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View Full Version : Who should be paying for Stem Cell research?



Ibelsd
November 9th, 2004, 11:50 AM
A proposition in California recently passed which provides a state bond of 3 billion dollars for stem cell research.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/fc/Science/stem_cell_research/latest_developments/*http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/latimests/20041107/ts_latimes/stemcellfirmsbetonbigpayoff

Should states be using taxpayer money to fund this type of endeavor? Companies are under no obligation to use discoveries for the pubic interest (whatever that may mean).

My take is that if stem cells could provide the cure for cancer, several companies would be spending copious amounts of money to do the research. A private group just spent 60 million on a rocket ship. State funding is a misuse of taxpayer money.

Meng Bomin
November 9th, 2004, 12:00 PM
Should states be using taxpayer money to fund this type of endeavor? Companies are under no obligation to use discoveries for the pubic interest (whatever that may mean).

However, companies have much to gain by using their discoveries for the public interest as you describe.

My take is that if stem cells could provide the cure for cancer, several companies would be spending copious amounts of money to do the research. A private group just spent 60 million on a rocket ship.
However, funding the cure for cancer is also extremely risky and probably won't turn over results in a time persiod that would allow a company to sustain itself. Also, funding this research helps other California businesses by attracting those who want treatment to California. Thus the program may pay for itself.

Zhavric
November 9th, 2004, 12:14 PM
How about we just ask for people who are diseased to pay for the funding of the research of their disease?

Better yet, whenever any little problem comes up, let's go running to the private sector with our hat in our hands to beg for a few scraps of funding. THAT sounds efficient.

Sure, the system is not perfect and you're right. Private companies don't need to use government findings... but they'd be very silly not to.

Eventually, you get to the point in this argument where the government does nothing and rich people are footing the bill for everything... until they're not so rich anymore at which time they're needing help from the middle class and eventually you're back to the current situation.

chadn737
November 9th, 2004, 12:23 PM
Governments should not subsidize or fund any industry. It is not the role of the government to favor any business or industry with taxpayer dollars.

Ibelsd
November 9th, 2004, 12:28 PM
However, companies have much to gain by using their discoveries for the public interest as you describe. If a comapny finds the cure for cancer using stem cells, it is likely they will use the cure to make a huge profit. The state will have no claim to the discovery. The people will get no discount.


However, funding the cure for cancer is also extremely risky and probably won't turn over results in a time persiod that would allow a company to sustain itself. Also, funding this research helps other California businesses by attracting those who want treatment to California. Thus the program may pay for itself.

1. California is broke. Using 3 billion of taxpayer funding for research into stem cells is irresponsible.
2. Publicly funded research into medical cures has been terribly unproductive. Consider the mission to cure cancer originally started by Nixon. 30 years later, we still aren't close to a cure. In the meantime, the public has spent some $40 billion on this project.
3. The biggest benefactor of Proposition 71 will be venture capitalists. They will bilk the taxpayers out of 3 billion dollars and then sucker other investors to follow.
4. Gaining uses for stem cells will be more comlex then treating cancer. Thirty years will be a drop in the bucket to gain some return on new stem technology.

Ibelsd
November 9th, 2004, 12:34 PM
How about we just ask for people who are diseased to pay for the funding of the research of their disease?

Better yet, whenever any little problem comes up, let's go running to the private sector with our hat in our hands to beg for a few scraps of funding. THAT sounds efficient.

Sure, the system is not perfect and you're right. Private companies don't need to use government findings... but they'd be very silly not to.

Eventually, you get to the point in this argument where the government does nothing and rich people are footing the bill for everything... until they're not so rich anymore at which time they're needing help from the middle class and eventually you're back to the current situation.

How badly can one person butcher the principles behind a free market economy? One need only read the above quote for an answer. Let's see. Private investors see some potential to create a product. They create that product. The public consumes that product. Profit is made on that product. Some ventures fail and the investors go broke. This is why the owner of a company makes so much more than the janitor. The risk is taken by the investor. Enter government subsidies. The government is now lowering the risk for said investors. The risk is now being taken by the janitor who subsidizes the investor. The possible gain for the janitor is negligible. The risk is certain. Is this the system you are endorsing?

Booger
November 9th, 2004, 12:41 PM
Governments should not subsidize or fund any industry. It is not the role of the government to favor any business or industry with taxpayer dollars.

As an Iowa farmer, I'm shocked to hear you say that. Without government subsidies, farms would be dead.

chadn737
November 9th, 2004, 01:03 PM
As an Iowa farmer, I'm shocked to hear you say that. Without government subsidies, farms would be dead.

Without government subsidies poor managers would be gone.

Without government subsidies we would never have had all the over production and environmental degradation that we have.

Without government subsidies we wouldnt have farms over 20000 acres and spread over a 60 mile radius.

Farm subsidies have done more to destroy the farm economy than any amount of modernization.

I am dead set against farm subsidies, and I dont farm, at least not yet.

FruitandNut
November 9th, 2004, 01:18 PM
In some of these posts I hear the voice of Margaret Thatcher stating, 'There is no such thing as society' as she thumped down a copy of Friedrich von Hayek's 'masterpiece'!!??, The Mirage of Social Justice.

If 'He who pays the piper calls the tune' is a truism, surely it is a good thing for stem cell research, if it is permitted, to have taxpayers money invested. This would allow a say in proceedures and outcomes and a share in any profits and benefits that may spin off.

It is clear that in some, the social genes inherited through the generations and responsible for the cooperation and joint enterprise that has led to industrialisation, scientific endeavour, cities and nations - are sadly very weak. It seems that I have it wrong and while living as part of a group and society we should behave as little islands of isolation. 'No man is an island' must then be a stupid meaningless phrase. The poor and sick who have been silly or careless enough to get in such a state without money should wait until individuals 'feel' like giving something.

In regard to farm subsidies, to unilaterally give up subsidies is akin to unilaterally giving up nukes. Just because you may be opting for a saner system, does not mean the next guy is going to do likewise. It is clear that the issue of subsidies and import tariffs and quotas has INTERNATIONALLY got out of hand, so what it needs is an international agreement - don't hold your breath guys. We haven't got Kyoto and a hundred other treaties and conventions sorted yet.

Fyshhed
November 9th, 2004, 01:59 PM
Anyone who opposes stem cell benefiets should not be allowed to get them when they're available. That'll teach em.

chadn737
November 9th, 2004, 02:15 PM
Anyone who opposes stem cell benefiets should not be allowed to get them when they're available. That'll teach em.

Even if they pay for them? Why should the taxpayer be expected to artificially prop up an one industry?

KneeLess
November 9th, 2004, 04:15 PM
Even if they pay for them? Why should the taxpayer be expected to artificially prop up an one industry?
Well I believe the point he was trying to make was that if you don't pay for them you can't get them later. And why shouldn't an industry be helped if it can possibly save millions upon millions of people?

Ibelsd
November 24th, 2004, 08:07 AM
Well I believe the point he was trying to make was that if you don't pay for them you can't get them later. And why shouldn't an industry be helped if it can possibly save millions upon millions of people?

Just about any industry can claim to have a positive affect on millions of people. Lots of industries can claim to save lives. Should the government subsidize all of them? First, stem cell research may or may not help millions of people. Any help that can be attained is 10 to 15 years away at best. None of the companies benefitting from government subsisidies are obligated to share their findings. The pubic will end of paying a hefty price for whatever product(s) may be developed in the future. If stem cells were so promising, it is almost certain that private entities would be financing their research. Consider that a private group spent nearly a half billion dollars to build a reusable rocket. This whole thing is a farce. It is a giveaway of public money. The funniest thing may be your support of progressive taxation on the one hand, and your support of spending those dollars on wealthy biotech companies on the other. Why not just scale back the tax?

Fyshhed
November 24th, 2004, 08:19 AM
First, stem cell research may or may not help millions of people. Any help that can be attained is 10 to 15 years away at best.
You've spent too long in the midwest already...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2004-08-27-bone-jaw_x.htm
http://today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=1242
http://www.nature.com/news/2004/041108/full/041108-1.html
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-11/jhmi-sct110404.php
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041103233758.htm
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-11/jws-dto110304.php

And that's just a taste.



None of the companies benefitting from government subsisidies are obligated to share their findings. The pubic will end of paying a hefty price for whatever product(s) may be developed in the future. Our economy is capitalism. Get used to it.
If stem cells were so promising, it is almost certain that private entities would be financing their research.
So certain that it happens to be true.


Consider that a private group spent nearly a half billion dollars to build a reusable rocket. This whole thing is a farce. It is a giveaway of public money. The funniest thing may be your support of progressive taxation on the one hand, and your support of spending those dollars on wealthy biotech companies on the other. Why not just scale back the tax? Red herring argument. Are you drunk? :)

3rdPersonPlural
November 24th, 2004, 08:28 AM
This whole thing is a farce. It is a giveaway of public money. The funniest thing may be your support of progressive taxation on the one hand, and your support of spending those dollars on wealthy biotech companies on the other. Why not just scale back the tax?

My sentiments exactly. Has anybody else ever read about the history of the computer? It seems that the Government got understandably excited about the machines after WWII and threw oodles of money at research. Everybody with federal research dollars fiddled with analog machines using transistor tubes and computers the size of skyscrapers were envisioned.

As I recall, it was some heretical geeks who started to play with silicon and invented the chip in some remote lab at some now-defunct computer firm. These guys eventually founded,( I think) Intel.

The lesson is that federal dollars come with federal guidelines which can be demonstrably wrong.

Conversely, if there hadn't been oceans of free money sloshing around the computer field, perhaps those who eventually defied conventional wisdom would have chosen another field. Money draws talent. Money seeds innovation.

Ibelsd
November 24th, 2004, 10:10 AM
You've spent too long in the midwest already...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2004-08-27-bone-jaw_x.htm
http://today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=1242
http://www.nature.com/news/2004/041108/full/041108-1.html
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-11/jhmi-sct110404.php
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041103233758.htm
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-11/jws-dto110304.php

And that's just a taste. Ok. So, why exactly do we need the state to fund this.




Our economy is capitalism. Get used to it. If our economy is capitalism, then why is the government subsidizing the research? In a capitalistic society, private investors should be funding the research, not the taxpayer. That is my point. I am all for private companies making money with their discovery. I don't belive my labor should go towards making others wealthy.




Red herring argument. Are you drunk? :) Which part are you disagreeing with? It is a fact that a private group spent a half billion to build a rocket. http://www.nbc13.com/technology/3779893/detail.html .. Although, the cost appears to be closer to 20 million from what I can gather. Still, it just shows private companies are willing to risk large sums of money if they feel there is a possible future return. That is capitalism!

Fyshhed
November 24th, 2004, 11:26 AM
If our economy is capitalism, then why is the government subsidizing the research? In a capitalistic society, private investors should be funding the research, not the taxpayer. That is my point. I am all for private companies making money with their discovery. I don't belive my labor should go towards making others wealthy.
If it was directly going to other peoples' pockets that would be one thing, but the money directly goes to the research foundations, which helps them do just that: research. This is not some arbitrary company that's getting your money for kicks, it's medical research technology. The intent is for the benefits to be available to all citizens, and as such a universal concept, it applies to all citizens.

The government has the right to tax you in order to sustain itself and its interests. In this particular capitalist society, the government does partake in business, although it has to compete with private sources as well. It pays through money it gets from its citizens.




Which part are you disagreeing with? It is a fact that a private group spent a half billion to build a rocket. http://www.nbc13.com/technology/3779893/detail.html .. Although, the cost appears to be closer to 20 million from what I can gather. Still, it just shows private companies are willing to risk large sums of money if they feel there is a possible future return. That is capitalism!
Absolutely. As an economic entity (though not a private company) the government can act in similar manners, by dishing out money of its own, which is acquired through taxes. If the government's interest is in expanding the medical opportunities and capabilities of its society, it acts on that interest.

Ibelsd
November 24th, 2004, 12:22 PM
If it was directly going to other peoples' pockets that would be one thing, but the money directly goes to the research foundations, which helps them do just that: research. This is not some arbitrary company that's getting your money for kicks, it's medical research technology. The intent is for the benefits to be available to all citizens, and as such a universal concept, it applies to all citizens.

The government has the right to tax you in order to sustain itself and its interests. In this particular capitalist society, the government does partake in business, although it has to compete with private sources as well. It pays through money it gets from its citizens.




Absolutely. As an economic entity (though not a private company) the government can act in similar manners, by dishing out money of its own, which is acquired through taxes. If the government's interest is in expanding the medical opportunities and capabilities of its society, it acts on that interest.


You take a very cavalier attitude as it regards the state's and public's interests. It is the arbitrary nature of what defines the public interests that makes this kind of appropriation so inappropriate. It is why, in California history, it has never before used public money for this kind of project. It is one thing to use tax money to build tangible items that allow for the freedom of commerce such as roads and utilities. It is quite another to fund private investors for causes which are intangible and have no guaruntee of being used for the public's benefit (whatever that may be).

Fyshhed
November 24th, 2004, 01:29 PM
It is quite another to fund private investors for causes which are intangible and have no guaruntee of being used for the public's benefit (whatever that may be).
Have you ever taken medicine before? That's all this is.

The tax dollars are to fund government grants, which occur in all areas of research. This particular zone was BLOCKED until now,not just given special interest for being controversial. If you recall, Bush has an agenda against embryonic stem cell usage. He stopped, yes stopped, federal funding.

Now it's back, in California. It's not an additional burden, just a return to pre-blockage.

Ibelsd
November 24th, 2004, 01:39 PM
Have you ever taken medicine before? That's all this is.

The tax dollars are to fund government grants, which occur in all areas of research. This particular zone was BLOCKED until now,not just given special interest for being controversial. If you recall, Bush has an agenda against embryonic stem cell usage. He stopped, yes stopped, federal funding.

Now it's back, in California. It's not an additional burden, just a return to pre-blockage.

Intangible. As in, there is no guaruntee that the money will produce anything. Compare this to other public works such as freeways and schools.

Asking whether I have ever taken medicine is completely irrelevant. You are assuming I will one day utilize stem cell technology. Here is the question. Since my tax money was used to create it, do I have ownership of it? Do I then get free or a reduced rate for its use? The answer is, of course, NO!. That is why the government, at least the California government, has always avoided these types of frivilous usages for public money.

Blocked? You mean federally funding was blocked. Private research is free, and has been free, to continue. Show me otherwise.

suchislife
December 15th, 2004, 01:46 PM
I'm bummed that California is footing the bill for a world wide cause or advancement. Why do we as taxpayers take the full load?

Ibelsd
December 21st, 2004, 10:42 AM
Have you ever taken medicine before? That's all this is.

The tax dollars are to fund government grants, which occur in all areas of research. This particular zone was BLOCKED until now,not just given special interest for being controversial. If you recall, Bush has an agenda against embryonic stem cell usage. He stopped, yes stopped, federal funding.

Now it's back, in California. It's not an additional burden, just a return to pre-blockage.

The research was not blocked, just federal funding. The state of California has never given a grant to research medicine. In fact, such funding has been considered against California's constitution in the past. So, my medicine has never been funded by Calfornia's taxpayers.

Now it's back in California? Not an additional burden? It is my tax money. How is that not an additional burden. No one lowered my federal taxes to make up for the money I am now spending on embryonic stem cell research as a CA state taxpayer. Yet, when the CA legislature produces their budget, they will complain that there isn't enough for police and firefighters. Eventually, they will get their wish to sucker enough people to raise the CA state income tax. I would call this an additional burden. Especially troubling since embryonic stem cell research doesn't appear as promising as many other stem cell types.

You were right about one thing... the power of special interests. They railroaded this bill through the referendum valley and will make a hefty sum off of the CA taxpayer.

Fyshhed
December 21st, 2004, 11:31 AM
If I had my way all research would be tax-funded. Instead of cutting the bill for embryonic, I would add the bill for everything else as well.

So I understand it's selective and confusing. I believe it belongs in the extreme positive, you believe it belongs in the extreme negative. We can agree to disagree I guess ;)