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John To

I am a 44 year old physician, married for 21 years with four children. We live in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I have become increasingly libertarian as well as economically liberal as defined by my score on the test. Although raised and confirmed in the Lutheran branch of Christianity I now consider myself a secular humanist and radical atheist along the lines of Richard Dawkins. I believe many of the problems the U.S. faces could be improved by removing the profit incentive from various mature industries which are essential to the public welfare such as healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry, the military industrial complex, petroleum based energy companies and perhaps the mortgage lending industry. I believe that these industries should have their profits capped by statute to between 5 and 15%. This would remove the incentives that the CEOs have to boost share price using unethical, destabilizing and unlawful tactics. If these industries were regulated similar to other public utilities like water, sewer, electric and roads, they would have no incentive to lobby our elected officials to create laws favorable to their stock price. If KBR and Halliburton knew that they could only make 10% as a government contractor they would have no incentive to start or continue a war of choice. If Boeing and Lockheed knew they could only make a 10% profit, they would not push the sale of "new and improved" weaponry which in reality does essentially the same job as the old weaponry. If big Pharma's profits were fixed, they would not spend twice as much on advertising as they do on research and development of new drugs. Moreover, instead of focusing on high margin drugs which can be marketed to many patients, they could focus research on more personalized medicine, using the genome for the individual patient. If ExxonMobil and BP Amoco knew they would only make a 10% return they would vigorously pursue alternative energy sources and stop the pressure on our elected officials to engage in foreign entanglements in oil rich but dangerous parts of the world. If the healthcare insurance companies knew that they could not boost share price by denying care to patients, they would probably disappear.