The Fix Is in-and It's Cheap and Simple

Topics: Freakonomics, Stephen J. Dubner, Steven Levitt Pages: 4 (1529 words) Published: December 5, 2010
Alora Weltchek
The Fix is in-and it’s Cheap and Simple
For some reason people always seem to think that every solution needs to be some sort of complex elaborate plan in order for the results to be desirable. However, Superfreakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, proves that sometimes the best fix really can be both simple and relatively inexpensive. In the chapter, The Fix is is-and it’s Cheap and Simple, Levitt and Dubner use a variety of examples to prove that inexpensive solutions really can be the right answer. One of the most impressive examples that Levitt and Dubner brought to attention was the dramatic change made in the ways of childbirth. Just one hundred years ago the mortality rate of childbirth was 1 out of every 10 mothers died during child birth as a result of puerperal fever. While doctors were aware that these women, and many of their newborn babies, were susceptible to contracting the fever and dying they were unsure as to how the fever was being contracted and therefore unable to remedy the situation. Doctor Ignatz Semmelweis made it his mission to determine why these women were dying in such drastically high numbers; he soon noticed that women whose babies were delivered by doctors had a high chance of death than those delivered by female midwives. Over time Semmelweis eventually came to the conclusion that the male doctors were performing autopsies and as a result were passing along “cadaverous particles” to these women. Once he had identified the problem it was simple to implement that doctors disinfect after autopsies and the death rate dropped from 9.9 percent to less than 1. This solution was a cheap and easy fix that saved countless lives. Many of the most ingenious solutions in history have been the result of a cheap and simple fix; from polio vaccines which save the nation billions in healthcare to advances in agriculture that led to the Agricultural Revolution the nation is in better shape thanks to...
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