The Best Polio Vaccine is Free Market Capitalism

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 25th, 2012

Week in Review

India is polio-free.  Pity the same can’t be said about her neighbors (see Effort to stop polio aims to vaccinate 111 million children in four days posted 3/23/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).

Polio, a viral disease that invades the nervous system, cannot be cured, only prevented. It mainly affects children under the age of five, leading to paralysis and even death.

The disease has been cut by more than 99% since the global campaign to eradicate polio was launched in 1988; India, which once had half of the polio cases in the world, recently marked a year without a case…

Last year, 650 cases were reported worldwide, with persistent pockets in Nigeria and along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The virus resurged in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, and Niger.

If you follow the link you will see a map.  In that map you can see the three countries India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  India, the most populated of the three, is polio-free.  Pakistan and Afghanistan, less populated, are not polio-free.  One would think that the sheer numbers would have made India the country with the most cases of polio.  But no.  Why?  What’s different between India and Pakistan/Afghanistan?  India is a country growing more modern by the day.  With a bustling economy.  And a rising standard of living.  Pakistan and Afghanistan, on the other hand, aren’t much different than they were a millennium ago.  Especially in the border region between these two countries.  They are not modern countries.  And suffer from diseases more modern countries have already eradicated.

Are their campaigns to eradicate polio in the United States?  Canada?  The United Kingdom?  Europe?  South Africa?  Australia?  New Zealand?  No.  Because these are advanced First World nations.  Where childhood includes the dreaded vaccinations.  Kids hate getting their shots.  But they get them.  And are healthier for it.  Unlike the kids in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Who suffer Third World poverty.  And infectious disease.

The best medicine for children?  Free market capitalism.  That produces a wealthy middle class.  A high standard of living for all.  And a social safety net for those who fall on hard times.  Where there is no Third World poverty.  And the children suffer little from infectious disease.

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