Jul 22 2009

Woulda coulda shoulda

Category: government,healthcare,science,spaceharmonicminer @ 8:45 am

We’ve commented here before about the necessity of research and development, and the fact that some programs of R and D are so huge that only governments have the resources and long-term commitment to fund them.  And now, here is an article about where we would have been if  Apollo had not been cancelled, and NASA had been fully funded to continue lunar and planetary exploration and colonization.

What if things had been different that summer? Suppose Congress had granted NASA’s wish, then fast-forward 40-odd years…

It’s a fascinating read, admittedly conjectural, but essentially believable, about where we would be today.  And it would be better if we were.

In the meantime, Obama and nationalized healthcare are about to defund the huge bulk of medical and pharmaceutical research now under way, by the very simple mechanism of sucking the profit out of it, by adopting the European model of health care that’s killed the bulk of medical research there.

When I was 15, I was sure that by this time in my life, we’d be on Mars already.  That just seemed to be the direction things were going, and indeed we landed on the moon just three years later.  I find myself looking back with regret on the years we wasted, knowing that it’s entirely possible that I will not even live to see a Mars landing.

In forty years, will 57 yr olds of that year be saying, “When I was a kid, I thought by now we’d have personalized gene therapy that would cure cancer and most inherited diseases, replacement organs grown from stem cells, and significant life extension therapies….  but then Congress decided we should have nationalized health care, which quickly became health care rationing, and research just sort of really, really slowed down.”?

That decision may well be made in the next few weeks.  If you care about your own prospects, or those of your kids and grand-kids, I suggest you tell your congressman to OPPOSE the total takeover of healthcare by the federal government, and specifically, to OPPOSE the so-called “public option,” which is guaranteed to provide the incentive for most employers to cancel their own insurance programs, and dump their employees into the public system.

Just as it will also remove the profit motive as an incentive for the bulk of pharmaceutical and medical research.