Bryan Caplan  

Metzger on Headline Dismay Minimization

#TWET...Slavery & Racism... Neurotic Politics...
Interesting reaction to Tuesday's post from my friend Perry Metzger.  Perry, with his permission:

My biggie is the number of people who die from medical errors and bad hygiene in hospitals. It's thousands a day globally. Unlike the global murder problem, this one is probably quite straightforwardly fixed by improving process. My #2 is the mosquito borne disease problem, where something like 3000 people die a day, possibly much more as we really don't know -- this is now easily fixed, though anti-GMO hysteria will probably delay the fix until after literally ten or twenty million more people have died.

COMMENTS (5 to date)
Sam Bruce writes:

In medicine as in other things, there's rarely anything straightforward about improving process.

Glen Smith writes:

If these problems were easy to fix, the market would have no moral high ground.

Gongtao writes:

I have been working in medical facilities for 25 years, and I can tell you that everyone who works in that setting has gotten the message that hand washing is important. And there are many, many error prevention systems in place. I would love to see improvement in these areas, but I believe all the low-hanging fruit has been picked already and marginal improvements are going to be difficult to achieve.

ThaomasH writes:

I'm pretty anti GMO hysteria, but I do not think that is the only think standing in the way of a genetic attack on mosquitoes.

The Original CC writes:

Ok, maybe anti-GMO hysteria isn't to blame, but anti-"let's wipe out an entire species" is. I'm not joking. We could probably wipe out all mosquitoes on earth and - according to some stuff I've read - the impact on the ecosystem wouldn't be so bad. Meanwhile lots of human misery (including itchy mosquito bites) would be prevented.

But I think people freak out about proposals like this. Too bad.

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