Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hsieh Forbes OpEd: Human Progress and Earned Wealth

My latest OpEd is now up at Forbes, "If You Want Human Progress To Stop, Institute A Maximum Income".

In this piece, I discuss the importance of making a moral defense of those who have earned wealth honestly, not just an economic defense.

Here is the opening:
Suppose a young medical researcher, Dr. Smith, discovered a safe, reliable vaccine for breast cancer. If a woman took a single pill at age 30, she’d never develop breast cancer. But the pill costs $1,000. How many American women would take that deal?
Most women would likely jump at the opportunity. For $1,000, a woman would be forever spared the expense and inconvenience of future annual mammograms. She’d never have to worry about her doctor calling to say, “Your mammogram showed a suspicious spot; please come in for a biopsy.” The 12% of women who would have developed breast cancer during their lifetimes would be spared the pain and risks of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Each woman would gain an enormous value in terms of money saved, peace of mind, and potential added years of life, far exceeding the $1,000 cost. Roughly 2 million American women turn 30 each year. Assuming Dr. Smith made a 10% profit from each sale, he would earn $200 million a year. Most people would regard that as a completely fair outcome.
But not Hamilton Nolan...
(Read the full text of "If You Want Human Progress To Stop, Institute A Maximum Income".)

I'm also delighted to announce that Forbes has invited me to be a regular contributor, after my prior guest OpEds.  My focus will be primarily on health care, economics, and related issues, from a free-market perspective.

You can find my earlier Forbes OpEds here:
"The Federal Government's War On Medical Innovation" (8/8/2012)

"Is President Obama's Prostate Gland More Important Than Yours?" (7/5/2012)

"The Dangerous Synergy Between The Nanny State And Universal Health Care" (6/18/2012)

"Just Who Should Control Your Healthcare Spending?" (5/15/2012) 
I'd like to thank all my regular readers for their support and encouragement -- it means a great deal to me.

And thank you all for circulating my work by Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and e-mail!