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InsiderOnline Blog: November 2004

Reporter Meets Free Market, Confusion Ensues

You've got to read this to really understand where the mainstream media are coming from (and then laugh at them). This is a Q&A exchange between a Raleigh News & Observer staff writer and Robert Goldberg of the Manhattan Institute. They're talking about the flu vaccine shortage. Questions from the staff writer include:

  • How much profit is enough?
  • Do you think everyone should be vaccinated under some sort of universal coverage?
  • What's wrong with the government assuring people of $25 flu shots?
  • Why should consumers be asked to pay more money for flu shots, with the pharmaceutical industry being among the most profitable sectors in the economy?
  • What's wrong with getting a break on the cost of a flu shot?

And my personal favorite:

  • What do you think of proposals to figure out the value of vaccines by calculating the costs of existing without them, looking at hospitalizations, lost productivity and the like?

Goldberg then finds himself explaining to a grown woman who lives in a capitalist society (and purports to report the news about that society) that, "the way markets work, you don't have somebody sitting in a chair saying, "Here's what the price should be."

Oh. My. Gosh. She's ready for a whole new government agency to handle determining prices of flu vaccines (uhh, isn't that what caused the shortage?). She has no idea this is not necessary and never has been. It fazes her not that there is no Bureau of Toothbrush Pricing or Ministry of Fried Chicken Distribution (knock on wood!) because we don't need them. Also, keep in mind that the News & Observer is a 100,000 circ. paper, which means this young lady has to have been a reporter for between two and five years to even be writing for it.

Yikes, and I'm the ignorant red-stater?

Read Heritage's take on what really caused the shortage. Hint: it's something we red-staters (at least my red state of N.C.) like to call the "gummint." 

Posted on 11/09/04 01:16 PM by Mary Katherine Ham

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