The Reagan Speech Preservation Society


Modified: Tuesday, 20 July 2021 22:00 by admin - Categorized as: Podcasts
The following is a collection of the materials used in creating the eighth episode of the Citizen Reagan podcast about the Reagan's Radio Commentaries.





Welcome to the Citizen Reagan podcast. As you may know, what I do with this podcast is discuss the contents of the Ronald Reagan Radio Commentaries produced between 1975 and 1979. Sometimes, I may decide to talk about some other topic, but with over 1000 of these Commentaries to cover, the bulk of my work will be on them.

I recently heard about a November 11th Washington Post op-ed written by Senator... maybe Secretary depending on when I record this... Elizabeth Warren. What she discusses, should scare you. The column is entitled: "What a Biden-Harris Administration Should Prioritize On Its First Day," and when I first heard about it, my mind went to a Reagan broadcast from 1975.

Let’s talk about patents.

In the name of energy development, Congress may soon ensure energy stagnation. I'll be right back.

The historian Joseph Schumpeter, in explaining the economic rise of the West following the Renaissance, gave the primary credit to one thing: inventions. Inventions have been such a central part of Western society that there's a tendency for many economists to overlook how central they really are to any idea of growth. In human history, the great majority of civilizations have been static. That is, it was taken for granted that the way wealth was accumulated, wars fought and the land cultivated would remain very much the same from one generation to the next. Many of the most crucial and revolutionary of human inventions, the wheel, cooking, the domestication of animals, and crop cultivation occurred in prehistory. For thousands of years from the beginning of civilization until the Renaissance, there were virtually no inventions that revolutionized the daily life of men.

With the rise of capitalism this changed. Central to the western concept of invention, a concept that's bettered the material life of man, is the incentive of reward to the private inventor. The government does this by offering patents to the inventor. In my opinion, no function of government is more crucial than the granting of patents to men who devise ways to improve our lot. The Founding Fathers gave this function the emphasis it deserves. In article one of the Constitution which gives Congress the power, quote, "to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their discoveries," unquote. Now there's a movement in Congress to abridge if not eliminate these rewards for individuals and companies which engage in federally funded energy research. Let me list some of the ideas that are being mentioned and follow them in each case with the reaction of C. Marshall Dan, commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the government agency in charge of awarding patents.

In the first proposal, all inventions developed through federally funded research and development would belong to the government with no share for the inventor. Mr. Dan's reaction, quote "but this tends to discourage participation in government programs by the most competent organizations the best talents aren't attracted." unquote.

A ban on exclusive licensing of government-owned patents. Mr. Dan says quote "This will sometimes mean that the invention will be used by no one." unquote.

A requirement that those taking on government research contract be required to license their privately developed patents and technology in the same field. Mr. Dan again, quote, "This tends to ensure that the most competent and experienced firms won't seek a contract, since they've usually invested a great deal of money in acquiring their technology." unquote.

Finally and incredibly, compulsory licensing of energy related patents developed with private funds. Mr. Dan notes that this would let competitors share in the benefits and quote "provides a powerful disincentive for any private concern to do any research at all in the energy field." Unquote.

Equal rewards for those who fail and those who succeed, this will be our energy policy if a single one of these proposals is adopted. When I read or hear of proposals like this, I sometimes wonder if man's inventiveness is not matched by his ingenuity at defeating his own purposes.

This is Ronald Reagan, thanks for listening.

In Senator... Secretary... Warren's op-ed, she specifically targets, not energy patents, but medical patents. She says that a Biden-Harris administration can, quote,

Lower drug prices for millions by producing key drugs like insulin, naloxone, hepatitis C drugs and EpiPens at low costs using existing compulsory licensing authority that allows the federal government to bypass patents for pressing public health needs.


There are a number of questions to ask here:
  1. Let's be honest, does the government do anything well enough that you’d trust injecting something made by them into your own body? Hey, there’s a new government drug on the market, it’s called Deoxi-Merefin-Vinthisol... they call it DMV for short.
  2. If they can grab patents for a health, airquotes, "emergency", what's to stop them from grabbing patents from other industries for other so called emergencies? They could go after patents related to the internal combustion engine because of climate change just to prevent its production.
  3. Ever wonder how government lowers costs, on anything? Well, frankly, it doesn't, look at Amtrak or the post office, but the answer would be tax increase-related subsidies. To quote from the Incredible Bread Machine:

    "Now, bread is baked by government.
    And as might be expected,
    Everything is well controlled;
    The public well protected.
    True, loaves cost a dollar each.
    But our leaders do their best.
    The selling price is half a cent.
    (Taxes pay the rest!)"
  4. Notice the choice of language, "bypass patents". Sounds like a handy euphemism for theft of intellectual property. We may be living in Atlas Shrugged:
    "Ahh, Dr. Ferris. Come to shut me down completely?"

    "No. Not at all. That wouldn't serve anyone. Under Directive 10-289, private intellectual assets become the property of the government. Since tonight is the deadline, at midnight, I'm here as a convenience for you. All you have to do is sign this Gift Certificate... ...entrusting your patents to the Unification Board."

    "So, you're here to steal the process for Rearden Metal."

    "Steal? No. It'll be made available to all manufacturers. Oh, and to make people aware that you no longer hold a monopoly, the name will be changed... to Miracle Metal."


    "All you have to do is sign right there at the bottom."

    "Sir, I'm not gonna sign that paper. I'm not gonna say that it's OK for you to take my patents away from me."
    You can watch all three movies for free with ads through a service called, that's, at least as of when I recorded this.

    Atlas Shrugged Part 1, Atlas Shrugged Part 2, Atlas Shrugged Part 3

  5. Remember in episode 4 of this podcast when I talked about what Socialism actually is?? Here it is. This doesn't look like sharing to me. This is government controlling the means of production.

Warren also talks about canceling student loan debt, using OSHA in conjunction with covid-19 to go after businesses, raising the minimum wage and a variety of the usual talking points. I am unaware if Reagan had a position on canceling debt. I'm not sure such a thing was viewed as an issue in the 1970s. I know Reagan disliked the heavy-handed tactics of OSHA, I've heard some of those broadcasts. Reagan's opinion on the minimum wage was more nuanced. His fear was that increasing the minimum wage would only serve to price workers out of the market. This was more damaging to teenage workers and in particular, minority teenage workers. In a broadcast about minimum wage, Reagan advocated for a two tier system, allowing a lower minimum for teenagers. Personally speaking, this shouldn’t be a federal level issue because cost of living fluctuates significantly throughout the country. In a hypothetical situation, if you have 3 workers at $10 per hour and the minimum wage goes up to $15, what if you can't afford it? You have to fire 1 of the 3. It is an issue that has been borne out recently with the local raises in the minimum wage in communities such as Seattle, Washington.

Will these things get done by a Biden White House? Tough to say. Some people believe that moderate Joe Biden will hold back the radicals of his party and govern more to the middle. Others are concerned that his mental faculties and advanced age will put him in a weakened position, allowing him to be swayed by those radicals. His own VP is rather radical and if his cabinet does end up containing individuals like Warren or current Senator Bernie Sanders, it will make a moderate position more difficult to maintain.

Only time will tell.

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