Billy Tauzin
CEO, Pharm. Research and Manufacturers of America


To embed this video, copy this code:

We can't seem to shake our tribal loyalties.

Billy Tauzin

Billy Tauzin is a politician, lawyer and lobbyist. Of Cajun descent, he was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972-1979 and the United States House of Representatives from 1980-2005, representing Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. In 1994, when the Democrats lost control of the House, Tauzin helped co-found the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate-to-conservative Democrats. Still considering conservatives unwelcome in the Democratic party, however, in 1995 Tauzin became a Republican, and the first American to have been part of the leadership of both parties in the House. From 2001-2004, Tauzin served as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. In 2005, the same day he left Congress and two months after having helped to pass the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, Tauzin was named director of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, a trade group for pharmaceutical companies. Billy Tauzin is the original author of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1996 and the Cable Act, the only bills over the past ten years to become law despite Presidential veto. He received his BA from Nicholls State University in 1964 and his degree in law from Louisiana State University in 1967. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Healthcare Group.

We’re still a human race infected by tribalism – I mean we really are – and infused with incredible religious differences and confrontations that have plagued us ever since any of us began recording history, I guess, and continue to plague us. I’m deeply concerned about . . . about how those elements of human history still expressed in national sovereignties and . . . and religious wars, and religious confrontations, and as we see it expressed today in this Islamic jihad with the west . . . how those were gonna turn out. I mean if we’re not careful, all of the predictions of Nostradamus are gonna become real. We’re gonna blow this planet apart at some point if we don’t get past that. And that’s a difficult thing to get past. I mean we are born of tribes. We’re still connected to them. We still believe we’re different because we look different than one another. And we let our religious beliefs get in the way of our common sense sometimes in the way we deal with one another. We don’t talk to one another. We confront one another across the planet. We don’t . . . we don’t . . . We’re not as tolerant of our difference as we should be. We’re not as understanding of our different cultures as we should be. It’s a planet rich in differences that should enrich us all instead of divides us. And that would be okay except that more and more countries are now beginning to possess the capabilities of really disrupting our progress on earth, and disrupting the advance of knowledge in human kind. And that’s gotta trouble ya.

Recorded on: 9/11/07