[ExI] Health care in the USA

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Jun 30 05:11:26 UTC 2009

On Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 7:21 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/6/28 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>> On Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 5:20 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> There is no doubt that the US leads in medical research, and
>>> scientific research in general. But almost all of the basic research
>>> is either government funded or funded by not for profit organisations.
>>> Pharmaceutical companies pick and choose from this "free" research to
>>> decide what drug candidates they are going to pursue.
>> ### This is the usual government self-serving propaganda. The
>> government is funding only 15% of all non-military research in the US.
>> Rest comes almost exclusively from for-profit entities.
> What about basic scientific research, the sort that gets published in
> "Nature" or "Science"?

### It is a tiny fraction of overall research spending, even if now it
is indeed supported largely by the government. I used to think that
government involvement in this form of activity is unavoidable if one
wants to avoid undersupply of basic research but now I no longer
believe it. Basic research can be used as advertising for various
entities that want to signal intellectual competence; universities,
R&D companies, associations of interested amateurs. Basic research can
even be supported by strictly for-profit entities: you can temporarily
own scientific results, and sell them for those who can gain a
temporary advantage over competition, before the information leaks
out. Pay-as-you-read scientific journals could act as means of
supporting basic research as long as sufficient copyright protections
exist. Finally, there is the wikipedia model.


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