Grassroot Perspective – Jan. 24, 2003-Life Extension Magazine Lauds FDAREVIEW.ORG; Examining How Contracts Work; Together With IJ, I Fought for My Kids Future

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”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”


– Life Extension Magazine Lauds FDAREVIEW.ORG — the Independent Institute’s extensive Web site
critiquing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — was favorably
reviewed in the August issue of LIFE EXTENSION, a monthly magazine devoted to health and longevity.

“The cost in terms of human suffering and economic loss that stems from the FDA’s failed policies is too high,” the article begins. “That’s why [Independent Institute research fellow] Daniel Klein, Ph.D. and
[Independent Institute research director] Alex Tabarrok, Ph.D. decided to pool their knowledge and develop a website ( that provides a meticulous dissection of the FDA’s multiple troubles.

“After pouring over academic and medical literature on FDA policy for years,” the article continues, “Drs. Klein and Tabarrok could reach only one conclusion: ‘The FDA greatly increases the costs of drug development and the time it takes to bring a drug to market. The net effect is loss of health and life.’ The website, they hope, will help to present the facts, inconsistencies, injustices, and help advance the public debate on FDA reform. It traces federal drug regulation back a century, details the steps involved in drug development and approval, presents an evaluation of the costs and benefits of FDA policy. Klein and Tabarrok also size up the major plans for FDA reform, and offer their own solutions for getting out of the current quagmire of misguided policies bred by what they deem excessive caution.”

LIFE EXTENSION’s article also reveals an insight by Daniel Klein that
should cause FDA bureaucrats to think twice:

“‘The FDA was established in a fitful series of ill-considered responses to highly-publicized tragic events, particularly the sulfa tragedy in 1937 and the thalidomide disaster. Let’s accept, for the sake of argument, that the FDA has helped to avoid some tragedies of this sort,’ says Klein. ‘Nevertheless, you still have to do the grisly math. How many lives have been lost because the FDA delayed a life-saving drug? How many lives have been lost because FDA regulation made it unprofitable to develop a new life-saving drug? How many lives have been lost because the FDA refused to allow advertisers to make scientifically supportable health claims? When you do the grisly math it isn’t even a close call. The FDA is a major health catastrophe.'”

For the full article, “New Website Speaks Out on FDA’s Unhealthy
Policies,” by Angela Pirisi (LIFE EXTENSION Magazine, August 2002).

Click here for the FDA Review Web site:

– Examining How Contracts Work

Traditional economics focuses on supply and demand. But the new
institutional economics studies how people arrange their affairs; how
they create institutions — including legal sanctions, social norms and
organizational structures — to govern their relationships; how those
institutions spur or hinder economic growth; and how those institutions improve through trial and error.

Central to this new discipline is an understanding of contracts — how
they developed and how they work.

How is it, for example, that people can lend money to complete strangers far away and be certain they will eventually get their money back?

Initially, in the Middle Ages, enforcement of such contracts was through the community responsibility system — in which every member of a community was liable for every other member’s debts.
This system was eventually abandoned in favor of another which rested on creditors evaluating borrowers by using indicators of their individual merits. New research focuses on how traffickers finance long-term, long-distance moves by poor illegal immigrants from, say, China to the U.S. or Europe — and how the trafficker is repaid, even though such contracts are no longer enforceable. The illegal status of the new arrivals actually helps to enforce the contract to repay — since they don’t want to be found out and deported.

This example illustrates that when the rule of law is absent or
imperfect, people find other ways to make contracts workable.

Source: Virginia Postrel, “Economic Scene: Even Without Law, Contracts Have a Way of Being Enforced,” New York Times, October 10, 2002.

For text, see:

For more on Economics and the Economy

Above article is quoted from Daily Policy Digest Oct. 10, 2002

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

Together With IJ, I Fought for My Kids Future

By Roberta Kitchen

When I heard the news, a sense of relief washed over me. For five years, I’ve fought for the right to educate my children as I choose. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court vindicated that right, ruling that the Cleveland school choice program that allows my daughter a chance at a good education is constitutional.

These are worries I never thought would be mine. When a family friend living on the streets strung out on drugs and alcohol asked me to take in her three children, I did. A few years later, two more babies arrived. Seemingly overnight I had become a single mother of five, and I had to find a way to educate them, to give them a chance to break the cycle of poverty and despair into which they had been born. I didn’t take the kids just to lose them.

The public schools in the Collinwood section of Cleveland, infested with drugs and crime, were not an answer, although I’ve tried them. Tiffany, my eldest, was promoted to the sixth grade, despite not being able to read. There are strict quotas for promoting children in the public schools, I was told. People say to be patient, the system will get better. But which of my babies am I supposed to sacrifice, because it won’t be in time for them?

With five children, money was a barrier to escaping the public schools. I went from private school to private school, asking about tuition assistance and everything else. I became a beggar for my children. I took on a second job, but without enough time to care for my children, I was forced to quit. I offered my clerical skills in exchange for reduced tuition, anything to get my kids into a good school. It was the lowest point of my whole life.

When Toshika, my youngest, won a tuition voucher through Cleveland’s new school choice program, I could finally breathe a little easier. In her six years at St. John Nottingham, a Lutheran school, she has always been on the honor or merit roll, the teachers know her, and she is happy. I never fully explained to her the legal challenges facing the program that pays her tuition, or that a single Supreme Court decision could mean we would have to find her a new school. It would have broken her heart.

So I did what I could to defend the program, working with the Institute for Justice to tell my story to the media, hoping that the people who make decisions would listen to parents’ voices. I’ve given more than 75 interviews and appeared on network television and in papers from Maine to Hawaii. Columnist George Will and writers for The Wall Street Journal and USA Today have interviewed me. I’ve spoken at rallies and press conferences and even to President Bush.

If at any point I had quit, giving in to exhaustion, I would have felt
that I let my children and the children of Cleveland down.

I’ve lived in Cleveland all these years and, with rare exception, I
haven’t met anyone here who stood up for us. I had to go all the way to Washington to the Institute for Justice to find hearts that really care. God’s got people all over the place, and I feel indebted to these kind people who have helped me win for my children not just a choice, but a chance.

Above article is quoted from Institute for Justice, Liberty & Law,
August 2002 @

”Evergreen (Today’s Quote)”

“When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it. When a man spends his own money to buy something for someone else, he is still very careful about how much he spends, but somewhat less what he spends it on. When a man spends someone else’s money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about what he buys, but doesn’t care at all how much he spends. And when a man spends someone else’s money on someone else, he doesn’t care how much he spends or what he spends it on. And that’s
government for you.” -Milton Friedman, May 9, 2002

”’See Web site”’ ”’for further information. Join its efforts at “Nurturing the rights and responsibilities of the individual in a civil society. …” or email or call Grassroot of Hawaii Institute President Richard O. Rowland at or (808) 487-4959.”’