Monday, 3 March 2008

José Manuel Barroso talking nonsense, FT fails to correct him


Protectionist pressures are increasing across Europe, even among political forces traditionally committed to free markets, according to José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president... Mr Barroso, [is] a committed advocate of free trade

Yet Barroso, the great "advocate of free trade",

saw some progress in China’s position on the defence of intellectual property rights – a key concern for European companies. “The Commission doesn’t want to, but it might be hard to resist the protectionist calls,” he warned.

So Barroso truly believes in free trade, but wants to force China to enforce government granted monopolies (IPR) by threatening protectionist measures, aka a trade war. Protectionism to force more protectionism in the name of free trade. How can you even say that with a straight face?

NYT sees only three options for increasing Medicare/aid costs


The Democrats do not say, in any detail, how they would slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid or what they think about the main policy options: rationing care, raising taxes, cutting payments to providers or requiring beneficiaries to pay more.

Robert Pear thinks the only options are: reducing the quality of care, not providing care at all or increasing the cost of care. The question of tackling costs of the actual treatments and drug aren't a policy option. It would be relatively easy to abandon government granted patent monopolies and would drive costs down dramatically. However, I guess this isn't a main policy option due to either the powers of the lobbies or the fallacy that innovation requires patent protection. To be sure, innovation in an inefficent private market requirse patent protection. Innovation in a public enterprise require no patent protection.