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August 25, 2005

Chirac vows to protect against bird flu

AP Wire reports that Chirac vows to protect against bird flu.

"No obstacle, notably economic or financial, will get in the way of useful measures to protect the health of the French people," Chirac said at a Cabinet meeting, according to [government spokesman Jean-Fran├žois] Cope.

Well, it's a consoling promise, but Chirac has raised a very big question: If and when a pandemic breaks out, and the economy breaks down, who carries the cost? Do workers go without salaries? Do businesses go broke? Will hospitals shut down if tax revenues can't pay for them?

After 25 years of "government is the problem" rhetoric and free-market theology, a pandemic will demand enormous government intervention and support in the economies of the world. Even if the cost means huge deficits and long-term debts, the alternative would be costlier still.

Posted by dymaxion at August 25, 2005 01:13 PM

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