"A cure for cancer could be one of the worst mistakes for the United States economy"

Interesting take:

Think for a moment about the amount of money that is spent a year on cancer medication. How many drug companies would go out of business if a cure for cancer were found? How many politicians would loose elections because they did not have the backing of these drug companies? . . .

. . . It was once estimated that one out of every thousand people in the United States work in some field that is linked to cancer research. If a cure for cancer were to be found, it would have a strong, negative effect on the economy in the United States.

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  • Gasman

    Dumb argument just doesn’t stand up to actual history.
    Did the economy collapse when the horse and buggy era of transportation came to an end? Of course not, because it ended when an even more valuable comododity replace it. The auto required a petroleum industry, rubber industry, great increases in steel production, glass, and ultimately millions of workers.
    The same will be true for the cancer cure. Even if production is more efficient (requiring fewer jobs) than the present cancer care industry, the pricing for the cure will be such that as much, and almost certainly more money changes hands. Thus while there will be individual winners and loosers in the cancer-industrial complex (think Toyota v GM) massive amounts of dollars will be there for the taking. Innovative and responsive people and companies will reap the reward, while those who persist in making buggy whips will fail.

  • KipEsquire

    This is what economists call the Broken Window Fallacy.

  • Anonymous

    This is wrong in economic terms on so many levels. First, having a cure that could be marketed worldwide to everyone with cancer would generate a large amount of revenue and would help offset any negative effects to GDP.

    Second, you are overestimating the contribution of cancer drugs to the US GDP. The GDP last year was on the order of $13 TRILLION. Cancer drugs were responsible for only a fraction of 1% of that.

    Third, and most importantly, any time you can advance technology you are going to be better off economically. It’s like arguing that email hurt the economy because there are less jobs for mailmen. People that would have worked as mailmen can now devote their time to something else that contributes to GDP.

    Fourth, health care would be less expensive worldwide. Insurance premiums would be less (since there is less expected costs per person through their life if cancer is less likely) This lets people take money they would have spent on expensive cancer therapies and invest it back into the system. They can pay off their mortgage, invest in real estate, their childrens’ educations, etc.

    The argument put forth by this article is quite absurd.

  • Anonymous

    Along the same lines, global warming is the same way. The field of climatology has never seen as much publicity and research money as it has since the global warming cause became trendy. Don’t expect to see researchers in this field change their mind anytime soon.

  • Chris, RN

    I’ve been arguing with bloggers on a message board about this very same topic for a couple of days. I do not believe in conspiracies in general. I find it difficult to believe every physician & entity involved in cancer research & treatment is so mercenary they would conspire to keep millions of people sick.

    How many millions of women for how many decades were given HRT? Practice took a 180 degree turn overnight because of one, huge, good study.

    Both of my parents died of cancer; my father at 48 from colon cancer (circa 1976), my mother at 60 from lung cancer (circa 1992)(she smoked Pall Malls from age 13). They were both in denial for different reasons BTW, and didn’t seek care until it was too late.

    I’m of the belief when a cure is found, the inventor will be eager to sell it. People will beat a path to their door, whether in the US or somewhere else. Wealthy people leave this country for routine surgeries now. It will be difficult to keep a secret long.

  • Anonymous

    “An interesting take” NOT! This banal waste of bandwidth is not even worthy of contemplation. From a more practical standpoint, how about we find a cure for diabetes?

  • Anonymous

    So say youre a researcher. You have a grant to study cancer and you think you are on the path to something big. You say to yourself “Oh no! I can’t let this get out because I need to protect the earnings of my colleagues and the company I work for. I will hide this cure and give up countless riches and having my name in every textbook till the end of time so I can keep earning my crappy salary.”

    I dont know of anyone that thinks like this

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