In this post I talked about how Canada’s strict drug pricing laws allows them to be free riders. They get cutting edge medical products without having to deal with the costs of liability or development.

Now Damien Penny has pointed out an outraged op-ed in the Toronto Star. It would appear that some editor has his panties in a bunch because the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation plans to build the clinic on land it owns in Saskatoon. The clinic will be a for-profit facility, just like we have in America!

How can they do this, being in Canada and all? Well, it would appear that the Canadian government granted the Native Americans a great deal of autonomy in self governing, even in the way they run their own health care system. So now they want to actually make some money off of it. You know, the American dream. Apparently that’s something that the Canadians just can’t allow to happen.


There’s an op-ed I found interesting in the Thursday, May 13 2004 edition of the Wall Street Journal. It’s by Jose Ramos-Horta, the 1996 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. Ramos-Horta states that it’s bad news now that Spain, the Dominican Republic and Honduras have all pulled out of Iraq. He says that every Coalition member that drops the ball sends a message to the terrorists that we’re weak and they can win this if they just go the extra mile.

That’s a good point, and he makes several more. He favors the use of force to stop depraved dictators, for example. But he lost me when it came to the last few paragraphs.

“Now is the time for Washington to show leadership by ensuring that the UN plays the central role in building a new Iraq.” (snip) “The UN is the sum of our qualities and weaknesses, our selfish national interests and personal vanities. For all its shortcomings, it is the only international organization that we all feel part of: it should be cherished instead of weakened. While the US will continue to play a critical role in ensuring security in Iraq, a UN-led peacekeeping force would enable many Arab and Muslim nations to join in and help isolate the extremists.”

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Gotta go through some backstory first. Bear with me and have faith that there’s a point.

IMHO, the most influential man in all of history has got to be Confucious. He was a Chinese civil servant who came up with a system of how society should be arranged.

Okay, boring stuff, right? But it was terribly influential, not least because it stated in very strong terms that the State was more important than the individual, and the people who ran the State were more important than anyone under them.

No surprise that temples were built to honor this Confucious guy a few years after his death (Even though the idea of building a temple for a primitive sociologist seems bizarre in the extreme to us today.) Most Asian societies quickly absorbed Confucianism and made it an integral part of everything they did. For 2,000 years the most advanced and populous societies on Earth ran themselves along strictly Confucian lines.

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So Brigitte Bardot is a French screen goddess, but that sells her short. She’s an activist, a tireless promoter of animal rights, and a best selling author.

It’s that last that got her in trouble. She wrote a book that addressed a variety of subjects, one of which was Islamic culture. Bardot stated in the book that she was against undue Islamic influences in French culture.

Well, why not? A successful businesswoman and artist such as herself. What kind of chance would such a talented female have to shine in an Islamic state? One thing is certain, she would have never risen to her level if she was born into a government that practiced sharia.

But the French courts have decided that this incites violence against Muslims. Bardot has come up against anti-hate speech laws. She’ll probably be convicted.

I don’t have much to say about this. it pretty much speaks for itself.

(Hat tip to Mike Spenis at The Feces Flinging Monkey.)


First, a little backstory.

The Canadian government has very strict price controls on prescription drugs. Canadian citizens are rather proud of this, since they claim that it shows that evil greedy uncaring corperations can’t reap undeserved profits while callously allowing people to die simply because they can’t help the bottom line.

This is a matter of pride in Canada. The idea is that they’ve proven that they’re caring and compassionate while being efficient and fiscally responsible.

US pharms sell to Canada because they do get some profit and it’s a big market, even though they claim that they’re not realizing a fair return for the product.

Now consumers and government agencies here in the US are getting into the act. They’re ordering drugs over the Internet from Canadian firms to realize significant savings.

US pharmas are calling foul. They say it costs an enormous amount to develop new drugs, and the high prices they charge are just an attempt to earn a fair return on their investment before the patents expire.

So which view is the correct one? Who has the closer line on the truth?

This report by the Frasier Institute goes a long way towards debunking claims that the Canadian system is more efficient. (Hat tip to Innocents Abroad.) According to the report, Canada provides one of the worst level of care amongst other countries with universal health care, and at significantly higher cost.

Thomas Sowell has an op-ed that’s pretty interesting. (Hat tip to No Watermelons Allowed.) Sowell points out the enormous costs that is required when developing any medical resource, from drugs to your family doctor. He also says that one of the really big expenses that many people ignore are various liability concerns, either lawsuits themselves or insurance to protect from same. Canadian pharmas don’t develop their own products so they dodge this bullet.