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Eli Lilly and Company Message Board

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  • deywar deywar Jun 9, 2001 1:30 AM Flag

    Drug Prices

    Perhaps the biggest lie of all is that the government can somehow "provide for those unable to care for themselves."
    I was in VISTA (now Americorps) 30 years back and I saw first hand that charities, churches and service clubs outdo government in the provision department hands down.
    If you are not an "unrepentant libertarian" then what are you?

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    • <<If you are not an "unrepentant libertarian" then what are you?>>

      Good question, and I will NOT say the current phrase of the day, "moderate".

      Imagine the political spectrum as a compass instead of as a line from right to left. At N, put "Statist" (or Communist or Socialist or Nazi) and at S, "Libertarian", as opposites; at E, put "Conservative" and W, "Liberal", similarly opposite. I'm probably somewhere between "SW" and "SE" depending on which aspect of government interference in our lives you want to talk about. When it comes to the classical "progressive Republican" programs espoused by TR (FDA, conservation & stewardship of public lands, anti-trust regulation), I'm generally in favor. I believe the Fed plays an important part in making our economy the most stable in the world; a strict Libertarian would oppose many of those things, as do many Conservatives.

      I do not dispute your argument that government is often less efficient than churches, private charity, and service clubs at meeting local needs locally.

      However, there are global problems, too, that probably should be dealt with (perhaps only to the extent of funding local solutions) on a consistent national basis (and NOT with unfunded mandates). For example, inner-city education is generally a non-productive swamp in every medium-to-large city in the US because of exactly the same (national) societal issues. This is probably where I both agree with and depart from Libertarians: true competition for students' "portable education dollars" will help, some. But Federal money will help some, too; there is a point at which 25 or 50 or 100 "local" copies of the exact same problem cry out for a national solution. Maybe the "vouchers" come from the Feds in place of traditional school funding mechanisms; that's not a Libertarian solution.

      Finally, I see the pure reasoning of the Libertarian argument on drugs, and it is intellectually appealing. But psychoactive drugs are such a scourge on our society (and so profitable a trade) that criminalization of dealing and possession of large amounts is probably the only way to deal with the problem. Alcohol is at the root of many societal problems, too...people get hooked, lose good jobs and houses, steal to drink, drunks beat up and verbally abuse spouses and kids, drunks kill other drivers...and alcohol's still legal and heavily regulated. The difference is that the fortunes made from its sale are "clean" and protected. Would I return to prohibition? No.

      It's not terribly effective (prohibition of alcohol OR drugs), but then neither is our 40-year "War On Poverty", either, and we're still gung-ho on that one, too.

      No easy answers, I'm afraid.

      "Compassionate Conservatism", anyone?

      • 1 Reply to thundermutt
      • as usual, good thoughts mutt.

        I actual have consider forming the 'common sense' party. While realizing many issues may difficult to come to some 'common sense' solutions, I think it is VERY clear neither of the majority party approaches problems in search of a solution. Why? Because once we start to solve a problem, why would we need the 'pundints'? Case in point is welfare. Heard much about it lately? Nope b/c we've actually have a solution delivering results.

        The other issue is that the vast majority of Americans realize the value of comprimise and working together daily. I negotiate contracts all day long--I never get everything I want but in politics I'm a moderate bc I believe in finding solutions that meet my principles vs. principles that will never see the light of day. True conservatives would say we are spinnless moderates. Who pushing what agenda? Who has more chance to succeed--ideas which will never see the light of day (pro-life) or reasonable compromise that accomplishes some of the principles ? The pundints won't have a job if the country ever finds common sense solutions to many issues.

        Take drug coverage. Simple common sense solution is to means test it. Dems won't do it bc 1) republican idea 2) they want votes, not drug coverage.

        Anyway, I will say this about Liberterians--I have found them to be the most principled probably bc their principles are pretty simple to apply.

 
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