TES Weekly Update: Science Delivers, Politics Withers
Diabetes breakthrough shows there’s hope! Brexit mess shows… something else
Our world remains a study in contrasts, and that’s about the most that can be said for it. On the one hand, a breakthrough in the clinical understanding of diabetes promises to quietly revolutionize the way we treat one of the world’s deadliest killers. On the other, political discourse continues its downward spiral, calling into question the durability and longevity of democratic institutions just about everywhere.
Let’s take the good news first: a new, seven-year study shows that a simple adjustment to the diabetes standard of care for newly diagnosed patients could significantly delay the disease’s progression to devastating outcomes like irreversible organ damage, giving patients years of additional good health (and saving strapped healthcare systems billions of dollars). It’s a massive win for diabetes patients everywhere. Sir Michael Hirst and Dr. Päivi Maria Paldánius celebrate the news in CapX and call on the medical community to rethink the global approach to treating diabetes.
Agreeing on things backed by science should be easy enough. The same can’t be said for politics, which are at best “the art of the possible,” according to Bismarck, yet “have no relation to morals,” according to Machiavelli, and are generally “more difficult than physics,” according to Einstein. Nowadays we might well add Napoleon’s observation that, “In politics, absurdity is no handicap”.
Indeed few current events (or rather non-events) reflect these maxims better than the self-inflicted agony of Brexit, still turning UK politics upside down and inside out more than three years after the fateful referendum. Fortunately TES UK correspondent Calum Nicholson manages to distill the mess down to its essence in a remarkably lucid essay. Short version: things are changing, and there’s no going back.
— Erik Sass, TES Editor-in-Chief
By George Nethercutt, Jr., former U.S. Representative (WA 5th)
This could be a pivotal moment for cryptocurrencies — but first, the US needs to develop a “light-touch” regulatory framework that provides certainty for crypto developers to move forward.
By Davis Warnell and Sloane Shearman, courtesy of the Mercatus Center
Research and testimonials suggest EHRs in their current form detract from patient satisfaction and overall quality of care while at the same time burdening physicians with crippling administrative costs and symptoms of burnout.
Jasson Urbach, Director of the Free Market Foundation, in CapX
The UN focus on achieving universal health coverage is laudable. The same can’t be said of its support for measures that jeopardize innovation by threatening to undermine legal protections for intellectual property.
By Wayne Winegarden, Pacific Research Institute, in Forbes
Conservatives have a wealth of ideas for addressing climate change that are in keeping with free market principles, as reflected in a new commentary in Forbes by Wayne Winegarden, a senior fellow with the Pacific Research Institute.
By the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board (subscription)
Bad ideas have a way of sticking around, but fortunately there’s a home for them called Congress. The recently proposed legislation on drug prices is firmly in this category, relying on what are in effect government-imposed price controls, backed by the threat of ruinous taxes for any companies that don’t comply.
By Erik Sass, TES Editor-in-Chief
Tech companies’ worst nightmares are coming true: Margrethe Vestager, newly elevated to ECC Executive Vice-President for Digital Affairs, laid out plans to double down on her previous enforcement efforts, including moving beyond multi-billion-dollar fines to new penalties for tech companies that transgress.
Policy At Work…
WASHINGTON BEYOND THE HEADLINES
By Andy Blom, TES Correspondent
Impeach. Yawn. Oh well, at least it cuts down on Congress passing stupid legislation that dies in the Senate… as McConnell has promised impeachment will. If we paid politicians based on performance, the way we pay athletes, this overpaid bunch of .150 hitters would all be on waivers. But some people in Washington are actually working! Free market conservatives are confronting issues and advancing ideas to move America forward…
- Feeling Overtaxed? See How You Stack Up Against the Rest of the World. The Tax Foundation has put together a fascinating in-depth look at taxes around the world. The International Tax Competitiveness Index 2019 compares Corporate, Individual, Consumption and Property taxes around the globe. See who’s good, who’s bad and who’s getting better at www.taxfoundation.org.
- Not Guilty, Now Go To Jail. “Acquitted Conduct Sentencing” allows federal judges to sentence defendants based on charges for which a jury found them not guilty. Using a different standard of justice — a ‘preponderance of evidence’ as opposed to ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ — judges can ignore a jury’s decision. Senators from across the aisle (Grassley R, Durban D, Leahy D, Tillis R, Lee R, Booker D) have banded to introduce the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2019, a simple legislative remedy. Read about it at www.idueprocess.org, and at The Hill.
- Stopping Union Bribes at the Veterans Administration. New hire at the VA? During your new employee orientation a representative of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) will approach you and offer you $100 cash to join the union on the spot. Congressman Neal Dunn (R-FL) has introduced H.R. 4503, the VA Workplace Integrity Act, to put a stop to the dubious practice. Learn more here.
- School Choice Lets Parents Choose Success for their Children. As more and more parents feel their children are victims of failing public schools they are fighting back against teachers forcing political agendas and educational programs that don’t answer their children’s needs. School Choice has become the rallying cry for parents wanting better for their offspring. Two important cases occur in, and near, our nation’s capital. Single mother Virginia Walden Ford tells how Congress and President Bush created the D.C. Parental Choice Incentive Act in 2004 that changed her kids’ lives forever here. And Lindsey Burke tells how one man is trying to make a big difference in the lives of at-risk boys in grades six through eight by opening just the second charter school in Richmond. Read about the courageous Antoine Green here.
- You Are Immensely Valuable – at Least to the Internet. The use and analysis of personal data on the internet is of enormous economic value. Unfortunately, it often exposes information about people without their consent. How can you best protect yourself, your personal information, your very soul, from being exploited? The Competitive Enterprise Institute argues that common law is a better solution than government regulation. Read their report: Selling Your Data without Selling Your Soul: Privacy, Property, and the Platform Economy at www.cei.org.
- Economic Freedom Depends on Political Freedom. Our Founding Fathers got it right: Constrain Government and you will free the people, and the economy. But today’s progressives believe Government needs more power to transform policies and lives. Iain Murray raises the alarm of what happens when economic freedom is shackled by too much government in a new report: Democratic Capitalism: Why Political and Economic Freedom Need Each Other. Read his compelling arguments at www.cei.org.
Upcoming events: Congress may not be in session (except for impeachment), but there are still lots of interesting and important events. Get busy and don’t forget to RSVP!
- SECURING THE BORDER AND RESTORING LAW AND ORDER. Panel Discussion. Tuesday, October 15, 2 PM – 3:30 PM. The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE. RSVP: org/events.
- THE JOSEPH STORY DISTINGUISHED LECTURE #OurConstitution. The Honorable Edith H. Jones, Circuit Judge, U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Wednesday, October 16, Doors Open at 5 PM, Lecture 5:30 PM, Reception to Follow. The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE. RSVP: org/events.
- COSM, A National Technology Summit Presented by Discovery Institute. October 23-25, Seattle, WA. Info at cosm.technology.
- BEHIND THE MASK, Antifa’s Plan to Undermine Liberal Democracy. Keynote by Andy Ngo, Independent Journalist. Thursday, October 24, 12 PM – 1 PM. The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE. RSVP: org/events.
- DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION Annual Gala. Courage Under Fire Award: The Honorable Lindsey Graham. October 30, The Mayflower Hotel, Washington. Cocktails 6 PM, Dinner 7 PM, Dancing 8:30 PM. Write to Haley for more info.
- LIBERTY FORUM & FREEDOM DINNER 2019 – November 6th-7th in New York City. The Atlas Foundation’s annual Liberty Forum brings together amazing freedom champions to exchange ideas, share strategies, and celebrate successes that create the conditions for liberty to thrive. The gala Freedom Dinner serves as a fitting grand finale to this conference, celebrating heroes of the freedom movement and the principles that Atlas Network’s partners are advancing worldwide. More information on attending is available here.
- 8th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE – THE AUSTRIAN SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY. November 13th and 14th. One of the premier gatherings of the sharpest libertarian economists in the world. The Economic Standard will be covering the conference as an official media partner. The program will include the presentation of the 2019 Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award on November 14th. Learn more at austrianconference.org.
- THE INAUGURAL CHARTER CITIES CONFERENCE – March 17th and 18th, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ever wanted to build your own city? Well, here’s your chance. Participants will learn how to build the foundation for strong, economically vibrant charter cities from experts who are traveling from around the world to discuss projects both planned and in progress. This is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an exciting movement to build the future of governance for the cities of tomorrow. Visit the conference site for more.
Andy Blom is a veteran political and public policy pro with decades of experience in Washington, D.C. circles.