In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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Drug Price Controls Reemerge from Biden’s “Build Back Better” Rubble Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 27 2022
Price controls don’t work, they’ve never worked and they never will work, regardless of the product in question. Moderates and conservatives in Congress must therefore resist any temptation to entertain “Build Back Better” Act’s drug price control provisions as individual legislative proposals.

Regarding the Beatles, it’s often observed that their whole was greater than the sum of their four individual parts.  

In other words, paraphrasing Aristotle’s maxim, together they achieved a magical symbiosis surpassing anything that their individual talents added together might have otherwise anticipated.  

In any event, a counterpart to that famed maxim cannot be said of Joe Biden’s failed “Build Back Better” Act.  Its individual components, broken down into isolated legislative proposals, remain no less dangerous when detached from the monstrous whole as originally attempted.  

The Biden Administration and its enablers in the Pelosi-Schumer Congress, however, remain undeterred.  Rather than acknowledge the disastrous results of their hyper-left agenda and correcting course in a more reasonable manner as promised during the 2020 campaign, they rationalize that everything will be fine if they simply reintroduce the individual components of “Build Back Better” in piecemeal fashion.  

Among the leading items on their component wish list:  drug price control proposals that would kill pharmaceutical investment and innovation in the United States.  Price controls don’t work, they’ve never worked and they never will work, regardless of the product in question.  Moderates and conservatives in Congress must therefore resist any temptation to entertain “Build Back Better” Act’s drug price control provisions as individual legislative proposals.  

How do we know that price controls don’t work?  Even left-leaning voices acknowledge their failure and admonish against them.  

For example, when asked recently to opine on price control proposals in today’s environment of rising inflation, former Obama Administration economic guru and University of Chicago economics professor Austan Goolsbee bluntly replied, “Just Stop.  Seriously.”  

With specific regard to lifesaving pharmaceuticals, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) warns explicitly about the negative effects that price controls inflict:  

[P]rice controls, combined with the threat of market lockout or intellectual property infringement, prevent drug companies from charging market rates for their products, while delaying the availability of new cures to patients living in countries implementing those policies.  

Professor Goolsbee’s University of Chicago offered even greater specificity on current drug price control proposals before Congress, quantifying their destructive effect on future lifesaving innovations:  

The United States has fewer restrictions on price than other countries, but the Biden Administration has announced their goal to lower drug prices through greater price regulation…  [N]ew drug approvals will fall by 32 to 65 approvals from 2021 to 2029 and 135 to 277 approvals from 2030 to 2039.  These significant drops in new drug approvals will lead to delays in needed drug therapies, resulting in worse health outcomes for patients.  

As that study emphasizes, the U.S. maintains a more market-oriented approach to pharmaceutical innovation than our counterparts, and we benefit from that disparity.  Of 270 new medicines introduced here in the U.S. since 2011, for instance, Canadians could only access 52% of them, the Germans 67%, the British 64%, the French 53%, the Japanese 48% and the Australians just 41%.  Additionally, the U.S. accounts for two-thirds of all new drugs introduced to the world.  

Drug price control proposals before Congress would jeopardize that leadership.  As Senator Mike Crapo (R – Idaho) and his Republican colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee highlight, the Chinese would benefit while Americans and the rest of the world would suffer:  

Imagine the world today without COVID vaccines or treatments, and imagine a world with a weak or nonexistent pipeline for combating conditions like Alzheimer’s, sickle cell disease, or cancer.  These policy proposals imperil our hopes for the lifesaving cures and life-enhancing therapies of tomorrow…  As the Chinese Communist Party and other rivals abroad look to leverage life sciences innovation to seize market dominance and strengthen their defense capabilities, our national security and international leadership demand a more responsible path forward.  

Others in Congress must heed their warning and resist any temptation to entertain “compromise” legislation introducing drug price controls.  As U.S. pharmaceutical innovation becomes progressively more critical, we can’t allow the zombie-like “Build Back Better” Act’s provisions to undermine it.

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
 
"We all know what happens when a tree falls in an empty forest. What happens when a democracy emerges unscathed from a purported vile racist threat to its very existence?Pretty much the same thing, it turns out.The surge in the early vote in Georgia shows that all the smears about the state's new voting law, repeated by everyone from the president of the United States on down, were complete nonsense…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, Editor-in-Chief of National Review
— Rich Lowry, Editor-in-Chief of National Review
 
Liberty Poll   

Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?