… yesterday at EconLog my colleague Bryan Caplan asked the provocative question: What practices or institutions are ones that, despite being of no particular moral bother to most people today, are highly likely to be regarded as cruel and inhumane by future generations? High up on my list of candidates as an answer to Bryan’s question is the current support that many (most?) people today have for prohibiting organ donors from profiting from their donations. Such prohibitions literally cause unnecessary early deaths, unnecessary and often excruciating pain, and unnecessarily high medical expense – all simply to salve the inconsiderate ethical sensibilities of people who fail to think through the economics (not to mention the morals) of the matter.
David Harsanyi explores what the Pope gets wrong about capitalism. David’s correct answer is “Just about everything.” I keep reading reports about what a humble man Pope Francis is. These reports are likely true, for the most part – but they’re not true on at least one front: the Pope is clearly not humble about pronouncing on at least one matter (economics) about which he knows next to nothing. Here’s a slice from David’s essay:
In truth, global inequality has been dropping for years. The World Bank estimates global poverty was halved from 1990 to 2010. In fact, according to the World Bank, the United Nations’ “millennium development goal” of cutting world poverty in half by 2015 came in five years ahead of schedule despite a major global recession. The decline in poverty coincides, not coincidentally, with developing nations embracing more market-based systems.