>But really, no, the government is hugely terrible at doing any sort of real research or producing products.
Really? My impression is that government funded research is quite good at producing the basic knowledge upon which applied research can be based. And applied research is essentially what the pharmaceutical/biotech sector is supposed to do. We can disagree with why they haven't, over all, been doing a very good job of it lately. Certainly complying with FDA regulations does cost time and money, but it's hard to see how we can do without some regulation of drugs. Recent history is replete with examples of selective publication of data, mismarketing of drugs, etc by pharma.
If you have a point to a more detailed discussion of your position, I'd love to see it.