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Richard Shepard

Richard Shepard
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  • What Do Ron Paul, Northwest Biotherapeutics, And Novartis Have In Common? [View article]
    gk - Yes I am cynical. In my experience, for all the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo about fair hearings, understandable rules and disciplined review, internal agency politics are still the ultimate trump card. I lost count of the number of my own clients who were "frozen out" of a review process simply because some agency employee took a disliking to the client. Never mind what the law says. You play ball by the agency rules, written and unwritten, or else you are railroaded into an adverse result that will cost a boatload of money to overcome, if you can overcome it at all. For my money, the fewer rules there are and the simpler they are, the better, even if that means substantial areas go unregulated and the result isn't as elegant as we would like. For those areas subject to unregulated harm the courts are available to fashion appropriate remedies when the harm does occur.
    Sep 14, 2012. 10:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Do Ron Paul, Northwest Biotherapeutics, And Novartis Have In Common? [View article]
    gk - Yes, there is a role for government, and yes, the free market does not always provide the best solutions. But reliance upon government to dispense benign and visionary regulation is a pipe dream. (My authority? 25 years as a practicing attorney--now retired) Eventually, the government agency charged with oversight becomes as corrupt as the industry it is intended to regulate.

    For example, Monsanto Vice President and chief lobbyist Michael Taylor was just appointed senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. This is the same man that was in charge of FDA policy when GMO’s were allowed into the US food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety. Similarly, whatever BP did or did not do in the Gulf of Mexico, the EPA should not have been looking the other way. And the EPA was looking the other way because it was (and is) being run by industry insiders.

    All too often government is used, not to level the playing field or to encourage innovation, but to protect market share for the industry powerhouses and to limit access against those who would improve efficiency or otherwise innovate. So, while "making government better" is a laudable goal, that does not mean the more government is always better. Indeed, IMHO, we have reached the saturation point, where more government is always worse.
    Sep 14, 2012. 10:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Do Ron Paul, Northwest Biotherapeutics, And Novartis Have In Common? [View article]
    End the Fed!
    End the FDA!
    End the War on Drugs!
    Stop playing world policeman!
    Sep 11, 2012. 01:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Amazon Buying CDs? [View article]
    I suspect Amazon's motivation is far more prosaic than all of this. Amazon is literally paying pennies on the dollar to take hard copies of popular (and unpopular) music off the used CD market. And were are the music junkies (like me) going to go when they can't find that very special Paul Revere and the Raiders song that isn't on the compilations? Why, online, of course!
    Aug 21, 2012. 12:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment