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from the early 80's.....

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Jarod, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    planet earth
    creeping-higher.jpg health%20spending.jpg prison chart.jpg What's changed since the early 80's....

    Inflationary monetary policies..(devaluing dollar through low interest rates)
    creeping-higher.jpg

    health care spending
    health%20spending.jpg

    prison inmates
    prison chart.jpg
  2. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    breast cancer.jpg autism.jpg gutsy-chart.jpg

    Autism

    autism.jpg

    IBS
    gutsy-chart.jpg

    Breast cancer
    breast cancer.jpg
  3. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Interesting, Jarod. Thanks. What's the source of your charts?
  4. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    What does the population growth chart for the same time look like?
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    "America’s continuing leadership in science and technology is largely due to 60 years of
    investment in long-term, basic and applied scientific research following WWII, especially
    following the launch of Sputnik in 1957.13 But, over the last four decades, federal
    funding for the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences has declined by onehalf
    as a percent of GDP from 0.25 percent to 0.13 percent, while other countries such
    as China and Japan have emphasized these fields (EOP, 2010).14"
    http://www.scienceprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/rnd_funding_FINAL.pdf
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  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    http://www.scienceprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/SciProgResearchandDevelopment-101.pdf

    See chart 2, page 2. There is a decline in R&D from US federal government since 1967. Now of course the US is headed for four years of low or negative growth, we are now in year three or so.

    Table 3 is more telling. In around 1980 defence research spending had a jump, but non-defence research funding crashed.

    From Chart 4 you can see that at least the NIH has had many decades of continued growth, which is good from our perspective even if we do not see it reflected in ME or CFS research.

    There is also a shift from federal to industrial spending. This has some advantages, but also pitfalls. It was in the 80s or so that these crossed over in importance.

    The charts on page 6 are interesting. While industrial spending is up, most of it is on product development. Basic science has low priority in spending. Since federal funding on research is not increasing much, and is currently static or in decline, the much smaller percentage of federal funding is very important in keeping basic science research going.

    Science used to be a huge priority for the US. It preceded unparallelled economic growth and prosperity. Now that the USA has slipped to 22nd place in terms of % GDP on university scientific research, the US growth in university research is tiny. Even Australia is spending double the US, and we are ranked number 8 in terms of GDP. Please note this is in percentage terms, not absolute spending. It is also fair to say this is in terms of universities ... Australia is ranked much lower in total spending. What it reflects though is a shift in the pattern of where money is being spent.
    http://www.itif.org/files/2011-university-research-funding.pdf

    These are trends that are undesirable for any country. Given that the US does most of the leading CFS research (not so much ME but that is getting into definitions, and the CCC is at last being used) this means that the US relevance to research in this area in the decades to come is likely to decline unless something is done.

    Research is one of the factors at the core of economic growth. It was under President Reagon that the decline set in. Though to be fair President George W Bush did oversee a temporary turn around in funding. However it was the late 60s that set the trend in motion I think. What changed?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_research_and_development_spending
    The US is still the biggest spender in absolute dollars, if not GDP. However with slow growth or even relative decline this edge will slowly vanish. Indeed China may overtake the US in a few years. It is already in second place.

    Time Magazine put some of this in perspective: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2056723,00.html

    "The problem with the U.S. government is that its allocation of resources is highly inefficient. We spend vast amounts of money on subsidies for housing, agriculture and health, many of which distort the economy and do little for long-term growth. We spend too little on science, technology, innovation and infrastructure, which will produce growth and jobs in the future. For the past few decades, we have been able to be wasteful and get by. But we will not be able to do it much longer. The money is running out, and we will have to marshal funds and target spending far more strategically. This is not a question of too much or too little government, too much or too little spending. We need more government and more spending in some places and less in others."

    These are more talking points than absolute truths. Things are very complicated. What I am trying to say though is that its past time everyone (not just the US) took a strategic view on science.
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  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    The UK seems to have begun an R&D decline about that time too, and Thatcher was criticized for it in the media. I am still trying to get readable data on it though.
  8. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    When I started working in research in a university, research was "pure". It was publicly funded, the PhD's did not have to spend all their time applying for funding and could actually get on with doing work.
    They also had technicians to do all the practical work for them - they in turn, had ladies who did all the glassware washing.

    It was the creep of big business and their biases and shennanigans into everything that fouled it all up.
    Thatcher-the-snatcher (barf), child of the '60s. The 1860s.
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  9. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi peggy-sue, that is the impression I have too. I have also been involved with universities as a student etc. since 1978. I could see the changes. As a Ph.D. candidate in the mid 90s I got to hear a lot more of academic's thoughts on the topic.

    The problem I am finding though is that, while widely criticized in the general media, nobody seems to have done an in depth analysis of what Thatcher did to research and therefore the future of the UK economy. Thatcherism was about empowering business. It wasn't about the infrastructure and research necessary for the future of business.

    All this was depsite Thatcher having been a research chemist, a scientist. Here is one old article I did find though:

    https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/historyofscience/Public/files/Poverty of Science Article v1.pdf

    The creep of business you talk about peggy-sue is why I keep discussing Zombie Science. In the USA a lot of this manifests as shift of emphasis on research too. Too much funding is in military science (though this is so broad that I don't know how much it matters, the military fund medicine and other things as well as war toys). The real issue though is that most of the funding in R&D is in the D: development. Basic research, or even applied research, is taking a back seat to product development in private industry. That is fair enough, thats the focus of industry and should be. This does however distort the scientific research base.

    Bye, Alex
  10. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    I wonder how much of the huge increases in healthcare spending in the USA over the last 30 years was due to the equipment/services being way overpriced, and the increased burden of chronic illness.
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  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I was reading a report just yesterday, on Australian medical research, that put concern over chronic illness at number four in Australia, at least for research priority. Chronic illness appears to be on a steady increase. Denial is however a favourite passtime of many. Many also want quick answers - which means simple answers typically.

    Some put 25% of US healthcare being due to high administrative overheads in the USA, an artifact of the insurance system. Streamlining this would immediately take off 20% off the costs. This could be done by forced imposition of single administrative processes (one form, one set of codes, one process etc.) or by imposition of a single health insurance supplier.

    Litigation also drives costs. High rates of litigation drives high insurance fees. These further drive increases in medical costs. This also induces doctors to run lots of precautionary tests. This is good in the sense that it can save lives and prevent unnecessary litigation, but its a further burden on medical costs.

    Another report I read recently (don't recall where, it was a state report not federal) pointed out that free health insurance for all in the USA would improve industrial productivity and pay for itself, while at the same time giving that state an important competitive edge. I think they said this kind of finding had been made again and again and was ignored.

    Many chronic diseases are on the rise. Current medical imperatives (short visits, quick fixes, few tests) mean they are not treated adequately. Aside from the impact on individuals and their families, this has secondary impact on services and the economy.

    One of my unlikely nightmare scenaries involves a severe global pandemic. Sure, its bad that millions may die. However lets say that two billion people get sick. If its a pandemic that can induce ME (and this is only a projection from studies like the Dubbo study) then peraps 200,000,000 will get ME, although for some pathogens the figure would be well over a billion. How would the world cope with two hundred million people suddenly becoming disabled? What happens to economic productivity? To general services? How will the medical system cope? Most of those two hundred million would die of neglect, including starvation. The hospitals would be overloaded, which means more will die of other causes. The cost to government would be horrendous at a time when the tax base has crashed. Furthermore, this will go on for decades. Instant global economic collapse is a likely outcome. So too is the branding of the sick as social pariahs, far worse than what we see today. Its not a nice scenario. In poor autocratic countries this might lead to purges. Its not certain it could ever happen, but if it is possible then the only way to be sure is to fund the science to figure out how to prevent it.

    Bye, Alex
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  12. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    Hi Merry. I just do a google search for "Chart" and whatever illness that may apply. :)

    Sometimes I use google "image" search too. Really amazing how much stuff comes up.
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  13. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    You are right to think about population growth.

    Many of the charts are adjusted for population growth. For instance the autism chart is for "prevalence", so that means prevalence of disease is adjusted per "x" amount of people over time.

    Autism has gone from 1/5000 in 1975, to 1/110 in 2009

    Spending charts might be adjusted for inflation, but not thinking well enough to try and understand that at the moment.
  14. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    The "Southern" and "Western" USA probably have the most immigrants. Hence the faster increasing population in those areas. This chart has good info, but seems a bit dramatic in the slope. population is not increasing as fast as the chart may lead one to believe.

    Caution: One needs to pay more attention to the actual "numbers" than "the slope" of the graphs.

    US population chart from 1790-2000. Lines at the bottom illustrate by region.

    population_US.jpg


    I don't think the natural population growth in the western world is enough to sustain population without immigration. I think takes 2.1 babies per couple just to maintain the population. Any less and there is population decline.

    Hormone dysfunction? I know illness has messed up my sex drive.

    world population.png
  15. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    population_rate_change.jpg

    The left side says: "average annual increase %."

    The bottom starts at 1950 and continues through 2045 in 10 year increments.

    Look at approx 1984 on the chart.
  16. Jarod

    Jarod Senior Member

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    prescription-drugs-cost.jpg

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  17. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    Hi Alex

    Before accusing Margaret Thatcher of stealing the test tubes from scientists (as well as the milk bottles from babies) this might give a little insight into her rationale whether justified or not. Excerpt :

    http://rsnr.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2011/05/13/rsnr.2010.0096.full
  18. Butydoc

    Butydoc

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  19. Butydoc

    Butydoc

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    I wonder how much the change in research and training has to do with the changing impact of globalization. Seems like the US is less competitive globally as compared to the Thacher years.
    I also wonder as the US matures as a nation and less people contribute to federal taxes, i.e. 48 percent don't pay federal income tax, if this contributes to the feeling that spending by the government isn't as important as paying for these expenditure since they have less " skin in the game". More people vote for greater entitlement spending, hence there is less money for basic science research.

    Sorry for the somewhat rambling reply,
    Gary
  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    That is the theory of what she was doing. The problem is that it was ideologically driven. I do not see that it actually worked. I see that it stifled reseach. So do most academics I have discussed this with over the years. What I am trying to find out is what happened to research funding during this period. Do you know of any graphs or tables? That data will tell us more than the theory of what Thatcher was doing. Yet so far I have failed to find the data. Its not like it does not exist. Its just that its not well represented on the internet.

    Many newspapers and at least one article discuss that science was stifled as a result of these policies in the Thatcher years and after. The notion that everything is driven by market forces is absurd, yet its a central ideology for many. Trying to use that ideology on issues which are not properly market issues is dangerous. I have no problems with a free market as such, I think we need to do more to free markets, including in countries that claim to have free markets. I also think we need to set outside boundaries, regulations that limit the damage a free market can do on the downside, but not inside boundaries that limit legitimate market activity. Not every human endeavour is market driven.

    I also think that under a free market policy we need to treat free markets exactly as that. When banks fail, when huge businesses fail, they should fail. They should not be propped up by government. Governments in most countries did not provide limiting regulations that prevented such failures prior to recent collapses. So they had to play catchup to stop even greater economic damage to due to collapsing banks and big business. This has social value, and is nothing to do with free markets. Its society correcting faults in free markets. However it means that we pay for big business and bank profit as they rake in money, and we pay again for their losses as they collapse, only to start the cycle all over again. Where is the accountability? Where are the market forces? Market forces always drive speculative bubbles. They always fail. Yet every bubble is treated as the current great economic miracle. There are economic arguments currently circulating that while free markets are fantastic at creating new business (they are), they are also dangerous in promoting speculative investment cycles. Regulations need to contain that as it causes most crashes.

    The UK has dwindled in scientific impact. A good way to be unemployed in the UK is to have a science degree, and that includes PhDs. There has been discussion about this recently in the UK media.

    Bye, Alex
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