Thursday, December 29, 2016

Quote of the Day

 “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” 

Thomas Sowell (apparently retiring from writing his syndicated column aged 86. His brief farewell is also well worth a read.)


Anonymous said...

That's not the question:

One question is whether a government bureaucracy can administer the provision of health services more efficiently than a series of competing private companies - empirical evidence is that the bureaucracy often can, although it's not overwhelming.

Another question whether a single (taxpayer) funding arrangement is more efficient that a series of competing private insurance companies - empirical evidence is that taxpayer funding is more efficient.

But the real question is whether (or rather how much) health care should be a benefit of residency or citizenship - if it is, most people will have to pay for more than their own care (either as taxes, or factored into private premiums). This is not a question about efficiency or economics: it is a question about morality. For conservatives and libertarians the moral point is brutally clear: absolutely not.

Let's not confuse the moral questions with economic questions.

Anonymous said...

Income distributions are a Pareto distribution, not a normal distribution. The mean is significantly larger than the median. In other words, even with a flat effective tax rate, "we all" can afford to pay rather more for doctors, hospitals, medication, and bureaucracy (the mean) than "we" can taken as individuals (the median) because the bottom half of the income distribution earns rather less than the top half.

Moral questions, not economic questions.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I took as no more than an observation about the shallowness of many people's thinking.

Mark Hubbard said...

Anonymous represents the statist progressive view that shames self reliance and holds we must be forced to be our brothers keeper.

Of course if we are forced to be our brothers keeper, by the state, then we are our brothers slave. That's deeply immoral.

The Soviets had free healthcare. Trouble is it ended up costing them everything they had.