How then shall we think about the economy?

I’ve been thinking about an essay by Toby Rogers for a couple of months. He argues in this article that the United States is now organized around producing:

  • poison (Pharma, pesticides/plastics, Frankenfood);
  • war (military contractors),;
  • energy (oil, natural gas, coal, solar, wind), and
  • forgetting (the big media industries that produce stories that narcotize society into ignoring how bad things are).

This weekend, I listened to an interview with Dr. Rogers about his thinking on these issues. Rogers has a Ph.D. in political economy and wrote his dissertation on the political economy of the autism epidemic. The rate of autism 30 or 40 years ago was 1 in 10,000 in children. Now it is about 1 in 36. The burden of caring for autistic children and now adults falls primarily on the parents of those children. Who will care for and pay for the care of those children when parents are no longer able to (due to old age and death)? He foresees a tsunami of expenses associated with caring for these autistic adults. I think there is now compelling evidence of the primary cause of autism…which means the epidemic could be halted…but there is not yet the political will to stop it. This is just one aspect of the poisoning described by Rogers.

This article is perfect for a Sunday afternoon read…I hope you will take the time for a good read and ponder.

How then shall we think about the economy? – by Toby Rogers (

Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

One thought on “How then shall we think about the economy?

  1. Maybe “expenses” can be defrayed by euthanasia as in Canada. After all, we are all just “useless eaters”. As retirement income is going to take a huge hit, caregivers might even go along and not wait until they pass on to lessen their burden sadly.

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