[star]The American Mind[star]

April 20, 2004

Darn Progress

Don Boudreaux has an outstanding post on job loss and economic change. Here's just a portion:

50 years ago this month, Dr. Jonas Salk launched nationwide testing of his polio vaccine. Within an incredibly short time (and with help from the researches and refinements of Dr. Albert Sabin), polio was effectively wiped out as a health threat in America.

But thereís a downside: job loss. How many workers, who played by the rules, lost their jobs as a result of this development? People who built wheelchairs and crutches, who helped manufacture iron-lung machines, and who specialized in nursing polio victims Ė many of these people were thrown out of work by the product supplied by Dr. Salk and Dr. Sabin. Some of these workers surely found comparable alternative employment quickly. Others took longer to do so. And probably some others were obliged to accept jobs at much lower pay. Maybe some of these workers never found new jobs.

The rest is Bastiat-like.

"Polio Vaccination and Jobs"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)