Blog Rounds

Glen Whitman and Radley Balko respond to Matthew Yglesias and David Adesnik's call for universal college education.

Glenn Reynolds makes a good case that, in spite of the conventional wisdom, 2004 was a great year for the freedom of speech.

The Washington Times becomes the first major media outlet that I've seen to make the good devil's advocate case in defense of performance-enhancing drugs.

Today in protectionism and political favors: specialty hospitals, ugly-ass tomatoes, and socks.

Finally, Don Boudreaux's letter to the New York Times regarding the FDA and risks:

Marc K. Siegel rightly notes that “prescribing drugs is a cost/benefit analysis” (“Are There Any ‘Safe’ Drugs?” Opinion, Dec. 22nd), but he wrongly supposes that ultimate responsibility for doing this analysis properly belongs to physicians and the FDA rather than to patients themselves.

We don’t pretend that there’s one ‘right’ level of risk for investing: some of us invest only in index funds while others invest in junk bonds. We don’t pretend that there’s one ‘right’ level of risk for sporting activities: some of us play only miniature golf while others climb mountains.

Are health-care choices less individual and sacred? If I’m free (as I should be) to attempt to scale Mt. Everest, I should be free to choose the level of risk I assume when taking medications. The FDA and other self-anointed ‘experts’ cannot know what is best for me.

Good point, no doubt, but I'm starting to wonder if noting the inconsistency of analogous situations is a good idea. Just to alleviate the dissonance, governement actors are more likely to remove the freedom to climb mountains than too grant the freedom to manage one's own risk with pharmaceuticals.

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