Cato’s incredible advocacy of pharmaceutical protectionism is especially ironic in light of the fact that Bill Niskanen is chairman of Cato precisely because of his free trade credentials. Around 1980 he was fired as chief economist for the Ford Motor Company because he refused to endorse automobile industry protectionism. He became quite the hero to free marketeers, especially Ed Crane. I wonder if he’ll do the same now and resign?
Last week a Cato fellow went on television and advocated military intervention in Liberia. This week it’s pharmaceutical industry protectionism. What’s next — a plea to raise taxes?
(Thanks to Bruce Bartlett for reminding me that it was Ford, not GM, that fired Niskanen).9:37 pm on July 24, 2003