It is reassuring to see the press take a more modulated view of the swine-flu risks, especially as it becomes clear that both deaths and incidents have been overstated in the past week. Our “instant on” media has an insatiable appetite for the scintillating story. These days, you can actually sense the disappointment in the news anchor when a category four hurricane is downgraded to a category three. Some people rationalize that this hysteria serves a noble purpose, in that it prepares us for the worse. This, however, ignores the fact that there are tremendous real economic costs to overreaction, and that sometimes overreaction has far reaching negative impacts which can be many times greater than […]
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