Why the Beltway Loves Libertarians

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If you want a protectionist argument made, so much better to get a free-trader to do it. Here Cato’s Doug Bandow opposes free trade in pharmaceuticals.

Are American drug prices “free market”? Well, they are, given the anti-competitive FDA, so beloved of the pharmaceutical industry; the anti-competitive patent laws, so beloved of the pharmaceutical industry; and the vast, artificial stimulus to demand from Medicare, Medicaid, and a hundred other welfare programs, so beloved of the pharmaceutical industry.

I could also mention Bush’s $400 billion drug benefit (the vastly understated official cost) and his $15 billion drug benefit for Africa, both written and pushed by the Republican pharmaceutical industry.

Dick Armey’s Republican thinktank, which paid for this NRO article, gets drug money, and on his last day of Congress, he bragged to a friend of mine that he was “starting at $1 million a year as a lobbyist.” Gee, what industry might be among his clients?

2:09 pm on July 24, 2003