Both. In simple terms, cost-effective solutions were significantly impeded by government policy. The much-maligned Gov. LePage has done much to remedy that situation, and Maine is much better off now than before. Our whole state government just went blue, so I’m sure we can kiss our budget surplus goodbye and I’m not optimistic for Maine businesses or electricity prices for that matter, but time will tell.
Here’s a little map. Electricity is subject to the same market forces any other consumer item is, but that doesn’t stop government from trying to force outcomes that often fail to materialize.
Well, looking at the map, you can see some patterns that align with the level of regulation in any given state. Other factors come into play, of course, but the places with the highest energy prices tend to follow certain voting patterns.
I’m not making the argument for abolishing public utilities here (or the EPA for that matter). In a pure free market we’d probably have tons of cheap coal power year-round and air quality on par with Beijing. That’s not something I’d like to see.
On the other hand, the same type of regulations are preventing nuclear power from being developed further, so it’s always going to be a mixed bag.
For really cheap electricity, move to an equatorial desert or arid environment and go solar.
So when you said “both” to are prices more expensive than other states AND more expensive than they’d be without any govt intervention, what you really meant was just that it’s more expensive than other states?
In my wildest dreams, I can’t think of a way to extrapolate that map to mean prices would be lower sans govt intervention.
As an aside, I wonder how Oregon and Washington do it. Anyone know how they structure their utilities?
Ok - more like treating drugs like a utility? Fair to say that is your suggestion?
Well, ok? I don’t think that’s necessary or desirable. But the subsidy for middle/working class from employers isn’t all that effective from a shielding the consumer from too-high prices - see the cost of health care for those workers going up exponentially. So, while the Average Joe isn’t paying for the high costs of drugs directly, he’s still paying for them. They’re being passed through.
Not only, but in large part, sure - would these companies otherwise undertake the risk and expense of developing these drugs that have such a low hit rate? Drug patents are extended out further precisely because of the costs of FDA approval.
That patent all but guarantees the ROI. And it’s perfectly fair - they do all the work, they get the privilege. That’s ok.
That’s fine, too - but that is still the dreaded government intervention. But more importantly, shortening the patent window will do more to impact innovation than this proposal would (I believe pharm companies, if forced to choose, would choose an outright cap on returns over a longer period of time rather than competition being able to enter the market sooner).
So when a municipality passes a law that stealing a car is illegal, did the government grant the car owner their car? Does the driver have a “government sponsored monopoly” on his car? Or is the government merely ensuring life liberty and property like they’re supposed to?
Intellectual property is what you develop, not the guarantee that nobody will steal it
I think that’s one way and an interesting way to look at drugs. Life-saving drugs specifically.
The point I am trying to make is that a) the countries listed control their drug prices (and healthcare costs) a lot more than we do and b) they don’t spend nearly as much in total dollars of R&D (we spend $511B/Y the next closest of the countries listed, Japan, spends 165B/Y). So, if we’re going to cap the price of certain or all drugs we should look at what it actually costs us to produce these drugs.
Well, I don’t think it’s necessary or desirable to invest billions of dollars into a drug that has a 14% pass rate only to have its profitability capped either.
Why should private enterprise, afforded the privilege to earn a profit…, be the only party that has to re-negotiate the terms of their arrangement with the government? Should Medicare part D enrollees be allowed to eat junk food and be sedentary?
You mean if patents weren’t extended, but the FDA approval process was still in place? Ya, I imagine companies wouldn’t invest nearly as much as they have historically. However, extending patent approval specifically because of a government requirement is not, imo, the government granting private enterprise the privilege of profitability. The government has created a barrier to market (a good one imo), and turned around and offered these companies the “privilege” to profit off their labor.
Every part of this is government intervention. FDA approval is government intervention. Hell patent law itself is government intervention. Two good things, imo, but let’s not pretend we’ve been operating in the wild wild west of capitalism here.
Patents do not prevent competition from entering the market. They prevent a generic copy, which does not requrie the same R&D / FDA approval costs or time, from entering the market and undercutting the profitability of the drug patented.
Any other company can develop a drug that does the same thing, maybe even works better, and patent it too. That’s real competition.
The patent process is more articulate due to the requisite proof of newness or difference but the result is the same. They grant the protection afforded to the owner of a piece of property.
It isn’t a perfect analogy, but it’s similar to a property deed too.
Think about if you didn’t have a title or deed. You would have no real claim to ownership. Whether it’s a car, land, or new piece of intellectual property, if you don’t have proof of ownership you don’t have any of the constitutional protections (or responsibilities) of a property owner.
You’ve made my point for me. They (government) doesn’t grant ownership. They grant the protection afforded to the owner of a piece of property.
I would most certainly have a real claim to ownership. It just might be more difficult to prove it legally without a title or deed.
Sure I do. I have possession. I likely have other proof; bank and utility records, check stubs, etc… A title is certainly useful in establishing ownership if the need arises, but it’s not the only way.
As long as I provide the amount of money I am contractural obligate to pay, can a bank repossess my home or car?
At any rate, I believe in natural property rights.
“In his unrelated state, man has a natural right to his property, to his character, to liberty, and to safety. From his peculiar relations, as a husband, as a father, as a son, he is entitled to the enjoyment of peculiar rights, and obliged to the performance of peculiar duties. These will be specified in their due course. From his general relations, he is entitled to other rights, simple in their principle, but, in their operation, fruitful and extensive. His duties, in their principle and in their operation, may be characterized in the same manner as his rights. In these general relations, his rights are, to be free from injury, and to receive the fulfilment of the engagements, which are made to him: his duties are, to do no injury, and to fulfil the engagements, which he has made. On these two pillars principally and respectively rest the criminal and the civil codes of the municipal law. These are the pillars of justice.” - James Wilson http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/of-the-natural-rights-of-individuals/
Do you really believe the government grants ownership of property?
No, but it becomes a matter of “good luck proving it” if you don’t establish custody, especially with ip, where the ability to manufacture and engage in commerce is outside of the direct control of the owner.
When natural rights were being argued the world was a much simpler place. You didn’t have a guy in PA. designing an article or object that was to be manufactured in Korea and distributed by thousands of retail outlets nationally or internationally.