11
   

The government shouldn't regulate ineffective drugs

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2012 07:45 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
That varies from case to case. I know more than my doctor about a few diseases. I know less than my doctor (and the FDA) about all the others. Frankly I don't see how that's so hard for you to follow.

It's not hard to follow at all: you can make your own pharmaceutical decisions because you know more about your medical condition than your doctor, yet you're perfectly fine with the FDA telling consumers in general what drugs they should take, even though they know as much about their own medical conditions as you do of your own (or they could, and if they don't it's their own damn fault). You just miss the point that consumers are in the same position with regard to the FDA as you are to your doctor. If they are (or can be) smarter than the FDA, then why even bother having the FDA in the business of dispensing opinions, let alone monopolizing the field by outlawing competing opinions? After all, if the FDA's opinions are so valuable, then people will be willing to pay for those opinions. And if those opinions aren't valuable, then why force people to buy them with their tax dollars?

Thomas wrote:
That comes at no surprise to me, because this post and your last few ones leave me with the impression that you misunderstand me on purpose for rhetorical effect. That's fine if you're having fun, but it's eroding my interest in explaining my position.

I sympathize with your frustration. I often run into the problem where I understand somebody's argument better than that person does. I suspect this might be one of those times.

Thomas wrote:
No they wouldn't---because truthful and relevant information is a public good, and the marketplace underprovides public goods. I already explained that in my last post, which I know you have read because you already answered it. Further evidence that you misunderstand me on purpose.

Providing truthful information may be a public good, but who gets to decide whose truth and whose good? Certainly, the proponents of Laetrile would question the truthfulness and objectivity of the FDA, yet you're willing to say not only that the FDA is right, but that the proponents of Laetrile shouldn't even be allowed to state their case -- even though you're more than willing to let them sell their product. It can't be because the FDA is so smart -- after all, you're smarter than your doctor, and that didn't require any training on your part at all. How much training would it require to know more about a single pharmaceutical than a government agency?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2012 02:59 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
It's not hard to follow at all:

So you say, but then you prove by demonstration that you're not following.

joefromchicago wrote:
you can make your own pharmaceutical decisions

. . . one of which may well be to take my doctor's or the FDA's advice . . .

joefromchicago wrote:
because you know more about your medical condition than your doctor,

I never said I always do. I can know more about it if I inform myself. Sometimes I decide to inform myself, sometimes I don't. My point is that this choice is ultimately mine, not my doctor's or the FDA's.

joefromchicago wrote:
yet you're perfectly fine with the FDA telling consumers in general what drugs they should take, even though they know as much about their own medical conditions as you do of your own (or they could, and if they don't it's their own damn fault).

There's no "yet" about it. I think people should have both options: do their own research and be their own authority, or let others do it for them and defer to theirs.

joefromchicago wrote:
You just miss the point that consumers are in the same position with regard to the FDA as you are to your doctor.

I am aware of that. That's why I support Obamacare, which will force me to pay my share in everyone's medical bills. Indeed, I don't support it, I oppose it for not going far enough; I prefer Edward Kennedy's "Medicare for all" plan. Under both plans, though, the government forces me to pay my share in everyone's medical bills. And when I go to the doctor, whose bills everybody in my now-mandatory insurance pool pays, I'll have the option of deferring to her advice---or not. That's exactly the role I want for the FDA. I emphatically do get the point that consumers are in the same position regarding the FDA as regarding their doctors.

joefromchicago wrote:
If they are (or can be) smarter than the FDA, then why even bother having the FDA in the business of dispensing opinions,

Because deferring to the FDA's opinion can be a valuable option because their opinion is well informed, whereas mine isn't until I inform myself. Options need not be mandatory to have value.

joefromchicago wrote:
After all, if the FDA's opinions are so valuable, then people will be willing to pay for those opinions.

Not on the free market they won't. Positive externality. Market failure. Government corrects it. We've been over this territory.

joefromchicago wrote:
I sympathize with your frustration. I often run into the problem where I understand somebody's argument better than that person does. I suspect this might be one of those times.

Laughing Unlike the FDA, I won't enforce my judgment that I'm better at knowing my position than you are.

Thomas wrote:
Providing truthful information may be a public good, but who gets to decide whose truth and whose good?

Ideally, a well-funded organization of independent researchers, appointed by an administration elected by the general public and dedicated to the general welfare. This view may sound fictitious when a President Santorum may soon appoint a faith healer as FDA chief. But until that happens, the fiction is realistic enough to justify the FDA being in the business of dispensing pharmaceutical opinions.

joefromchicago wrote:
Certainly, the proponents of Laetrile would question the truthfulness and objectivity of the FDA, yet you're willing to say not only that the FDA is right, but that the proponents of Laetrile shouldn't even be allowed to state their case -- even though you're more than willing to let them sell their product.

They should be free to make their case. They just shouldn't be free to commit fraud. Judging by your and Setanta's description, Laetrile may not be able to make their case without committing fraud. If so, they shouldn't be able to make their case. But that's not because it's their case, but because it's fraud.

joefromchicago wrote:
It can't be because the FDA is so smart -- after all, you're smarter than your doctor, and that didn't require any training on your part at all.

There you go again, jumping to conclusions with the power of your prejudices. Yes, it did require some training. But being self-trained is different from not being trained.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2012 09:58 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
I never said I always do. I can know more about it if I inform myself. Sometimes I decide to inform myself, sometimes I don't. My point is that this choice is ultimately mine, not my doctor's or the FDA's.

That's right, and that's because you place a higher value on your health and well-being than anyone else. The flip side of that, however, is that no one else cares as much about you as you do. You may decide to follow your doctor's advice, but then you pay for that advice. Your doctor isn't funded by somebody else's forced tax subsidies.

You recognize that consumers are in the same relation to the FDA as you are to your doctor, but you fail to realize that you voluntarily pay for your doctor's advice because it is to your advantage, while you want to force everyone else to pay for the FDA's information because it is to your advantage.

In short, you want to rely on the FDA for information that you will use to make your medical decisions, but you want everyone else to pay for it. Your decision to follow or ignore you doctor's advice is yours to make, but the decision to fund the FDA isn't everyone else's to make.

Thomas wrote:
There's no "yet" about it. I think people should have both options: do their own research and be their own authority, or let others do it for them and defer to theirs.

It's not an "option" if it isn't optional.

Thomas wrote:
I am aware of that. That's why I support Obamacare, which will force me to pay my share in everyone's medical bills. Indeed, I don't support it, I oppose it for not going far enough; I prefer Edward Kennedy's "Medicare for all" plan. Under both plans, though, the government forces me to pay my share in everyone's medical bills. And when I go to the doctor, whose bills everybody in my now-mandatory insurance pool pays, I'll have the option of deferring to her advice---or not. That's exactly the role I want for the FDA. I emphatically do get the point that consumers are in the same position regarding the FDA as regarding their doctors.

Considering that you're a natural rights utilitarian and a carnivorous vegetarian, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to discover that you're a socialist libertarian.

Thomas wrote:
Not on the free market they won't. Positive externality. Market failure. Government corrects it. We've been over this territory.

If a complete free-market solution doesn't work, I'm not sure why you're willing to adopt a half free-market approach on free-market principles.

Thomas wrote:
Ideally, a well-funded organization of independent researchers, appointed by an administration elected by the general public and dedicated to the general welfare. This view may sound fictitious when a President Santorum may soon appoint a faith healer as FDA chief. But until that happens, the fiction is realistic enough to justify the FDA being in the business of dispensing pharmaceutical opinions.

You think the FDA is right because you agree with it. The proponents of Laetrile, on the other hand, think the FDA is full of baloney. You're willing to say that the FDA is right because ... well, because it's the FDA, and they're really smart. But that's just a form of question-begging.

Thomas wrote:
They should be free to make their case. They just shouldn't be free to commit fraud.

That's rather like the Soviet constitution, which guaranteed free speech so long as it didn't harm the state.

Thomas wrote:
Judging by your and Setanta's description, Laetrile may not be able to make their case without committing fraud. If so, they shouldn't be able to make their case. But that's not because it's their case, but because it's fraud.

If it's fraud, then why not just handle it like a typical case of fraud? If I defraud you, you don't call the police, you call your lawyer. It's very odd that you want the FDA out of the business of protecting good people from bad drugs but want it in the business of protecting good people from bad people. If you fool me into buying a worthless or harmful drug, the damage that I suffer isn't the fact that I got fooled, it's that I took a worthless or harmful drug. Yet you want to focus on stopping people from being fooled rather than being harmed.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2012 01:27 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Considering that you're a natural rights utilitarian and a carnivorous vegetarian, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to discover that you're a socialist libertarian.

You're discovering this now? I've been supporting Obamacare ever since John Edwards proposed it in early 2008. And while I don't know when I've stopped referring to myself as a libertarian, it's been a while now. I never called myself a vegetarian. I said I that ought to be one, but that I wasn't. The only contradiction on which you did have a point was the one about utilitarianism and natural rights. I have since resolved this contradiction by ditching the natural-rights part.

joefromchicago wrote:
If it's fraud, then why not just handle it like a typical case of fraud?

I'd have no problem with that. But there's no contradiction between having courts and also having publically-funded product information.

In closing, let me say it's been interesting to discuss this with you again. But I really don't need your innuendo right now, so this is where I get out of the thread. Have fun!
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Sat 21 Jan, 2012 06:08 pm
@joefromchicago,
Not to revive the thread in any substantive way, but since I'm feeling a little less cranky today, I googled the term "libertarian socialism", and up came tons of references to Noam Chomsky. Perhaps I should give the man a second look.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Jan, 2012 07:53 pm
I've bypassed the responses in this thread, largely because Thomas has done a fine job in representing my views.

Obviously our opinions don't perfectly overlap, but in this case he has done a damned good job of representing my view.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Jan, 2012 08:04 pm
@Thomas,
Given how easily you were tricked by language dummies the likes of Bryan Garner, perhaps you might want to consider Coles Notes on Chomsky on libertarian socialism.

Smile
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 05:35 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

I've bypassed the responses in this thread, largely because Thomas has done a fine job in representing my views.

Funny, I never suspected you of being the Noam Chomsky type.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 05:46 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
"I am not a crook" Richard Nixon, 1973



Quote:
Nixon was President. He was, of course, Evil Personified, an imperialist, reactionary, conniving, amoral, disingenuous, Machiavellian, rabid sweaty weasel in a cheap pinstriped suit.

Chris Clark

0 Replies
 
 

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