Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Globalization and Syphilis

This article from the NYTimes Caught my eye. Basically the celebrated discoverers of the New World are partly to blame for the 1494 epidemic of syphilis in Europe. Similar issues are posed today with bird flu, HIV, and so on. It's an interesting point on the fact that "globalization" can have certain externalities, especially in the context of the environment, public health, and national security, especially when it comes to the free movement of people (in terms of tourism as well as immigration). But should this news reinforce or support our "agorophobia" (an interesting term referring to a fear of "going outside" or "fear of the marketplace") about trade and globalization? Heck no! It means we should attack the root of the issue instead of trying to avoid it through restrictions, if you asked me (not that anyone did or will).