No One in Charge

by Russ Roberts on October 25, 2004

in Health, Prices

Here’s an AP story with my favorite explanation for the flu vaccine crisis:

The heart of the problem, experts say, may be that no one person or agency is truly in charge of making sure that the United States has an adequate vaccine supply.

That sums up everything that’s wrong with the way “experts” look at the world. If no one’s in charge, of course it’s messed up, they reason. But no one’s in charge of the pencil supply or the bread supply or the shirt supply and they’re all supplied in abundance.

The heart of the vaccine crisis is that we don’t let people profit enough from selling vaccine or distributing it. The justification is public health. The result of that noble ideal is that public health suffers.

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