Free Markets, Free People

World Health Org – We’ll prioritize health research, you just pay for it

At its base, most wars are a fight over resources and power.  The wars waged by governments and quasi-governmental agencies over revenue are really no different – they too are constantly looking for the resources to extend their power.  Take the UN’s World Health Organization:

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ public health arm, is moving full speed ahead with a controversial plan to impose global consumer taxes on such things as Internet activity and everyday financial transactions like paying bills online — while its spending soars and its own financial house is in disarray.

The aim of its taxing plans is to raise “tens of billions” of dollars for WHO that would be used to radically reorganize the research, development, production and distribution of medicines around the world, with greater emphasis on drugs for communicable diseases in poor countries.

WHO resents the fact that most of the research done in the world is done on non-communicable diseases such as cancer instead of communicable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis mostly effecting poor countries.  WHO points to a 1986 study (1986?) that claims only 5% of global R&D was applied to health problems of developing countries.  Of course most understand that the developed countries already have effective methods of dealing with those communicable diseases that could be transferred to poorer countries, but that would kill their bid for this massive money and power grab.

Anyway, here’s the plan. WHO presented a “suite of proposals” for “new and innovative sources of funding” to WHO’s Executive Board in January.  Apparently they got the go-ahead then:

Now the proposals are headed for the four-day annual meeting of the 193-member World Health Assembly, WHO’s chief legislative organ, which begins in Geneva on May 17.

The Health Assembly, a medical version of the United Nations General Assembly, will be invited to “take note” of the experts’ report. It will then head back with that passive endorsement to another Executive Board meeting, which begins May 22, for further action. It is the Executive Board that will “give effect” to the Assembly’s decisions.

What it all means is that a major lobbying effort could soon be underway to convince rich governments in particular to begin taxing citizens or industries to finance a drastic restructuring of medical research and development on behalf of poorer ones.

The scheme would leave WHO in the middle, helping to manage a “global health research and innovation coordination and funding mechanism,” as the experts’ report calls it.

In effect, the plan amounts to a pharmaceutical version of the U.N.-sponsored climate-change deal that failed to win global approval at Copenhagen last December. If implemented as the experts suggest, it could easily involve the same kind of wealth transfers as the failed Copenhagen summit, which will send $30 billion a year to poor nations, starting this year.

An international cap-and-tax plan failed in Copenhagen, but never fear, there will always be some international organization with “innovative, new ideas” about tapping your wallet.   And all it needs, as was the case in Copenhagen, is enough gullible governments to agree to need for the tax (thankfully in this country, the Senate must ratify any such foolishness and to this point, at least, has refused such nonsense).  The “new and innovative” taxing, er, funding methods include:

• a “digital” or “bit” tax on Internet activity, which could raise “tens of billions of U.S. dollars”;
• a 10 percent tax on international arms deals, “worth about $5 billion per annum”;
• a financial transaction tax, citing a Brazilian levy that was raising some $20 billion per year until it was canceled (for unspecified reasons);
• an airline tax that already exists in 13 countries and has raised some $1 billion.

I bring all of this up to point out that whether this particular bit of nonsense goes anywhere, there are people and organizations all over the world (the UN in particular) which are constantly trying to establish “new and innovative” ways to increase their power and take your money.  These attempts, in the wake of this global economic downturn, are going to intensify in the years to come.  WHO is only a harbinger of these types – both domestic and international – who are going to try to tax us till we drop.  Revenue sources are the new key battleground for governments and NGOs, and when it all is boiled down to it’s essence, your earnings are the primary source for their future expansion of power.

The best way to counter this addition to power is to follow Nancy Reagan’s advice and just say “no”.

~McQ

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