We at CFIF often highlight the clear and present danger that drug price control schemes pose to American…
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New Lung Cancer Breakthrough Illustrates the Potential Peril of Drug Price Controls

We at CFIF often highlight the clear and present danger that drug price control schemes pose to American consumers, who benefit from our private pharmaceutical sector that leads the world - by far - in innovation.  A new lung cancer treatment breakthrough in the form of Amgen's Lumakras illustrates that interrelationship.

Simply put, Lumakras reduced the risk of progression by 34% compared to chemotherapy in patents with advanced lung cancer, which is particularly welcome considering lung cancer's especially low survival rate (18.6% over five years, and just 5% for advanced forms).  The breakthrough required years of research and enormous amounts of investment, however, which The Wall Street Journal notes makes Lumakras the type of innovation put at risk by new drug price controls…[more]

September 22, 2022 • 05:06 PM

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To Reduce Crime, Incarcerate to Incapacitate Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 22 2022
Apart from perhaps New York, crime-infested Illinois is the last place that one would expect politicians to actually soften criminal laws.

Last week’s video of a hatchet-wielding maniac terrorizing patrons in a New York City McDonald’s deepened the sense that it’s the 1970s again in New York.  

The footage resonates even more deeply for symbolizing an increasing sense of random lawlessness across America, particularly after the assailant was released without bail under New York’s “bail reform” laws.  

Accordingly, a man who should remain jailed under any reasonable standard was instead unleashed upon the public without spending a single day behind bars.  

In a similarly grotesque incident a month ago in New York, a convicted sex offender who sucker-punched and nearly killed an innocent bystander for no reason whatsoever was also allowed to walk free after the crime.  Back in March, career criminal Eugene Clark beat a 67-year-old man to death and was charged with second-degree murder, only to be released immediately after arraignment on his own recognizance.  

These aren’t inflammatory aberrations, nor are they confined to New York.  

This is no blip.  It’s becoming the new normal.  

To wit, the U.S. murder rate jumped a record 29.4% in 2020 alone.  For context, the previous record increase was a comparatively tiny 13% in 1968.  In 2021, instead of declining back toward the pre-2020 norm, that rate actually increased another 5%, along with other violent crime:  

The number of 2021 homicides in the cities studied was 5% greater than in 2020 – representing 218 additional murders in those cities – and 44% greater than in 2019, representing 1,298 additional lives lost.  Aggravated and gun assault rates were also higher in 2021 than in 2020.  Aggravated assaults increased by 4%, while gun assaults went up by 8%.  Robbery rates increased slightly after dropping in 2020…  Motor vehicle theft rates were 14% higher than in 2021 than the year before.  Domestic violence incidents increased by nearly 4% between 2020 and 2021.  

Not coincidentally, the upward trend in crime has occurred during a period of declining incarceration, according to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) data:  

The combined state and federal imprisonment rate of 419 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents in 2019 was the lowest imprisonment rate since 1995.  The imprisonment rate in 2019 marked a 17% decrease from 2009, a 3% decrease from 2018, and the 11th consecutive annual decrease.  

Equally notably, that correlation contrasts with the period between 1995 and 2008, when U.S. incarceration rates increased while crime rates decreased:  

The imprisonment rate rose 23% from 1995 to its peak in 2007 and 2008 (506 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 residents in both years).  It then fell back below the 1996 level (which was 427 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 residents) in 2019.  

Those contrasting trends demonstrate that America isn’t experiencing an over-incarceration problem, we’re experiencing an under-incarceration problem.  

To understand why, it’s important to realize that a very small percentage of the population commits a disproportionately high percentage of crimes.  The same person inclined to commit a seemingly minor violation like jumping a subway turnstile or shoplifting is far more likely than the average American to commit a grave violation like armed robbery, kidnapping or murder.  

Accordingly, by incarcerating someone even for seemingly “minor” violations we incapacitate them during that period of incarceration from committing other, potentially more serious crimes.  

Once again, the DOJ’s own official data confirms that reality.  

Specifically, in a multi-year study released in 2018, the DOJ found that an astonishing 83% of prisoners were rearrested at least once during the decade following their release, with an average of five arrests per released prisoner:  

Overall, 68 percent of released state prisoners were arrested within three years, 79 percent within six years and 83 percent within nine years.  The 401,288 released state prisoners were arrested 1,994,000 times during the nine years after their release, an average of five arrests per released prisoner.  On an annual basis, 44 percent of prisoners were arrested during the first year after release, 34 percent were arrested during the third year and 24 percent were arrested the ninth year.  

This is all a straightforward correlation, and tough-on-crime policies at the federal, state and local levels successfully reduced crime until anti-police and soft-on-crime policies became more fashionable in recent years.  

Sadly, many refuse to acknowledge that simple connection, which ends up costing thousands of lives each year.  

For example, effective January 1, 2023, the state of Illinois will eliminate mandatory cash bail for almost all criminal defendants.  It almost seems too absurd to be real, but there will be no automatic detention for crimes ranging from burglary to kidnapping to arson to armed robbery and even second-degree murder.  Apart from perhaps New York, crime-infested Illinois is the last place that one would expect politicians to actually soften criminal laws.  

Unfortunately, it will apparently require more years and more avoidable tragedies before some jurisdictions re-learn the lesson of the 1980s and 1990s.  

To bring crime back under control, the first step is incapacitation of criminals who commit most of society’s crimes.  

Quiz Question   
Which one of the following U.S. Presidents signed the executive order establishing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"On December 15, 2021, President Biden released an Executive Order related to global drug trade and stated, 'I find that international drug trafficking -- including the illicit production, global sale, and widespread distribution of illegal drugs; the rise of extremely potent drugs such as fentanyl and other synthetic opioids -- constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security…[more]
 
 
—Derek Maltz, a Retired Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Special Operations Division
— Derek Maltz, a Retired Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Special Operations Division
 
Liberty Poll   

Choosing from the list below, what issue is currently most important to you heading into the mid-term elections?