I’ve seen a couple of things in the past couple of weeks that indicate that priorities about what public perception of which problems need to get more government spending may be changing. Among diseases cancer remains #1, but there is growing awareness and concern about Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association released its own facts and figures report a couple of weeks ago, and they project 10 million baby boomers (1 in 8) will come down with the disease. Their VP for advocacy is quoted in the Washington Post as saying:
"Right now the government is spending about $640 million a year on
Alzheimer’s research," he said. "It seems like a lot, but we are
spending over $5 billion a year on cancer, and more than $3 billion on
heart disease each year. If we can just get that $640 million up to $1
billion a year, that would make a big difference."
They want a bigger piece of the pie.
Then I saw a survey of just 700 people somewhere in the Southeast that indicated that they’d rather see money spent to solve the energy/environment problem than a major disease. A small bunch, but the climate thing is just beginning to roll.