Thursday, March 02, 2006
Hutterites, Hogs, and Monkeys
Tonight my girlfriend (yea, I know how to spoil a woman!!) and I attended the annual "Legislative Priorities" dinner at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce which coincides with the opening of the state legislature's session. After hearing the primary legislative leaders speak at the dinner about the need for -- health care reform, education reform, and bonding for construction projects in addition to Minnesota's Governor Pawlenty stating obesity is a "national epidemic you need to pay attention to if you aren't already........" I knew exactly what today's posting would focus on since I read a newspaper article at the gym this afternoon which profiled a Minnesota businessman who is leading his own health care revolution.
Far too often the end result of the legislative process is the creation of another new building or other structure with some politician's name on it to "honor" them for successfully taking enough money from us via taxes and/or deficit spending to pay for such monuments which clearly do not benefit society such as this one:
In general society is much better off when government simply allows people to retain a greater portion of the wealth they generate so that private sector initiatives have the necessary resources.
A prime example of private sector efforts that truly benefit society versus yet another "Senator John Doe Office Building" is the work of businessman, Tom Cartier of Duluth, Minnesota who is the founder/benefactor of the Spring Point Project, http://www.springpointproject.org/index.php, which is focused on developing solutions for combating diabetes. So far this non-profit has raised $4 million primarily being used to support researchers at the University of Minnesota who have transplanted "insulin-producing cells from hogs into monkeys to reverse diabetes....." (Source: Pioneer Press newspaper). An interesting note on the hogs involved is that they are raised in a bio-secure facility by a religious community known as the Hutterites with a presence in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and elsewhere.
Now Mr. Cartier is not a politician using our tax dollars to create the "Cartier Diabetes Center". No, he is a successful insurance professional who has used his wealth and business skills to drive this scientific research which he views to be a similar battle to the one we won against polio. The estimated 21 million diabetics in the USA (Source: Pioneer Press newspaper) will hopefully see the fruits of Mr. Cartier's leadership very soon.
Activists such as Mr. Cartier are the State of Minnesota's (with national implications) true leaders.
To your health,