In the antibiotic resistance field, there’s a lot of debate over whether the problem of antibiotic resistance is primarily due to misuse in medicine or in agriculture. I won’t pretend that everyone involved is an honest player–I’ve described how some are not. Agricultural lobbyists and some of the Ph.D. scientists employed have tried to limit our ability to determine the potential for spread from the farm to the clinic. There’s a lot of money and profits at stake, and when public policy collides with science, clinicians will blame farmers and vice versa: there is significant disagreement.
In spite of that disagreement, nobody–and I mean nobody–argues that we could solve the problem of antibiotic resistance by tripling the usage of antibiotics. Nobody. No one argues on behalf of doubling down on stupid.
Unfortunately, economics isn’t as developed a field as microbiology. Case in point, the chairman of the Dallas Federal Reserve (boldface mine):
Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told a meeting of business leaders they should take the Occupy Wall Street movement “seriously” because too many people are out of work.
He urged them to lobby lawmakers to craft a fiscal solution to the nation’s debt problem, which is creating uncertainty and holding back business investment.
Otherwise, social unrest could result, Fisher said.
USE MORE ANTIBIOTICS!! WHEEEEEE!!!!
I have an alternative hypothesis: businesses are uncertain because their customers don’t have any fucking money. Many people don’t have jobs (there’s been some marginal movement on that front). According to the Bureau of Labor Standards November report, real wages declined. Male employment while slightly better, is still circling around the bowl. People who have jobs are scared they’ll lose them, and are saving money.
The Dallas Fed is practicing creationist economics.
“A fiscal solution to the nation’s debt problem.”
That means giving money to people who are in debt, right? Like putting them to work. 🙂
Pingback: Dallas Fed President: Still an Asshole | Mike the Mad Biologist