Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
My wife really hates me when I start talking about how it would be more effective for the government to allocate its money to issues where it can save the most lives for the same investment, rather than wasting it on stuff motivated by the outrage of the day. A typical example is that it makes more sense to focus safety investment in the transport sector on roads (roundabouts, restructuring of dangerous crossroads, safety ad campaigns, etc...) rather than on things like railway crossings, which cause a few deaths each year but generate tremendous amounts of outrage.

Similarly, there are health issues where smallish investments could yield statistical significant improvements. But, my wife asks, who will take care of rare diseases / orphan diseases?  And how can you justify policies that would basically mean that your son should have been left to die because his disease was rare and thus not "worth the investment"?

There's a clear argument to be made that orphan/rare diseases can only be tackled by public authorities because it is clearly not profitable for the private sector to invest in research in (what appear to be) narrow fields - and solidarity dictates that the community support such effort. So how is this compatible with the suggestion that the government focus its limited resources where it is most effective?

Not a simple question...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 7th, 2006 at 08:13:07 AM EST

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