mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

France to U.S. - you make it, we'll take it

U.S. hater and French president Jacques Chirac is yelling at the U.S. for expecting to get paid for the drugs they invented.

The WTO has ruled that countries can ignore the patents that apply to everything else that is traded in the world. U.S. companies are trying to make agreements with countries that both protect their intellectual property and allow them to get discounted AIDS drugs - you know, voluntary agreements where everyone wins, the kind of deals that happen every day in every capitalist economy.

The profit motive is what gets innovative drugs invented - because companies can make money creating them, they do, and the money that they make supports all the research and development for the drugs that never make it to market. Remove the profit incentive, and you remove those drugs getting made.

It's interesting that the U.S. is the source of all those effective drugs. If the French want the world to have great new drugs for free, why don't they invent them themselves instead of legalizing the theft of them from other countries? Maybe it's because the French system of 2 months of vacation, restrictions on the number of hours that employees can work, and massive welfare system doesn't produce the same innovations that good old U.S. capitalism does. As far as I know, the French economic system produces mostly stinky cheese and cars that fall apart after 20,000 miles (and I speak from experience - my parents once owned a Renault).


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