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Crony Trade Treaties: A Bad Deal for Your Healthcare

Home/Healthcare News/Crony Trade Treaties: A Bad Deal for Your Healthcare

Crony Trade Treaties: A Bad Deal for Your Healthcare

by Anna Maria Barry-Jester | Five Thirty Eight | October 19, 2015

Crony Trade Treaties: A Bad Deal for Your Healthcare

Sovereign Solutions Editor’s Note:

I bring the linked post to your attention for good reason, dear reader. It highlights crony trade. In particular, it highlights crony trade that affects your healthcare and mine.

Ever hear of “free trade agreements” such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], which has recently been brought into international standing for signatory nations such as the US?

Now, I call these crony trade agreements, or to be more precise, crony trade treaties. 

You see, these so-called “free trade” agreements, which are not actually free trade, [the TPP alone is close to 6,000 pages long and growing since it is a “living agreement,” so how COULD that amount to unfettered, or free, trade?] amount to being treaties. Treaties are the only real legal instrument that may supersede parts to a national constitution such as the United States Constitution.

Why do I mention this? Is this just a difference without a distinction?

Well, under the US Constitution, such crony trade deals ought NOT be considered operable and in good standing!

The reason is because these so-called deals are treaties. And under the US constitution treaties require two thirds of the US Senate present to vote passage alongside the approval also of the sitting US President which traditionally negotiates the said treaties to be passed or denied.

Look to all of these so-called intentionally misnamed “free trade” agreements, which are really crony trade treaties. NONE, despite being treaties, get passed as such. And treaties they are, because they are treated as “law of the land” despite being international in scope and in creation.

It’s funny that BEFORE passage these crony trade treaties are treated as something else so as to attain passage. It’s funnier still that they are treated as treaties AFTER passage.

And the best thing of all?

Well, the best thing [I hope you can tell I am being sarcastic] is that these crony trade treaties, under the “free market” moniker which has and will continue to receive blame, foster, as the post linked demonstrates, anti-competitive regulations and rules and special built protections of sorts for big crony market players.

Isn’t it preposterous that these crony trade treaties are called “free market?”

Remember, these things are “living documents.” That means these things, like the TPP, are cancerous growths that just don’t stop unless they are carved out and killed!

And guess what? They do the opposite of what they are sold to you and me to do, as they limit competition and aid the Big Boys! From the link just to the left we hear from one of the biggest of the anti competitive Big Boys:

“Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein said:

More intense regulatory and technology requirements have raised the barriers to entry higher than at any other time in modern history. This is an expensive business to be in, if you don’t have the market share in scale. Consider the numerous business exits that have been announced by our peers as they reassessed their competitive positioning and relative returns.”

Wow, straight from their mouths. And, again, remember, these regulatory, rules-based crony trade treaties are LIVING AGREEMENTS.

What does it mean for these crony trade treaties to be “living” you say?

Well, relate one of these to another legal instrument particular and exclusive to the United States. Have you ever heard of the Dodd-Frank Act?

First, it is over 2300 pages long! In addition, there are several thousand pages and GROWING of regulations related to the original legal invention! The legal and compliance costs alone ABSOLUTELY MUST DRIVE OUT competition and erect incredible barriers to market entry, thereby driving up prices to you and I as banking customers!

How’s that for “consumer protection” and “affordability?”

Yes. The government and crony market induced and government passed [through fraud] and maintained crony trade treaties HURT you and me. And, as the linked post centers upon, the recently passed TPP helps to make your healthcare and mine more obstructed and therefore costly.

But don’t worry. It’s called “free trade,” and the political machinery and usual crony market Liars, Looters, and Losers say that this thing is a real winner.

The question is…for whom is this new [and future and past] crony trade treaty a winner for?

FEATURED CONTENT

(…) Pharmaceutical companies say these periods without competition promote innovation, and correctly point out that the majority of drug development happens in places like the U.S. and Europe, which have strong protections and clear rewards. Critics recite the statistical adage that correlation does not equal causation, saying the toughest laws exist where companies can apply pressure to implement them. Growing evidence suggests that while patents do encourage innovation, they do it in an inefficient way.

I’ve spent the last couple of months reading through the literature on whether patents do encourage or cause innovation, and whether including regulations on pharmaceuticals in trade deals has benefited countries in the past. Unsurprisingly, there’s a study to back up whatever you want to believe on these subjects. And though some are of higher quality than others, they all share essential flaws, largely because it’s really hard to control for the ever-shifting geopolitical climate that shapes where, and how, pharmaceutical patent law and regulation are implemented. As Yi Qian, a professor at the University of British Columbia who studies the effect of trade policy on innovation, told me, “economists aren’t dictators,” which makes it nearly impossible to run randomized control trials on most public policy, including patent law.

Still, across these studies, several themes emerge (this review of the evidence summarizes them well): Pharmaceutical patents do fuel innovation, but at a very high price. The cost of medicine is going up and the rate of return (in the form of innovation) is going down. In recent decades, the majority of new drugs brought to market have been of little real therapeutic benefit. But granting patents and monopolies is the only financial rewards system for innovation that’s really been tested, making it impossible to say whether it works better than the alternatives. And finally, a point that is key for countries like Peru: The benefits of patent protection for pharmaceuticals are mainly for wealthy countries — poor people in poor places bear the brunt of the system’s inefficiencies.

“When they grant a patent, it seems a totally bureaucratic, administrative process. But they are creating monopolies that have a real impact on society.”

It’s hard to imagine rolling back pharmaceutical monopolies in the U.S. and Europe (especially given how strong the industry’s lobby is), but lots of people are talking about it. The Economist magazine recently outlined the evidence against patents and drug monopolies, calling for an end to the system. In September, the Council of Europe passed a resolution asking member states and the World Health Organization to “put forward alternatives to the current patent-based pharmaceutical innovation model.” Democratic presidential candidates are including alternatives in their campaign platforms. Most people in the U.S. think that drug costs are unreasonable and that pharmaceutical companies are to blame.

There’s also evidence that a complex web of regulation, like the one in the U.S. that is increasingly being promoted in trade agreements like the TPP, creates opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry to win longer monopolies. Robin Feldman, a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has researched patent law extensively and recently published a study showing how regulations intended to promote generic medicines in the U.S. have been manipulated by the pharmaceutical industry, so that brand-name drugs get a longer monopoly than intended, at a cost of many billions of dollars for the government and consumers.

“The revolution in generic drugs has been a miracle,” Feldman told me. “The real miracle is that the benefit of generic drugs has held up at all given pharma’s all-out assault on those regulations.” She worries that the provisions affecting pharmaceuticals in the TPP will open the door to what she calls “game playing,” where industry uses the legal and regulatory system to delay the sale of generics. The U.S. is “attempting to export both our complexities and the generosity of our provisions to pharma,” Feldman said. Given the problems with the U.S. patent system, “one might be wary about exporting it.”

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you have any objections, thoughts, concerns, or contributions? I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. Help me to make this a conversation!

Together we can map out better solutions and truly navigate clearer paths towards quality services, low prices, and better lives.

Oh! And as always, if you find this post useful, do me and so many others a huge favor. When it comes to this kind of information: share and share alike! Information is meant to be disseminated wide and far.

Sovereign Liberty Solutions

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By | 2017-03-28T10:07:42-04:00 November 11th, 2015|Categories: Healthcare News|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Matthew. I am founder of and manage Sovereign Liberty Solutions. I am a proponent of free, voluntary association and expression. I understand that there is no single exception or excuse to violate this with the initiation of force, fraud, and coercion. I welcome a genuine dialogue & seek information, news, analysis, and, of course, solutions, whether it be on the individual level or a more voluntary association [group] or even "national" one.

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