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Why we need an energy bill (in one graph)


And much of that R&D money, of course, goes to researching new ways to pull fossil fuels out of the ground. It's not all going to renewables.


By Ezra Klein  |  September 9, 2010; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  Charts and Graphs , Energy  
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I must be confused. I was under the impression, after a number of posts during the healthcare debate, that you thought that pharma companies spent too much on marketing and nothing on R&D.

Posted by: TWAndrews | September 9, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to see who it is that you think said that Pharma spends nothing on R&D. That 18% goes to R&D doesn't mean that there's not a significant chunk going to marketing. And those debates usually were in the context of whether drugs were overpriced and pharma could survive if Medicare bargained for lower prices. Even with 18% R&D, my recollection is that those companies are plenty profitable.

Posted by: MosBen | September 9, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

One thing about you - you never stop trying to think of ways the government should spend my money.

Posted by: ostap666 | September 9, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"you never stop trying to think of ways the government should spend my money."

Actually, he stopped long enough to post something about how companies spend their cash. There's no Government and there's no should.

And to the broader point - Government is going to spend your money (unless you'd prefer to live in say Somalia), so wouldn't you prefer it be spent wisely? Or would you prefer it be wasted on ineffective, inefficient boondoggles. If so, why do you bother reading the blog of a policy wonk like Ezra?

Posted by: jeirvine | September 9, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

A couple things:
All those other sectors create new products on regular cycles. To compete within their sectors and in the larger economy, those cycles have to be fueled by new materials, ideas and information. None of that is true in coal, natural gas, electricity, or nuclear.
Also, I wonder what actually comprises the "energy sector." It may be that energy businesses are simply siphoning off any R&D insights they can glean from the non-business scientific community, allowing them to keep their own R&D expenditures to a minimum.

Posted by: andrewlong | September 9, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

why we need 7 words!

Posted by: MeghanNRDC | September 10, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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