History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Market failures

July 13th, 2010 · No Comments

A response to “The New Politics of Consumption” by Juliet Schor
by Robert H Frank
Boston Review (Summer 1999)
IS JULIET SCHOR RIGHT that American spending patterns have gone astray?
At a quick glance, it would certainly appear so. Despite growing threats
from E-coli, listeria, and other deadly organisms, we cite financial
distress to explain why we’ve cut FDA inspections of meat-processing
plants by more than 75 percent in the last decade-even as we’ve continued
to build larger houses and buy heavier sport utility vehicles. And each
year we postpone repairs on structurally unsound bridges and shut down
cost-effective drug-treatment programs, even as our spending on luxury
goods continues to grow four times as quickly as spending overall.

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