Open letter to Senator Smith

I could not help but be a bit saddened and appalled by this month’s news letter. Not one of the highlighted topics addressed it from a Minnesota DFL point of view, but solely with a Washington DC point of view.

It’s a DC point of view to talk with the people who have the most money about what is working for them. I can tell you what is working for them: they have the most money. And maybe it is because of something they are doing, but usually it is having enough capital to do it. No, I don’t have a suggestion on how to ‘fix’ rural economies, but I would suggest first finding out if ‘economy’ is the best proxy measure for “happy people, living fulfilling lives.”

My partner is an international youth health expert, and has been involved with research about vaping since it first burst on the scene. Then and now the researchers and care providers were screaming to have evidence-based regulation and policy. But politicians like yourself chose economy over health. To hear the sudden change of heart is pretty bittersweet.

But the answer is the same: evidence-based regulation and policy.

And your wishy-washy paragraphs about insulin are downright insulting. It sounds like you plan to pay pharmaceuticals corporations to lower their prices. For a product they never paid to research and develop.

Why isn’t the UofMN and the vaunted genetics alley involved with (or competing with) the Open Insulin Project[1]? Where is the research funding for community labspace and biohacking which have already lead to health break-throughs[2]? Is the plan to encourage researchers and entrepeneurs to produce alternatives unencumbered by patents? Why not? The solution is probably not to tweak the existing status quo, but to nurture those who will disrupt it with competitive ideas and methods.

Which, I suppose, is nearly the antonym of a US Senator’s ‘monthly newsletter’, even if from Minnesota.

Wayne Saewyc


P.s. Yes, footnotes.