RE: “Wait a mo, isn’t that the government’s job? (Friday, November 30)”
It is a shame that charity is required to supplement government-funded research programs, but it is shocking to see your recent editorial opine about a "failure of government to adequately fund all health research according to need, not popularity".
Here are some questions for the author before we lurch towards the inferred utopian solution.
Where is the failure? The money government spends is collected by and large from us, pulled together to provide the optimum service/product possible within our means.
Any additional is quite correctly raised from those able and willing to contribute to the specific need. It has ever been so. If there is a failure, it is in our collective unwillingness to pay more tax or to donate.
What is adequate funding? When will enough ever be enough? There will always be a need.
Without the government collecting more money (or spending less elsewhere like on debt repayment) we simply can't afford to fully fund.
It is an economic and historical reality that we have never been able to galvanise sufficient focus on such demands without the impetus of correlatory galvanising forces – such as war, famine, disaster, etc. Only then do we willingly agree to give up more.
Of course, at the end of the day the demand for full government funding could easily be achieved, right? You just need to convince yourself and everyone else to willingly pay significantly more tax. Simple. Then ensure that the centralised collected wealth is efficiently and effectively distributed. Simple, right? Hmm. Good luck. Government isn't at fault, we are.
Meanwhile, it's worthwhile remembering that Utopia quite literally does not exist.