On Politics and the Transition to Rejuvenation Biotechnology

You'll find some thoughts on incentives, politicians, and longevity science over at h+ Magazine. I don't agree with all of them, but then my views on the state as a millstone hung upon the neck of medical progress are known: "After finding out I was an economist, [Aubrey de Grey] effectively challenged me to work out what we should want politicians to do ... With over 150,000 people dying every day, I hope governments would respond to the animal experiments by accelerating our journey to [actuarial] escape velocity through massively increasing funding for longevity medical research, because the cost of dying this year goes way up if it causes you to just miss out on the chance to live long enough to live forever. But since a rational world would already make abolishing death a top priority, we can't count on politicians automatically doing this. Still (as I will explain at the end of this article) people will likely be made aware of any inevitable approach to escape velocity which should cause at least some voters to reward politicians who increase taxpayer support for medical research. ... Once we actually reach escape velocity, U.S. politicians would face enormous political pressure to make the necessary medical treatments available to all Americans, regardless of income. The U.S. government might well do this by limiting how much companies could charge for the needed medicines. Predicting this, pharmaceutical companies would have fewer incentives to develop the cures in the first place."

Link: http://hplusmagazine.com/2012/02/28/the-politics-of-medical-immortality/

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