Monday, March 2, 2009

Lead-free market

The good news is that high lead levels are way down in children. Unless you're a doctrinaire laissez-faire free marketeer, there is no bad news.

The decrease is due to government mandates about lead in gasoline, lead in paint, and the clean-up of existing lead paint. The free market could not have solved these problems ever. The free market was exploiting externalities for profit. It had no incentive whatsoever to account for external costs.

If anyone ever tries to tell you that the so-called free market is the only efficient way to allocate a resource, think about its inability to weigh the IQs of children in its allocation.

1 comment:

MadredeEzekiel said...

oh my gosh! I'm the most crazy paranoid parent ever about lead! I won't let my son have any toys made in China... there are just too many recalls because of lead found in toys.

I had lead poisoning when I was little (it gave me crazy ear and blood problems... I think I still have hih levels, unsure)... but then again, I actually ATE paint chips when I was a toddler.

I'm ust glad things are somewhat safer for my kid.