Author Topic: Bush is killing the economy  (Read 280 times)

JNTB

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Bush is killing the economy
« on: July 25, 2006, 12:21:12 PM »
I already ranted about this on WWGHA, as some of you visit there. The problem with private R&D on stem cells is that no company will spend the money on stem cell research without knowing exactly how much has to be spent out before revenue is generated from an end-product or procedure. This is why government money is important. On the federal level, the government is in so much debt that I am honestly not looking for any money from the feds. However, Bush is being an idiot on this issue. The states are getting into the action, which is good, but why should we reinvent the wheel 10, 20 or 30 times? The states need to get together to join monies and research efforts. If states individually set out to develop and patent or copyright a process, we are likely to get into legal wars over who developed what first and who is infringing on another state's patents or copyrights, further politicizing the process. A unifying entity of some sort is needed.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by JNTB »
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iplaw

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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2006, 03:11:24 PM »
Quote
The problem with private R&D on stem cells is that no company will spend the money on stem cell research without knowing exactly how much has to be spent out before revenue is generated from an end-product or procedure.

This precisely defines why I love the private sector.  Unjustified or unsubstantiated scientific pursuits die a quick and justified death and my tax dollars are not expended on a wild scientific goose-chase.  If you need any futher evidence as to what effect the government has on innovation and management, look no further than Amtrack.  

I have read in your other posts your stance on the debt and must say I am in your corner, but how does encouraging more government spending fit into your paradigm?  This issue is precisely why we are in debt.  We can't say NO to anything, and speculative scientific pursuits are no exception.

The patent issues should be the least of our concerns, trust me, independent research efforts are dealt with on a daily basis and are no obstacle to the R&D process.  We have mechanisms built into our system that easily deal with simultaneous independent invention.

Lastly.  Competition is GOOD.  Having states or companies engaged in a competition to see who can create a solution only serves to increases the chance that one will succeede and that efficency is maintained in the process.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by iplaw »

McQ

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Re: Bush is killing the economy
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2006, 08:53:29 PM »
Quote from: "JNTB"
I already ranted about this on WWGHA, as some of you visit there. The problem with private R&D on stem cells is that no company will spend the money on stem cell research without knowing exactly how much has to be spent out before revenue is generated from an end-product or procedure. This is why government money is important. On the federal level, the government is in so much debt that I am honestly not looking for any money from the feds. However, Bush is being an idiot on this issue. The states are getting into the action, which is good, but why should we reinvent the wheel 10, 20 or 30 times? The states need to get together to join monies and research efforts. If states individually set out to develop and patent or copyright a process, we are likely to get into legal wars over who developed what first and who is infringing on another state's patents or copyrights, further politicizing the process. A unifying entity of some sort is needed.


I disagree. Companies do invest without knowing exactly how much revenue will be generated or when it will be generated. They do the R&D hoping to profit, but never knowing for sure or how much. It's calculated risk. It's done all the time. We're doing it right now. And less government involvement is always better in these cases. Especially when we look to the government for oversight of stem cell research.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by McQ »
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JNTB

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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2006, 04:26:46 AM »
Quote from: "iplaw"
This precisely defines why I love the private sector.  Unjustified or unsubstantiated scientific pursuits die a quick and justified death and my tax dollars are not expended on a wild scientific goose-chase.  If you need any futher evidence as to what effect the government has on innovation and management, look no further than Amtrack.  

Well, if left to the private sector, many of our discoveries would not have been made. It requires the dedication of money and time to make significant discoveries. There have been many research projects as part of NASA that would never have been done privately and still couldn't be done privately. So, the private sector is good at streamlining projects, but the private sector isn't always good at selecting projects based on the potential worth to society. A private company selects projects that provide actual worth to their stockholders.

Amtrak is not an example of bad government innovation, but rather bad timing and very little foresight into travel. The railroad system in the US flat out sucks. Our railroads are using technology from 1850! We need things like mag-lev and solar power. No foresight. The airplane took over transporting people because rail travel was too slow and error prone. That's because our railroads are still in the 19th century. There is even a preference to have tractor-trailers transport goods. That shows you just how bad railroad technology is.

Quote from: "iplaw"
I have read in your other posts your stance on the debt and must say I am in your corner, but how does encouraging more government spending fit into your paradigm?  This issue is precisely why we are in debt.  We can't say NO to anything, and speculative scientific pursuits are no exception.

I'm not encouraging more government spending - quite the opposite. The problem is that the President sets the pace for the nation. The President is cearly not in control of the economy or the personal desires of citizens, but the President does set the pace. Kennedy set the goal for a man on the moon by the end of the decade, and we did it by July 20, 1969. He didn't nod at all to any religious zealots, we left earth and set foot on another celestial body. What goal has Bush set? To repeal taxes on the fantastically wealthy and tell us that we are killing children. How does that qualify as leadership? His executive orders not only prevent the government from spending initial dollars on stem cell research, his executive orders also prevent leftover money from being spent on stem cell research. There are often grants given for research projects where not all the money is used. Scientists have the power to spend the money on other projects, but they'll be in a heap of trouble if they funnel the money toward stem cell research. If discovered, those scientists will never be eligible for federal money again and that's death to a career at the university level. Where does this lead us? Nowhere. We don't have to spend federal money, but let the states pool states' monies together for stem cell research. Where is the leadership on that? Nowhere. Bush is not a leader and he is putting the USA far, far behind.

Quote from: "iplaw"
The patent issues should be the least of our concerns, trust me, independent research efforts are dealt with on a daily basis and are no obstacle to the R&D process.  We have mechanisms built into our system that easily deal with simultaneous independent invention.

Again, I disagree. No matter how you paint it, private research has no altruistic goals. Private research isn't done for improving the human condition or improving society. Private research leads solely to private profits - nothing wrong with that as long as you recognize that not all research is, therefore, appropriate for private funding.

Quote from: "iplaw"
Lastly.  Competition is GOOD.  Having states or companies engaged in a competition to see who can create a solution only serves to increases the chance that one will succeede and that efficency is maintained in the process.

Nothing wrong with competition; however, when you don't know what you are competing for or against, competition is counterproductive. It leads to nowhere because it doesn't know where it is going. A football player knows where the goal is and he competes to get the ball across the line. We have no idea where stem cell research will lead, so there is no goal. How do you compete when you don't know what the goal is? We are way too early in the stem cell research timeline for competition to provide any usefulness. Right now we have multiple entities spending duplicate money on the same research without any clear goal on what is being achieved. Duplication of effort is anathema to competition. Every member of a football team has a role, whether you are on offense or defense. Clearly, football is a competitive game, but there isn't an ounce of duplication involved.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2006, 04:32:27 AM by JNTB »
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JNTB

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Re: Bush is killing the economy
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2006, 04:30:29 AM »
Quote from: "McQ"
I disagree. Companies do invest without knowing exactly how much revenue will be generated or when it will be generated. They do the R&D hoping to profit, but never knowing for sure or how much. It's calculated risk. It's done all the time. We're doing it right now. And less government involvement is always better in these cases. Especially when we look to the government for oversight of stem cell research.


I don't know what company you work for, but I don't know of any company aimlessly spending money on R&D without knowing when the expenses will turn into a revenue stream. If there is any company spending money without any hope of revenue, I'm sure that the amount the company spending is relatively small, probably for a tax write-off.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by JNTB »
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McQ

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Re: Bush is killing the economy
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 12:30:25 PM »
Quote from: "JNTB"
Quote from: "McQ"
I disagree. Companies do invest without knowing exactly how much revenue will be generated or when it will be generated. They do the R&D hoping to profit, but never knowing for sure or how much. It's calculated risk. It's done all the time. We're doing it right now. And less government involvement is always better in these cases. Especially when we look to the government for oversight of stem cell research.

I don't know what company you work for, but I don't know of any company aimlessly spending money on R&D without knowing when the expenses will turn into a revenue stream. If there is any company spending money without any hope of revenue, I'm sure that the amount the company spending is relatively small, probably for a tax write-off.


Well, I never said they spend money "aimlessly". That would be foolish. You aren't reading my post clearly, and therefore, misquoting me. I said it is a calculated risk. They make projections of what they think each drug has the capacity to return on the investment they put into it. It's done with up to dozens of compounds at the same time within every company too. Most never even make it to market, but the R&D is spent anyway. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth, in fact. Our company invests more of its profits back into R&D than any other biotech company with drugs on the world market.

I've worked in this field for 17 years, so I think I'm capable of giving an informed opinion on how companies invest R&D dollars. Sorry if you're not aware of what companies invest and how they do it. To me, it just means that your opinion is uninformed. Take the time to get the annual reports of pharma and biotech companies. They're freely available. And then talk to the people who actually work for those companies, like me. They actually know what goes on in the inside.  

And I do not give the name of my company in here, or what compounds we have, other than to say it is primarily oncology/hematology, stem cell research, and immunomodulatory research.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by McQ »
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iplaw

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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006, 05:13:51 PM »
Quote
Well, if left to the private sector, many of our discoveries would not have been made. It requires the dedication of money and time to make significant discoveries. There have been many research projects as part of NASA that would never have been done privately and still couldn't be done privately. So, the private sector is good at streamlining projects, but the private sector isn't always good at selecting projects based on the potential worth to society. A private company selects projects that provide actual worth to their stockholders.
That is your personal opinion.  No one can know that.  BTW the discovery of stem cells happend through private research.  NASA is an unfair comparison because the US govt has had a monopoly on space travel until the last few years.  The notion that companies only select projects that provide actual worth is nuts.  Private companies take HUGE risks every day, that's part of why 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the US.  

The AMTRACK analogy was an illumination of what the govt is capable of when it sets up monopoly within an industry.

Quote
I'm not encouraging more government spending - quite the opposite. The problem is that the President sets the pace for the nation. The President is cearly not in control of the economy or the personal desires of citizens, but the President does set the pace. Kennedy set the goal for a man on the moon by the end of the decade, and we did it by July 20, 1969. He didn't nod at all to any religious zealots, we left earth and set foot on another celestial body. What goal has Bush set? To repeal taxes on the fantastically wealthy and tell us that we are killing children. How does that qualify as leadership? His executive orders not only prevent the government from spending initial dollars on stem cell research, his executive orders also prevent leftover money from being spent on stem cell research. There are often grants given for research projects where not all the money is used. Scientists have the power to spend the money on other projects, but they'll be in a heap of trouble if they funnel the money toward stem cell research. If discovered, those scientists will never be eligible for federal money again and that's death to a career at the university level. Where does this lead us? Nowhere. We don't have to spend federal money, but let the states pool states' monies together for stem cell research. Where is the leadership on that? Nowhere. Bush is not a leader and he is putting the USA far, far behind.
I don't want to take a ride on the Bush is evil bandwagon so I pass on the most of this.  Suffice to say that control of state budgets is beyond the power of any President so you are only left with federal dollars subsidising the research.

Quote
No matter how you paint it, private research has n altruistic goals.
Who says altruistic goals are necesary or that the gubment's goals are altrusitic?

Quote
Nothing wrong with competition; however, when you don't know what you are competing for or against, competition is counterproductive.
I think the goals and the players are well defined.  I think you fundamentally misunderstand competition in the Adam Smith sense which it is understood in a capitalistic system.  To state that the goal is not understood is to misrepresent the problem.  Replication of defective organs, regeneration of defective or missing human anatomy are just a couple of the "goals."  I think you are confusing "goals" with "viability" or "feasibility."

Quote
Duplication of effort is anathema to competition.

Huh?  There are two sides in a football game and they use the same techniques to varying degrees to achieve differing results, that's how one side wins.  Players on the same team don't compete.  I think you are confused.  You are asserting we should all play for one team called the gubment but I want private companies to compete for a solution.  Capitalism versus Pork Laiden Gubment Research.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by iplaw »

JNTB

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Re: Bush is killing the economy
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 04:52:46 PM »
Quote from: "McQ"
Well, I never said they spend money "aimlessly". That would be foolish.

Of course not, but that also means that private companies do not do pure research.

Quote from: "McQ"
You aren't reading my post clearly, and therefore, misquoting me. I said it is a calculated risk. They make projections of what they think each drug has the capacity to return on the investment they put into it.

I think you are misunderstanding the differences in what we are discussing. A private company usually does invest in research and development - it must do so to survive. Is it a risk? Yes. Do they take a calculated risk, as you say? Of course, which is my exact point. The calculated risk comes from the likelihood of turning that R&D outflow into a revenue stream. This is not the definition of pure research. Pure research does not have calculated risks. Instead, you are talking about targeted research. If a goal, timeline and dollar amount isn't part of the equation, it's not a calculated risk.

Quote from: "McQ"
It's done with up to dozens of compounds at the same time within every company too. Most never even make it to market, but the R&D is spent anyway. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth, in fact. Our company invests more of its profits back into R&D than any other biotech company with drugs on the world market.

I'm glad that your company invests so much in R&D, but they wouldn't be doing it if it didn't turn into a revenue stream. Again, this is not the definition of pure research.

Quote from: "McQ"
I've worked in this field for 17 years, so I think I'm capable of giving an informed opinion on how companies invest R&D dollars. Sorry if you're not aware of what companies invest and how they do it. To me, it just means that your opinion is uninformed. Take the time to get the annual reports of pharma and biotech companies. They're freely available. And then talk to the people who actually work for those companies, like me. They actually know what goes on in the inside.  


I know quite well how companies invest R&D dollars. I've never claimed that companies don't invest a lot of money. What I am talking about is pure research. Private companies do not do pure research. If they do, they allocate very few dollars for pure research. Most pure research occurs at the university level with government grants and sometimes private grants. Pure research involves basic discoveries, most of which have no known application and, therefore, cannot be turned into a revenue stream anytime soon.

We are speculating on the value of stem cell research based on a few outcomes we have seen on an experimental level. We are not anywhere near providing a product or knowing what kind of product/process we should target. With stem cells, we are still at the pure research stage.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by JNTB »
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McQ

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Re: Bush is killing the economy
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2006, 06:16:10 PM »
Quote from: "JNTB"
I know quite well how companies invest R&D dollars. I've never claimed that companies don't invest a lot of money. What I am talking about is pure research. Private companies do not do pure research. If they do, they allocate very few dollars for pure research. Most pure research occurs at the university level with government grants and sometimes private grants. Pure research involves basic discoveries, most of which have no known application and, therefore, cannot be turned into a revenue stream anytime soon.

We are speculating on the value of stem cell research based on a few outcomes we have seen on an experimental level. We are not anywhere near providing a product or knowing what kind of product/process we should target. With stem cells, we are still at the pure research stage.


I'm going to at least partly disagree with you again. I do know what "pure" research is. To say that private companies don't do pure research is not correct. You mentioned that if they do invest in pure research, they allocate very few dollars. That is more correct. My point is that they do invest in all kinds of research, including stem cell research. They do it knowing that some will yield ROI and and some will yield no ROI.

Companies give unrestricted grants to institutions for pure "basic" research all the time. Yes, they also give research grants looking at specific goals, with ROI in mind. I never argued that they don't. Does the government invest in research? Yes, through grants to institutions. Again, I never said they didn't.

If you know "quite well" as you asserted, how companies invest in research, then you would know that they do essentially, throw money at pure research, with no ROI in sight. A little more than 22% of my company's total R&D expenditure for 2005 went to universitites and not-for-profit organizations for "pure" research. Not a cent of it went to a single known molecular compound for industry use. I worked in "basic research" for over three years and I know what constitutes basic research. Hopefully, we are now talking about the same thing.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by McQ »
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