An Excellent Appeal to Pity Over Stem Cell Research
I haven’t seen such a blatant appeal to pity in making a case for something in quite some time.
That’s why Bush’s stem cell position isn’t Solomonic — it’s craven. His upcoming veto is an act not of moral leadership but of hypocrisy. And the cost of this hypocrisy, assuming Congress can’t muster the votes for an override, will be borne by everyone who dreams of new cures for awful illnesses.
I’ll give him a 9.4 with deductions for not mentioning children and/or some cute-n-cuddly critter.
Rosenberg does try to get around the “don’t spend tax payer dollars” argument.
And please don’t test our credulity with the laughable “Go ahead and do the research, but let’s not spend taxpayers’ money on things they don’t believe in” argument: If that had any bearing, my tax dollars would not be funding a war that 2/3 of the country opposes now that the specious arguments used to launch it have collapsed.)
There is just one problem here. National defense spending is actually one of the few cases of a pure public good. We all benefit from that spending equally. It isn’t simply a matter of not liking the policy, but one of is there any reason the government should be involved in that kind of activity at all. At best all I can see is an argument that finding a cure for something like Parkinson’s disease carries significant positive externalities with it, and I’m not even convinced that is the case.
Germany is pushing for an EU ban on European funding for embryonic stem cell research, it was reported today, one day after George Bush vetoed a bill in the US to expand such research.
Reuters reported that it had seen a letter by the German research minister, Annette Schavan, to EU partners pressing for a ban.
A narrow majority in the European parliament voted last month to allow continued public funding for stem cell research but Germany is seeking to draw up support for an amendment which would force a second reading.