Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good Posts on the Net

J Kendall at Crucible and Column links to a Forbes magazine article by Paul Rubin, professor of economics at Emory. Mr. Kendall tells about a quote from the article:
But here was the item I found astonishing. While many think doctors forego less expensive generics, in favor of newer drugs that are incremental improvements over them, the reality is that newer drugs are more cost effective!

"...new drugs lead to better health outcomes. They keep people out of the hospital. A 2007 study by business professor Frank Lichtenberg of Columbia University estimated that a prescription for a new drug (5 years from FDA approval) costs an average $18 more than an older one (15 years on the market) but reduces other medical costs, including hospital and office visits, by $129."
It is indeed refreshing to see a reasoned defense of the doctor/pharmaceutical company relationship. However, though Mr. Rubin presents good practical arguments, he does not offer the moral argument, namely, that doctors and drug companies have the right to do business with each other in a way that is mutually beneficial to each so long as no one's rights are violated.

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J Kendall also has a post on the book 'Journals of Ayn Rand' in which he presents examples of her writings as she developed her scenes and characters. Fascinating stuff. While I have a copy of most of her writings, I don't have that one. J has inspired me to put 'Journals' on my wish list.

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Darren at Darren Cauthon has a good post on the evils of democracy. Evidently, the mayor of Kansas City and the council wanted light rail for the city. After the issue was voted down by citizens 5 times, it finally passed on the 6th try. Will there be any more voting on the issue? Darren explains:
With a tiny majority of voters who bothered to vote in that election, they finally had what they needed. They declared that the public had finally spoken, and they wanted light rail!

But what about all of the past elections where it was voted down? That’s the past!

But what about what they want today? Should we continue to vote on this as we have in the past? No, the public has spoken!

But what about the rights of those citizens that might not want to pay for a light rail system? Tough, the public has voted!

This is what happens when individual rights are put up for vote. Rather than persuade you to voluntarily contribute to something, people can go to your neighbors and try to convince them for your help. And in the same way that proponents for things like these don’t care for your opinion, they don’t really care for the opinion of others, either. They want light rail, not your opinion. So long as they get 51% or more at one point in time, and they suddenly have the mandate to use the government’s power to do what they want — no matter what it costs or who has to pay.
Even with things like this going on around the country, people will still think democracy is a good thing. Sad. This is a good example of the fact that democracy always devolves into tyranny of the majority and by its spokesmen. Darren goes on to point out the proper solution, limiting the government to its proper function, the protection of individual rights.

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Gus Van Horn has an interesting article on lying. He explains how it is not enough to teach a child why lying is wrong, but how it is better to teach him the value or worth of honesty.

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Lastly, Amit Ghate at Thrutch has the good news that the Danish newspaper that printed the cartoons of Mohammed that sparked Riots by Muslims in 2005, has reprinted a caricature of the one with the bomb in the turbin. He says other European papers have done likewise even printing all 12 of the cartoons. They say they are doing it to take a stand for free speech. It can only be hoped that maybe American papers will find some spine as a result.

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