Life Extension Society 990 N. Powhatan St. Arlington VA 22205 703-534-7277 1996 No. 2 LIFE EXTENSION SOCIETY NEWS Apr 1996 LES Board, Officers Elected for 1996 LES members elected a new Board of Directors at the annual meeting on February 4. Returning Directors are Mark Mugler of Arlington, Virginia; Joel Finkleman of Silver Spring, Maryland; Austin Esfandiary of College Park, Maryland; Keith Lynch of Vienna, Virginia; and Guy G*pson of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Newly elected Directors are Margaret Jordan of Alexandria, Virginia and Derek Weaver of Vienna, Virginia. The Board elected the 1996 officers at its March 10 meeting. 1996 officers are as follows: Mugler, President; G*pson, Vice President; Finkleman, Secretary-Treasurer; and Weaver, Acquisition Coordinator. Weaver's position is newly created for 1996. He will focus on the design and procurement of a portable ice bath as the first item of LES's cryonic stabilization kit. Also at the March meeting, the Board adopted the policy of using funds from the acquisition account to support training in cryonic stabilization, on a case-by-case basis as funds permit, concurrent with equipment acquisition. Cryonics-Related Web Pages Expand The American Cryonics Society has announced a home page on the World Wide Web: http://home.earthlink.net/~cryonics. Alcor has changed the address of its page: http://www.alcor.org. The CryoCare Foundation's home page may be found at http://www.cryocare.org/cryocare/. The page of BioPreservation, Inc. is at http://www.cryocare.org/cryocare/bpi/bpi.html. The page of CryoSpan, Inc. is at http://www.cryocare.org/cryocare/cryospan/cryospan.html. Alcor Suspends 32nd Patient On March 4th, 1996, the Alcor Life Extension Foundation performed a whole body suspension on a male AIDS patient. The patient signed up while terminally ill. A full report will be given in a later issue of Cryonics magazine. Alcor now has 13 whole body patients and 19 neuropatients for a total of 32. With the recent CryoCare and Cryonics Institute suspensions, there are now 67 patients in suspension at four storage facilities: Alcor 32; Cryonics Institute 18; CryoSpan 13; and Trans Time 4. Calendar of Events April 16, 1996, 6:00: Dr. Michael Fossel speaks on Reversing Human Aging, with emphasis on advances involving telomeres. Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD. Contact Cheryl Taylor, Smithsonian Associates, 202-357-4800 x255. April 21, 1996, 2:00: Life Extension Society Board of Directors meeting. Exhibits, Inc., 4929 Wyaconda Rd., Rockville, MD. Contact Mark Mugler, 703-534-7277. Members and visitors welcome. Dr. Harris's Tasty Health Shake (adapted from a Cryonet posting by Steven B. Harris, M.D.) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In the morning, your brain's hormonally controlled desire for carbohydrates is high. Since your body "counts" calories, a big breakfast makes it easier to pass up high-fat calories later. In addition, calories consumed in the morning are burned during the day rather than converted to fat during sleep. Many people don't eat breakfast. Other, breakfast eating people may want healthy variety. A tasty and nutritious health shake may fit the bill. Dr. Harris's health shake is based on soy protein, high carbohydrate from small sugar polymers, and a nutritionally appropriate amount of fat. Soy protein has a number of advantages over meat and milk or egg protein, including low methionine for low homocysteine production (stay away from soy protein products with added methionine) and low lysine for low insulin levels. Soy products contain substances that inhibit cancer and lower cholesterol levels, as reflected by the diet and disease profiles of millions of Asians. Soy protein can be obtained in powder form or from soy milk. When purchasing soy milk, get the non-fat version with 6 to 7 grams of soy protein per cup. Most carbohydrate in Dr. Harris's shake is from nearly tasteless, small sugar polymers, which are less complex than hard-to-dissolve starch but digested more slowly than simple sugars, raising insulin less. The small sugar polymer derived from corn is maltodextrin. Any body building product that is 100% carbohydrate, but contains no sugar, is maltodextrin. The remainder of the carbohydrate in Dr. Harris's shake comes from a banana, which also provides flavor, fiber, and potassium. Fat should be added to stave off fat-hunger. Whereas polyunsaturated omega-6 fats apparently increase cancer rates, and saturated fats and trans-fats (such as from hydrogenated oils) raise cholesterol levels, monounsaturate residue triglycerides lower cholesterol without causing cancer. The best sources are hazel nut oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, unhydrogenated canola oil, macadamia nut oil, and almond oil. Dr. Harris's recommendation for flavor is almond oil. The recipe is as follows: 1/2 cup maltodextrin 1/4 cup soy protein (no added methionine) 1 cup soy milk (6-7 grams protein, no fat) 1 tablespoon almond oil 5 drops vanilla extract 2 large ice cubes (distilled water) 1 banana Blend on "low" for one minute and drink. For other flavors, try adding chocolate syrup or frozen strawberries. Special Supplement: Our Enemy the FDA (Protecting Us to Death) Part Two in a Series c Mark W. Mugler 1996 "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" (Benjamin Franklin). "We shall never prevent the abuse of power if we are not prepared to limit power in a way which occasionally may also prevent its use for desirable purposes" (Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, 1994). Congestion in the Political Market When decisions relating to the allocation of resources are centralized in the political market, what Frederic Bastiat calls "legal plunder" ensues. The resources fall under the control of the plunderers, who still face the task of dividing the plunder among themselves. Since rules of private property have been suspended in the act of plunder, what method remains to divide the spoils? To appease all plunderers, sometimes the most expedient action is to plunder still more. In economics terminology, the political market converts resources from private resources to "common property resources." A common property resource is a resource for which no one has an ownership interest that provides the ability to exclude other users, and as a consequence no user faces the full cost of his own use. Because the user does not bear the full cost of his own use, common property resources are chronically under-priced and over-used. This condition, called congestion, corresponds to the condition that faces plunderers when they contemplate undivided spoils. Examples of congestion abound. On a public road, each additional user creates additional delay for everyone but only experiences his own delay. On the public common, grazing is free to the next sheep but all other sheep have less. In socialized health care (or socially insured health care, for that matter), third parties bear most of the cost of care selected by a practitioner for a patient. Soon, respectively, the road is crowded, the common is over-grazed, and demand for health care strains available resources. Without the pricing mechanism to ration use (divide the plunder), the two remaining responses are to ration use by a non-price mechanism and to increase supply (plunder). In the political market, each political interest group, like a sheep grazing on the common, seeks to maximize its share of the common property resource. Together, the proliferating groups exert pressure in the political market to over-regulate private activities to their own advantage and to over-tax in order to create expenditures to their own benefit. Despite the over-taxation and over-regulation, there still aren't enough goodies to go around because, of course, the goodies are simply the resources for which others have worked, and are virtually free to those who share in the plunder. The government must struggle to reconcile the competing demands placed upon it by the competing groups. The political process becomes overloaded. Jonathan Rausch has called congestion in the political market "demosclerosis." Abuse of Delegated Power Under the "rule of law," the government sets the ground rules for transactions among private parties and between private parties and the government. The ground rules are fixed, predictable, and known to all in advance, and they are applied to all persons equally. All persons who behave in a certain way are affected in the same way, and all persons have the certain knowledge of the standing of that behavior under the law. The purpose of these rules is not to displace private decision making, but to improve its efficiency by reducing sources of legal and political uncertainty. A simple example of how the rule of law might be applied to the safety of foods and pharmaceuticals is uniform labelling requirements intended to ensure the availability of information to the consumer. A second example, with admittedly wider applicability than to foods and pharmaceuticals, might be a set of laws governing product liability, including rules of evidence, the loser-pay principle, damage awards limits, and protection for those who supply materials to manufacturers and who have little to do with actual decisions to market products (more later on this). Although congestion in the political marketplace is a symptom that too much power has been ceded to the government at the cost of liberty, statists see congestion as a problem and claim that delegating power from the legislative branch to the executive branch is necessary. In that case, the administrator is faced with making case-by-case decisions (dividing the plunder). Whether as a result of legislative intent that certain politically powerful interests benefit from these decisions, or as a result of the groups whose interests are affected strongly by these case-by-case decisions bringing their influence to bear on decision making, any concern for predictability and equality under the rule of law is pushed aside by the competition for plundered resources. Now the concern of the decision maker, and of affected interests, is the incidence of effects of the decision -- who benefits and who loses. Delegation results in the replacement of the rule of law by arbitrary rule. "There is no justification for the belief that, so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary. If democracy resolves on a task which necessarily involves the use of power which cannot be guided by fixed rules, it must become arbitrary power...By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable" (Hayek). The Iron Septagon and Regulatory Capture Milton and Rose Friedman (Free to Choose, 1980) stated, "Force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests." Delegation and the creation of additional opportunities for plunder in a regime of arbitrary rule indeed bring this result. It is natural to assume that a regulatory agency will be captured by the regulated interests. However, in the political market, the participating groups are not limited to the regulated community. The regulated community, the fear-mongering public interest groups that "own" the relevant issues and need continuing contributions, the perpetual incumbent legislators and their grasping staff, the policy making elite that seeks to advance its ideological agenda and expand its perks, the bureaucratic legions funded by the legislators and seeking to protect their jobs, the morally bankrupt and sensationalist media, and the public that would trade its freedom for security all play a role. The public elects the legislators and contributes to the public interest groups. The legislators appease the public and ensure contributions from the interest groups by empowering the elites, who in turn collaborate with the media to trump up problems and call for more regulatory power. The bureaucrats step out smartly to do the elites' bidding and win promotions and job security. The regulated community finances elections and influences the appointment of elites and the promulgation of the bureaucrats' regulations. It's true that the regulatory agency is captured, but by whom depends on who can cobble together a legislative and regulatory majority to tyrannize the minority. Delegation, arbitrary rule, and the inevitable regulatory capture results in what James Bovard (Lost Rights, 1994) calls a "proliferation of petty dictatorships." In these legislative/ regulatory dictatorships, centralization, coercion, and cartelization go hand in hand. Centralization and Coercion "The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with the most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it" (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations). "As the coercive power of the State will alone decide who is to have what, the only power worth having will be a share in the exercise of this directing power...The democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of either assuming dictatorial powers or abandoning his plans...If the State is precisely to foresee the incidence of its actions, it means that it must leave those affected no choice...It is impossible for any man to survey more than a limited field...It is inevitable that [the experts] should impose their scale of preferences on the community for which they plan" (Hayek). "The upshot [with respect to food and drugs]...is a diminished scope of discretionary individual action: what one previously could choose to do, one no longer can do; what one previously did not have to do, one now must do; and everyone must act in the same way...The main reason why FDA regulation must fail is that the people subject to it have preferences, social circumstances, and physiological attributes that vary tremendously among persons and over time and that no central planner can possibly know or deal with rationally. For the FDA, one ruling applies to all cases. Products are declared 'safe and effective' or not. A product is permitted to be sold to everybody or to nobody. These dichotomies mock the heterogeneity of actual life. In reality, a product that is too risky for one person is acceptable to another; only the users can say...The FDA deserves a failing grade, because it presumes to exercise control over people's lives that cannot possibly be justified unless one views people as having no more rights than the sheep in a flock...The enabling statutes rest on a paternalistic foundation that is inconsistent with the maximization of consumer welfare and the preservation of a free society...There is absolutely no justification for forcing people at gunpoint to do 'what's best for them'...Citizens who value liberty should have no trouble rejecting a system that simultaneously harms the public health and deprives the citizens of their ability to make vital choices about their own health" (Robert Higgs, Introduction, in Higgs, ed., Hazardous to Our Health?, 1995). Cartelization The original rationale for federal regulation has differed among industries. Avowed purposes have varied: to preemptively control price collusion by oligopolies (say, in transportation); to protect financial institutions from collapse (say, in banking and securities); to ensure "fair" access to outputs (say, in electric power or broadcasting). With respect to food, drugs, and medical devices, the rationale since 1938 has been to protect public safety. In 1962, a second rationale -- to protect the public from the ineffective products of "snake oil salesmen" -- was added. Yet across the board, the petty legislative/regulatory dictatorships have come to function in a way that maximizes plunder. Each petty dictatorship comes to resemble a cartel that controls entry, output, price, use, or a combination for the benefit of the few. "The source of this power over all consumption which in a planned society the authority would possess would be its control over production...If we face a monopolist we are at his mercy" (Hayek). This is true, for instance, of railroad regulation, airline regulation, and food and drug regulation. "Very persuasive evidence exists that railroad regulation in the late nineteenth century, the nation's first regulatory effort, did not come about simply because of public outrage at the robber barons, as is commonly supposed. It turns out that most railroads supported regulation in 1887 when Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission. They believed the ICC would help them impose an industry-wide cartel, something they had not been able to accomplish by themselves" (Bernard Siegan, Economic Liberties and the Constitution, 1980). "The basis of airline regulation is price, entry, and output control...Three studies assert that regulation substantially elevates prices and distorts competition and efficiency by causing airlines to compete on the basis of service rather than price...The most significant accomplishment [of airline regulation] is the raising of airline fares" (Siegan). "The 1962 Kefauver-Harris amendments to the food and drug laws that required the Food and Drug Administration to regulate efficacy of pharmaceuticals...have increased the cost of entering the drug market, prolonged testing, and resulted in less output and higher prices...The post-1962 flow of new drugs was less than one-half of the pre-1962 flow, without corresponding benefit in the efficacy of the drugs produced" (Siegan). "Federal regulation has probably doubled the cost of introducing a new pharmaceutical...Regulation stemming from the 1962 amendments was the leading (but not the sole) cause of a sharp decline of new drug introductions into the United States during contemporary years. [This conclusion also is] based on comparing output of pharmaceuticals in the United States with that of Great Britain between 1962 and 1971" (Siegan). "The result is impressive: expensive drugs, lack of innovation, no improvement in drug safety." -- C. Frederick Beckner, 1993, The FDA's War on Drugs, in Georgetown Law Journal 82. Socialism doesn't work. Next: A Short History of the FDA.