Biden's IP Waiver: Disgraceful and Unjust

Monday, May 10, 2021

Although I am not sure exactly where the economist Alex Tabarrok stands on patents, I must thank him for saying the following with regard to the Biden Administration's support for a waiver of intellectual property rights protection for the scientists and businessmen who invented -- and are working nonstop to provide -- vaccines against Covid:

He can't make it and doesn't care how it's done, but he'll try to steal it... (Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
You may have gathered that I am angry. I am indeed angry that the people in power think they can solve real problems on the cheap and at someone else's expense. This is not serious. I am also angry that they are sending the wrong message about business, profits and capitalism. So let me end on positive note. Like the Apollo program and Dunkirk, the creation of the mRNA vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna should be lauded with Nobel prizes and major movies. Churchill called the rescue at Dunkirk a "miracle of deliverance," well the miracle of Moderna will rescue many more. Not only was a vaccine designed in under a year, an entirely new production process was set up to produce billions of doses to rescue the world. The creation of the mRNA vaccines was a triumph of science, logistics, and management and it was done at a speed that I had thought possible only for past generations.

I am grateful that greatness is still within our civilization's grasp. [bold added]
This comes at the end of a post in which Tabarrok demolishes the entire farcical idea that pursuit of profit is somehow behind the fact that every man, woman, and child on the planet hasn't already been vaccinated.

One of the biggest failings in the commentary of pro-liberty economists has long been a failure to acknowledge that there are moral arguments behind their positions, let alone take a moral stand. The above isn't ideal, but it does what we need to be doing now -- which is to acknowledge the virtue of the people whose rights will likely soon be violated by the Biden Administration in this latest abuse of government power to use the pandemic as its excuse.

Economists will often argue that some left-wing scheme or other is impractical or "won't work," and leave it at that. Tabarrok argues that this is impractical quite well here, but he does so in such a way as to show that Biden and his cronies are being extremely dishonest, fantastically unrealistic, and blatantly unjust.

The pro-liberty movement needs to do this more often: The whole reason the left gets away with such mendacity is that they pretend to have the moral high ground. They do not, and they should never go unchallenged. They are thieves who enjoy pretending -- mostly to themselves -- that stealing things from other people is noble and will somehow make the world a better place.

-- CAV

P.S. I have not yet had an opportunity to listen to either, but I recommend the following two discussions about this matter: "Why the Patent Waiver on COVID-19 Drugs Is Wrong" (a discussion among Adam Mossoff, Greg Salmieri, and Amesh Adalja), and an episode of The Yaron Brook Show in which Brook interviews intellectual propery law professor Adam Mossoff on the patent waiver inter alia.

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