I Say Prove It
And not just to pick on rd80. In a reply to ChannelDunlap's post "Not Everything Has to Make a Profit", rd80 offered this relply;#4) On July 24, 2009 at 9:22 PM, rd80 (99.12) wrote:
We could cut out the profits,
And that leaves what as incentive to enter the healtcare industry, invent things like Intuitive's DaVinci, develop new drugs, etc?
Where are you going to get good doctor's, researchers, nurses, etc. if you don't pay them well?
The vast majority of medical innovations exist because there's a profit incentive to create new and better ways to do things. Govenment may do some things well; innovate isn't one of them. No profit and government run healthcare = far fewer advancements in medical science.
I take exception to the concept that "The vast majority of medical innovations exist because there is a profit incentive to create".
I have read this idea many times by many different posters and I say it is not true. I say the creative mind does not need profit. I say the creative mind cannot help itself but to create, and all it needs is time away from survival. Perhaps there are some that create with profit as their motivation, but I believe they are the minority. Even the example given, ISRG, had its birth in a non-profit. From ISRG's website we get;
The original prototype for Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci System was developed in the late 1980s at SRI International under contract to the U.S. Army. While initial work was funded in the interest of developing a system for performing battlefield surgery remotely...
and commerial interest came afterward
....possible commercial applications were even more compelling: It was clear to those involved that this technology could accelerate the application of a minimally invasive surgical approach to a broader range of procedures.
Even SRI International where the original work was done is a "nonprofit" 501c corporation.
I say medical innovation happens because there are people who do not chase the "profit". People who are motivated for the betterment of mankind, or the thrill of leaving a mark, or the desire to add to humanity, combined with intelligence, creativity and inspiration.
I say the people who create, will create, whether they are paid for their research by Government or Amgen.
Will those same people pursue "profit" when the creating is done? Sometimes. Sometimes they will move on to the next creation.
There are people who fund the creators who seek profit (us). But the creative mind will go on, with or without our opportunity for profit. We need them, not the reverse.
I believe profit sometimes stands in the way of the creative mind. Profit punishes it for proving something doesn't work, unable to reward such a contribution to knowledge. Profit restricts the creative mind from its most wild ideas, because it cannot afford to have them not work, just as any for profit business cannot afford a failure.
Thomas Graham, Alexander Fleming, DaVinci, Tesla, Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, all pursued knowledge, not profit. Thomas Edison was an exception, not the rule.
The idea that profit is the goal of creativity seems a recent idea, and IMHO, mostly wrong.