Arnold Kling

Genetic Enhancement and Competition

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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In Keeping Up with the Cloneses, I suggest that competition is not always good.

The same competitive dynamic that drives the use of steroids and SAT prep courses is going to be at work with genetic engineering. At least, that is one of the main ideas I took away from reading Gregory Stock's book, Redesigning Humans. Parents are going to have the opportunity to give their children genetic traits that will make them better baseball players, better test-takers, or what have you. If humanity is going to be divided between "the enhanced and the unenhanced" (the title of one of the book's most important chapters), how could parents choose to leave their children unenhanced?

Discussion Question. Given that we value progress in general, why should we not be comfortable with genetic enhancement as a means to promote progress?

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