The Fleecing of America by Biomedical Research Administration

Troy Shinbrot t-shinbrot at nwu.edu
Mon Mar 18 17:44:18 EST 1996


In article <Pine.A32.3.91.960318094016.48195A-100000 at itsa.ucsf.edu>, Bert
Gold <bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu> wrote:
 
> In the 1960s and 1970s a good many economists proved that HUGE sums

"proved"?  Where?  To whom?  I have no trouble believing that you _think_
this is true, but hard as it may be for you to accept, what you _think_
and what really happens aren't the same thing.

> of public funds, intended to help POOR people were ending up in
> the pockets of (middle class) social workers and adminstrators of the 
> agencies charged with helping the poor.
> 
> As a result of this discovery and the initiative of economists
> like Milton Friedman, major efforts were made to diminsh the

Milton Friedman?  The MIlton Friedman who promotes de-licensing of
physicians because he believes that patients of bad physicians will die,
so people will end up patronizing only good physicians?  The Milton
Friedman who advised the Chilean dictator, Pinochet, and whose economic
'initiative' brought Chile's inflation rate to 300%?  This is the Milton
Friedman whose views on poor people we should listen to?

> role of administration and increase the proportion of benefit
> actually reaching the poor.  To some extent, this worked.
> 
> Now, scientific research has reached the same dizzying quagmire.
> HUGE proportions of my tax dollars intended to be used for research
> are being siphoned by ADMINISTRATORS; and when rules outlawing this
> unconscionable, unethical behavior are debated, these ADMINSTRATORS
> are forcefully arguing against their implementation.
 
Now you do have a point; why you had to disguise it with irrational
rhetoric, I can't imagine.  The solution, in my view, is to fund the same
research dollars and cap administrative overhead, NOT (as is more likely)
to cap research dollars and fund the same overhead rates.

> > NO WONDER THE REPUBLICANS ARE SUGGESTING THAT GOVERNMENT NO LONGER
> > HAS A ROLE IN RESEARCH; CORRUPTION HAS REACHED SUCH STAGGERING LEVELS
> > THAT THEY MAY INDEED BE CORRECT!

The Republicans who have promoted the view that global warming is a myth;
that the Office of Technology Assessment should be dismantled; that
CFC's do not destroy the ozone layer??  These are the Republicans that
Scientists should listen to?

Where is your evidence of corruption?  Where is your evidence that
government research dollars are not well spent?  You're using an internet
developed by the government.  You are in a public university, funded by
the government.  Your education cannot have come without government
support.  Our pre-eminence in medical research -- apparently your field --
is DUE to government assistance.  
> 
> REFORM MUST COME, just as it did with HUD and old HEW.  It can be
> SUDDEN and PAINFUL, or GRADUAL and less so.
> 
> Scientific Community, the choice is yours!

What choice?

-Troy

Troy Shinbrot
Northwestern University



More information about the Bioforum mailing list