LPE Originals

How to Vaccinate the World, Part 2

In a previous post, one of us described why we need global cooperation to achieve massively scaled up production of COVID vaccines. The United States must play a key role in this process, because it has the ability to mobilize resources, and powerful leverage over companies that have so far resisted serious participation in global efforts – especially Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J. Some commentators question whether the US has the power to compel this cooperation. Others have doubted the relevance of the demand coming from developing countries to temporarily waive the requirements of the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Agreement to facilitate more manufacturing. In this post, we explain why existing US law gives the Biden Administration the power to mandate sharing and overcome IP barriers, and how the TRIPS waiver can contribute importantly to efforts to scale up production at a global scale.

LPE Originals

How to Vaccinate the World, Part 1

The shortage of vaccines is a manmade problem, brought on by the false promise of innovation-by-monopoly and by reproduction of colonial dynamics. Our global R&D system layers privatized control and profits for huge firms based in rich countries atop a vast regime of open science and public subsidy. We can scale up production if we force pharma to share.

LPE Originals

Coronavirus and the Politics of Care

It is now clear that we are entering a new phase of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The virus appears in new countries around the world each day. New cases are now regularly reported in the United States, and as testing is scaled up, that number will increase, probably substantially. It is clear now that the…

LPE Originals

The Curative Power of Law and Political Economy

Ask not for whom the First Amendment tolls: It tolls for you.  Or so I argue in an essay just published at the Columbia Law Review online.  It’s called “The Lochnerized First Amendment and the FDA: Toward a More Democratic Political Economy”—a boring title for a vital and urgent problem.  Courts, speaking in the name…

LPE Originals

A Neoliberal Masterpiece?

In our market supremacist era, is anyone allowed to bring their full self to the marketplace and the workplace?  Or must we all be “everywhere and only homo oeconomicus,” as Wendy Brown put it?  One of the more arresting aspects of the Supreme Court’s recent Masterpiece Cakeshop case is how neoliberal it isn’t. If neoliberalism casts us…

LPE Originals

Partisan Warriors and Political Courts

Thursday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing was a stomach churning, nauseating affair. Christine Blasey Ford laid her life on the tracks, knowing full well that trains delivering important men can rarely be stopped.  That was enough, but then came the turn:  Brett Kavanaugh, partisan warrior.  He tore into Democrats for a process almost entirely dictated by Republicans.  He…