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Friday, October 17, 2014 4:52 PM

Free Market Response to Ebola

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In response to Obama's Lame Response to Ebola; No Protocols but Lots of Fearmongering one person responded that I was "over-cooking the Ebola crisis".

Amusingly, another reader accused me of "underplaying the crisis".

A third reader asked "what is the free market response?" A similar question arose in a comment to Acting Man's post The Ebola Outbreak – A Black Swan.

Before tackling the free market issue, let's first review the government's response to date.

  • Airport restrictions but only at 5 airport, not all of them
  • Temperature taking procedures initiated
  • In spite temperature worries, a nurse self-reported to the center for disease control that she had an elevated temperature and ebola patient contact, but was told go ahead and fly

Think about the act of temperature taking. Whoever administered the test would have been in close contact with everyone on or entering the plane. Is that a good idea? Do sneezes and coughs happen?

Enough said.

Free Market Response

It's 100% certain the free market response would not have been the government's response to date.

And what about my proposal of flight bans from epidemic countries?

Government mandated is not free market by definition. But, it's entirely possible my solution is what the free market would have arrived at!

Three Questions I Asked Previously

  1. Is there a chance of spreading the disease by coughing or sneezing? Yes.
  2. Would I want to sit on a plane next to someone who was in contact with an ebola patient? No, and neither would anyone else.
  3. Would I want to sit on a plane next to someone from a country where ebola is viral? No, and neither would anyone else.

Those are common sense questions that airlines may have asked themselves. Airports may have asked similar questions. But airlines do not initiate travel bans in this over-regulated society. Neither do airports.

I read a comment that airlines are being greedy. How so? Airlines are not in position to ban flights from specific countries for medical reasons. 

And the last thing airlines need is plane decontamination efforts to fill an extremely tiny number of seats from those arriving from select African countries.

I pinged Pater Tenebrarum at Acting Man with this comment "I believe the free market response is that airlines would have banned travel from certain African countries."

He responded "Absolutely, but there are many other ways in which we could expect an unhampered market economy to respond to such a situation. In fact, I intend to take up the challenge and write a post about it."

Was I correct? We will never know.

I simply proposed what I thought the free market solution would be in absence of protocols from the center for disease control. I look forward to reading Pater's response.

In the meantime, we know with absolute certainty the government's response was pathetic. We also know McCain's Proposal for an Ebola Czar is equally, if not more pathetic.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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