Yet there are those who think that the United States should follow policies more like those in Europe,writes Thomas Sowell,
often with no stronger reason than the fact that Europeans follow such policies. For some Americans, it is considered chic to be like Europeans.
…Those Americans who are pushing us toward the kinds of policies that Europeans impose on pharmaceutical companies show not the slightest interest in what the consequences of such laws have been.
One consequence is that even European pharmaceutical companies do much of their research and development of new medications in the U.S., in order to take advantage of American patent protections and freedom from price controls.
These are the very policies that the European imitators want us to change.
It is not a coincidence that such a high proportion of the major pharmaceutical drugs are developed in the U.S. If we kill the goose that lays the golden egg, as the Europeans have done, both we and the Europeans — as well as the rest of the world — will be worse off, because there are few other places for such medications to be developed. …
A Not-So-Sophisticated Record
Some of the people who are most adamant against outsourcing economic activity from the U.S. to other countries often seem to think we should outsource our foreign policy to "world opinion" or act only in conjunction "with our NATO allies."
Like so many things that are said when it comes to public policy, there is very little attention paid to the actual track record of "world opinion" or of "our NATO allies."
Often there is a blanket assumption that European countries are just so much more sophisticated than American "cowboys." But there is incredibly little interest in the track record of those European sophisticates whom we are supposed to consult about our own national interests — including, in an age when terrorists may acquire nuclear weapons, our national survival.
In the course of the 20th century, supposedly sophisticated Europeans managed to create some of the most monstrous forms of government on earth — communism, fascism, Nazism — in peacetime, and to start the two World Wars, the bloodiest in all human history. In each of these wars, both the winners and the losers ended up far worse off than they were before these wars were started.