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View Diary: The looming antibiotic crisis can't be solved by the free market (248 comments)

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  •  and... the definition of "solved" matters... (4+ / 0-)
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    claude, kareylou, cynndara, tacet

    the free market types sort of go with the way the Black death was "solved"

    ... by allowing the free market of people's immune systems... the genetic, social and environmental lottery to merely "reward" the survivors... by the bald fact that they were still alive... plus also supplying them with overpriced drugs or remedies that may or may not work. The key elements are: can Doctors be encouraged to prescribe them and can people be persuaded to buy them... whether they work or not and buyer beware etc. Ruling class rules and the Bottom line rules overall. Judge only by the quarterly results.

    So of course we'd be proactive in a Randian paradise... but only when the price was right. And the price would be right after some mega deaths sharpened up the demand enough to gouge the anxious, still not dead.

    So yes, the "problem" of resistant microbes would be solved. We would weed out a few hundred million humans with immune system failures and reward the surviving "winners" who win via a mix of blind luck and the market bothering to develop new antibiotics after removing all the annoying government restrictions on testing, quality, effectiveness etc. And of course any restrictions on overuse breeding up a new round of resistant pathogens making the new drugs ineffective sooner and paving the way for new patented drugs to kill the newer germs...

    So lets not be too hard on the Free marketers way of solving things just because it tends to mean "solved" the same way that WWII "solved" the excess prime military age overpopulation, surplus very young and very old too plus surplus of older infrastructure and structures on prime real estate... so it is one actual way of "solving" a problem. Disaster capitalism worked well then and would work astonishingly well for a super plague of resistant germs... for the "winners" that is... and by that I mean not the survivors but the wise investors who waited for the best time to invest in and then monopolize a key market...

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:11:58 AM PDT

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