jobs

It’s one of the great mysteries of our time, why there are so many insisting that this time around is different. That automation, as it proceeds, is going to leave everyone out of work and idling away their time with nothing to do and no income to do nothing with. It’s as if no one is willing to believe that the Luddite fallacy was in fact proven wrong. What’s worse is that all too many of those getting this wrong are setting themselves up as thinkers, philosopher kings, on the subject and as a result of their complete misunderstanding of the basic situation then they’re proposing all sorts of nonsense.

The simple fact is that as long as there’s things that humans can do which add value then humans will continue to have jobs. And when there’s nothing left that humans can do which adds value then no one needs to have a job so who in heck cares whether there are any or not?

ObamaCare Beyond the Handouts

We’ve always said that ObamaCare, for all its flaws, could become the instrument by which responsible reformers renew their push for health care that delivers value for money. In the meantime, however, no worthwhile thoughts about ObamaCare, pro or con, are to be heard from people who count a program as a success just because Americans enjoy receiving benefits at the expense of other Americans.

Source: ObamaCare Beyond the Handouts – WSJ

GE’s Immelt: U.S. retreat from ExIm, trade will cost jobs, influence

When will Americans learn that in today’s globally connected world corporations have a choice where they make a product or service. It is up to our Federal government to compete for jobs just like our state governors and city mayors have been competing for decades.

President Barack Obama’s plans for a pan-Pacific free trade zone have stalled after Democrats defeated a key portion of legislation aimed at speeding negotiations.

“In two weeks the U.S. will have neither trade deals, nor an export bank. And at that point we’re going to be in full retreat on the global economic stage,” Immelt said.

Without Ex-Im, major export deals will be lost to China, Japan and Europe, where there is aggressive government support for exports, he said. Since GE does not want to lose that business, it will move production to countries where it can take advantage of export credit agency support.