Sunday, August 18, 2013

Don't that grate the cake!

Chef Christina Tosi for The Avid Baker.
Robert J. Shiller on big corporatist government and innovative individual initiative:
In the end, our business was successful, and I think a big part of it was that we relied on our own ideas and energy and, to a large extent, our own money. In 2002, we sold the business to Fiserv Inc., then licensed Standard & Poor’s to create what are now known as the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. In 2006, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange began trading futures on 11 of our indexes. Fiserv sold the index business to CoreLogic early this year.
Fine for those who have "our own money" and whose only ambition is to sweep up more of those cake crumbs.

What about people who want to make something worth making?

Like, remember how we used to hear all the time about how government stifles pharmaceutical innovation? How billions of lives have been saved by our fervently capitalist drug companies because our government used to leave them alone?

Not really.

The authors of a study published Feb. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine count 153 new drugs and vaccines from public sector research institutes over the past 40 years. They include Remicade (infliximab), considered a giant step forward in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, and Lyrica (pregabalin), used to treat pain neuropathy, fibromyalgia and pain from shingles.
“Not only do federal funding programs, such as those from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, advance the scientific knowledge base of the country, but they contribute practical advances that can help people and create economic opportunity,” said study author Ashley J. Stevens, a lecturer at the Boston University School of Medicine and senior research associate at the university’s Institute of Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization....
More than half were to treat or prevent cancer or infectious diseases. And many were fast-tracked to approval, suggesting that their effect was considered substantial. The therapeutic effect of these public sector-developed drugs will likely be disproportionately large, the researchers said.
(h/t Jared Bernstein for inspiration)

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