Sunday, April 03, 2011

An economist's analysis of antibiotic resistance...

Truly interesting and worth 12 minutes. Megan McCardle shows why our economic system isn't working for antibiotics.

It's about market forces and market rules.



Anonymous said...

You're not too popular on NewAgtalk tonight, the Cafe forum. You must have been joking about OSHA, right?

John Phipps said...


No. The example of other dangerous occupations is pretty clear - self-policing does not work.

And I for one think our long record of child endangerment should end one way of the other.

I would welcome examples of other ways to correct this problem, but have seen none offered other than "educational" campaigns of which there is little evidence of effect.

Anonymous said...

Over the years you are evolving from libitarian to liberal. Where self-policing (personal responsibility) does not work then all risk must be delt with through regulation. There are many exammples where regulations negate risk to "acceptable" levels. History shows us that acceptable subjective levels continue to move towards loss of most individual liberty.

John Phipps said...


There is some crossover crossover for us "liberaltarians", and yes, much discussion especially by guys like Wilkerson about market inefficiencies fall into this category.

You expand my comments way beyond the actual words. It was not a sweeping endorsement of regulation, it was asking why farmers get away with unsafe working environments and child endangerment when none others can.

I think the unique nature of the risk (children's lives) argues for finding something that will work. If not regulation, then what do you suggest?

I have proposed licensing farmers to similar outcry against any professional standards of conduct, so I don't think there is much chance of self-applied standards being embraced.

Meanwhile, we buckle our children in car seats, have trucks inspected, gleefully regulate where other folks can buy sugar from and at what price, raised not a whimper at the erosion of habeus corpus, and mandate ethanol in fuel. If we are concerned about personal liberty it seems to be selective, at best.

It is a curious line in the sand for agriculture to draw: the right to endanger our own children.