The Fix is in-and its Cheap and Simple Super freakonomics

Cheap and simple fixes are everywhere

Can anybody think of any examples?

1840s Childbirth Deaths

Increase in deaths in childbirths during the 1840s in Europe

  • Ignatz Semmelweis
Data collected on death rate at Vienna's General Hospital

Does anybody know what he found?


  • Doctors performed autopsies but midwives did not
  • Puerperal fever was rampant
  • 2x more likely to die

The Fix

Washing hands


In 1952 57,000 cases were reported and no way to stop it

The Fix


Automobile incidents

1900s nearly 40,000 people were dying


The Fix

"I calculated the Number of deaths we prevent each year, which was very high, and this came out essentially no cost, with no great penalty for wearing them." - Robert McNamera

Other Fixes

Nitrate Fertilizers

Oil vs. Whales

Unintended Consequences

  • American Disabilities Act
  • Endangered species Act
  • Law System

Problem that can't be easily or cheaply fixed


Fresh water

Hurricane stopper
Atmospheric water generators

Be Vigilant

The fixes are out there - and they're cheap and simple


Created with images by nigelhowe - "Stars" • julenka - "green apple pallet pulpwood" • finalwitness - "Autopsy Table" • Skin - ubx - "29 Lincoln" • NIAID - "Syringe and Vaccine" • AlamosaCountyPublicHealth - "Click it or ticket" • Jing - "soil hand farm" • anita_starzycka - "crude oil mine pumpjack natural gas"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.