Stossel on Moore

by Don Boudreaux on September 13, 2007

in Health, The Profit Motive

John Stossel of ABC News is a seasoned reporter with a keen nose for the facts.  In this op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, Stossel reveals some important facts that Michael Moore missed in the docu-ganda movie "Sicko."

Here are some key passages from Stossel’s excellent essay:

Mr. Moore claims that because private insurance
companies are driven by profit, they will always deny care to deserving
patients. For this reason, he argues, profit-making health-insurance
companies should be abolished, our health- care dollars turned over to
the government, and the U.S. should institute a health-care system like
the ones in Canada, Britain or France. But does Mr. Moore think, even
for a second, that any of the government systems he touts in his movie
would have provided a bone-marrow transplant to Ms. Pierce’s husband?
Fat chance.

When government is in charge of health care, the
result is not that everyone gets access to experimental treatments, but
that people get less of the care that is absolutely necessary. At any
given time, just under a million Canadians are on waiting lists to
receive care, and one in eight British patients must wait more than a
year for hospital treatment. Canadian Karen Jepp, who gave birth to
quadruplets last month, had to fly to Montana for the delivery:
neonatal units in her own country had no room.

Rationing in Britain is so severe that one hospital
recently tried saving money by not changing bed-sheets between
patients. Instead of washing sheets, the staff was encouraged to just
turn them over, British papers report. The wait for an appointment with
a dentist is so long that people are using pliers to pull out their own
rotting teeth.

Patients in countries with government-run health care
can’t get timely access to many basic medical treatments, never mind
experimental treatments. That’s why, if you suffer from cancer, you’re
better off in the U.S., which is home to the newest treatments and
where patients have access to the best diagnostic equipment. People
diagnosed with cancer in America have a better chance of living a full
life than people in countries with socialized systems. Among women
diagnosed with breast cancer, only one-quarter die in the U.S.,
compared to one-third in France and nearly half in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Moore thinks that profit is the enemy and
government is the answer. The opposite is true. Profit is what has
created the amazing scientific innovations that the U.S. offers to the
world. If government takes over, innovation slows, health care is
rationed, and spending is controlled by politicians more influenced by
the sob story of the moment than by medical science.

And be sure to watch Stossel’s special on health care, to be aired this Friday on ABC, at 10:00pm EDT.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

comments

94 comments    Share Share    Print    Email

{ 48 comments }

Mike September 13, 2007 at 11:24 am

Most readers will probably only see the horror story on page one, and not make it back to page A16.

John Dewey September 13, 2007 at 11:49 am

Is Sicko about health care? I just assumed it was an autobiography.

Sam Grove September 13, 2007 at 12:04 pm

Sam Grove September 13, 2007 at 12:05 pm

We're bound to hearing from muirgeo, et al, with this one.

Brad September 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Professor Boudreaux's pull quote reveals what is so special about John Stossel. He is really the only major media figure who tries and succeeds at making a moral point in favor of profits. For scolds like Moore, attacking the profit motive is a cheap, easy moral play. Who in their right mind is going to be happy about dropping thousands of dollars over a week to try to (for example) save their dog's life? Who isn't going to be resentful that while they're paying off this bill, some veterinarian is buying a new iPhone with part of the proceeds? Yet without that profit motive, who is going to set up and staff a 24/7 animal clinic?

Even I (übercapitalist that I am) look at that kind of situation as "honor among thieves". I can't believe people pay me what they do to do what I do the way I like to do it. So I don't get too flustered by medical or veterinary bills. I'd like someday to graduate to gut level thinking along the lines of "how amazing that I can transform the superfluous work that I do into such compassionate and competent care for my dog" — with the same chuckle I get when I buy some gadget I want but don't really need. I know that most are a lot further behind on that thinking path.

brian September 13, 2007 at 2:22 pm

"The wait for an appointment with a dentist is so long that people are using pliers to pull out their own rotting teeth."

One little thing: the NHS is Britain does not cover Dental. All dentists there are in the private market, so Stossel is (accidentally) criticizing the free market here.

muirgeo September 13, 2007 at 2:47 pm

In the United States health care consumes far greater percentage of our GDP then in any other developed nation. Much of the excess goes to pay administrative fees, paper pushers, CEO's and shareholders. Other nations show NO evidence of worse outcomes.

The fact is our health care system is a shining example of the imperfections and failures of markets in this industry sector.

Heck even Fred understood that Stossal was full of bologny and he understood that a planned system might actually be more effective then a free market one.

" Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for the common hazards of life….Where, as in the case of sickness and accident,…..- the case for the state's helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong."

F. A. Hayek

muirgeo September 13, 2007 at 2:53 pm

The full quote just in case some one question my editing;

"Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance-where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risk- the case for the state's helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong."

Eric September 13, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Muirqeo stand-in,

Britain has a state financed, a.k.a. rationed, dental service. Of course most dentists would rather have a private practice to avoid the bureaucracy so have abandoned the socialist system.

Stephen Reed September 13, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Does anyone have a source for "The wait for an appointment with a dentist is so long that people are using pliers to pull out their own rotting teeth."?

EconStudent September 13, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Muirgeo, you constantly state that health care consumes more of our GDP than it does of most other developed nations. Have you thought that this may be why we are leaders in health care research? Or maybe that is why people can actually see a doctor within a week here instead of a year? Maybe it's why the lady with the quadruplets came here… I am yet to see a negative result of us spending more on health care, seeing as we have the most access to health care.

Colin September 13, 2007 at 4:13 pm
muirgeo September 13, 2007 at 4:16 pm

"Have you thought that this may be why we are leaders in health care research?"

I think we are leaders in health care research for the same reason we are leaders in many areas of research. A combination of public and private education and research. Much of this reasearch and education is publically funded. Research cost don't contribute much directly to health care cost.

"Or maybe that is why people can actually see a doctor within a week here instead of a year?"

That's just a statement based on nothing. I asked my highschool German exchange student how health care was in Germany? He said its fine. When we want to see the doctor we go in and see them the same day. It's no problem he say, why do you have to wait along time here in America?

save_the_rustbelt September 13, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Anyone who wants the government to have full control of healthcare understands neither the operations or politics of Medicare.

Medicare is not the paradise the government advocates claim it to be.

Tim Worstall September 13, 2007 at 4:51 pm

"Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, only one-quarter die in the U.S., compared to one-third in France and nearly half in the United Kingdom."

Hey, that's pretty good. 50% of British women who get breast cancer never die? Dang, I'll take a 50% chance on eternal life as the reward for a sex change! Might move to the US to make it 75% though!

Yes, yes, I know that's not what he meant, but really, how could the sub editors let that through?

The Dirty Mac September 13, 2007 at 5:20 pm

"Much of the excess goes to pay administrative fees, paper pushers, CEO's and shareholders."

Oh those tricky CEOs! And the profits that go to the shareholders are not compensation for taking risk and have no role in allocating resources, they are excess value confiscated from consumers. That type of logic can justify government ownership of any industry.

Paul d September 13, 2007 at 5:21 pm

If the U.S. government can run an insurance program for significantly less money than the private sector, then do we see signficant savings in the government run medicare, medicaid and veterans systems?

Tom September 13, 2007 at 5:46 pm

If the health care market had less regulation, illegal aliens would soon become doctors and nurses and health care would become much more affordable.

This is only half jesting. I have seen immigrant workers employed in factories hired to sweep the floor one day and rebuilding complex mechanical systems a year later- no government credentials required to do that.

muirgeo September 13, 2007 at 5:52 pm

If the U.S. government can run an insurance program for significantly less money than the private sector, then do we see signficant savings in the government run medicare, medicaid and veterans systems?

Posted by: Paul d

Absolutly we do. Those systems have run with minimal administrative fees…that is until they let private insurers in on the game.

Kevin September 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm

***One little thing: the NHS is Britain does not cover Dental. All dentists there are in the private market,***

I don't the know the exact set-up, maybe dental care is not specifically under the NHS umbrella or something, but dental care in UK is definitely state-supported.

I've been to UK several times in the past couple of years, and a constant theme on the news shows there is how the GOVERNMENT dental care system is a horrible mess. I've watched on the BBC as they've run stories about entire regions devoid of any dentists, and showed video of incredible lines queued up snaking along the street waiting at a dentist's office hoping to get basic dental care.

Not certain, but it seemed the problems were caused by a government single-payer system rationing unreasonably low rates, driving dentists out of the public system and into a parallel private industry, which of course works great.

Kevin September 13, 2007 at 6:12 pm

I'm not a fan of socialized medicine, but I also think our standard private system of employer-supplied-insurance is a horribly dysfunctional mess too, by the way.

This is NOT a free market system in a meaningful sense — I, the consumer, have absolutely no choice as to who my insurance provider is. If they screw me, I have no recourse. I can't switch to the competition. I in fact really want an HSA and HSA-compatible health care plan — but I'm denied that option because my employer bought something else.

It may be "private" and technically "free market", but our common system of separating the actual consumer from the purchasing decision and denying him the power to choose compromises most of the benefits of free market economics. No surprise we do have certain problems of our own.

Jasper September 13, 2007 at 7:54 pm

*****"Patients in countries with government-run health care can't get timely access to many basic medical treatments, never mind experimental treatments.*****"

Wild overstatement from Stossel. He's usually quite good, but when it comes to healthcare, his "blinders on" dogmatism unconsciously apes the very people (the Michael Moore-style single payer militants) he seeks to criticize. There are LOTS of different models available among rich countries where the government "runs" a system that guarantees universal healthcare access to all citizens. Indeed, among OECD members, only the US and Mexican governments fail to provide universal, robust access to healthcare services. Some of these systems work better than others. From what I've read the Canadian and British models leave a lot to be desired. But my understanding is that the models employed by France, Australia, Germany, Switzerland — to name several — are quite good, and leave in a significant element of private sector participation while getting 99.9% of the population covered. Anyway, it's just plain silly (or more likely deliberately misleading) to generalize that "patients" in "counties with government-run health-care" cannot receive timely basic treatments. Again, there are several interesting looking systems in existence that are clearly competitive with America's on most basic measurements of healthcare delivery, and clearly beat the American system on universality of access. An AMERICAN with a preexisting condition who can't buy covereage is someone who's likely to wait FOREVER for "basic treatment" (and don't even bring up the subject of cutting-edge, experimental treatments for the American uninsured).

*****"That's why, if you suffer from cancer, you're better off in the U.S., which is home to the newest treatments and where patients have access to the best diagnostic equipment.*****"

Er, not if you're a 58 year-old American for who, due to a recent layoff, is now uninsured and unable to buy health insurance at any price due to, say, Multiple Sclerosis.

By the way, I'm not a Michael Moore fan, nor an advocate for single payer. But I DO think our system is pretty clearly dysfunctional, and that's why I think that, on this issue at least, the usually right-on-the-money John Stossel is really oversimplifying things.

Paris Lovett September 13, 2007 at 8:22 pm

Muirgeo,

It constantly amazes me how people deride "middlemen" ("excess goes to pay administrative fees, paper pushers, CEO's and shareholders").

Don't you realize that without any middlemen, someone still has to decide whether an MRI scanner will be installed in a hospital or not? That someone will decide what indications are considered sufficient to warrant that MRI.

Those of us who grew up in countries with socialized medicine are very familiar with the experience of being told that a test "isn't available" or "isn't indicated" – which are simply expressions of rationing and based on one-size-fits-all central planning. Like all central planning it does a very poor choice of meeting individuals' very different preferences and tolerances for risk. But it still requires plenty of labor and other resources.

Countries with socialized systems just don't count those costs as administrative.

Middlemen make their living by producing net gains for all involved. They capture only a portion of the value they create. Like most capitalist acts between consenting adults, all involved come out ahead. But because the markups or fees associated with the middlemen's services are explicit, rather than just absorbed into managerial and other overhead, people point fingers and talk about "excess".

People have been spewing hate at middlemen throughout history. Particularly when the middlemen have belonged to racial/ethnic minorities such as the Jews or Armenians.

Take a look at Bastiat's elegant discussion of middlemen:

http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html#intermediates

Paul d September 13, 2007 at 8:36 pm

"If the U.S. government can run an insurance program for significantly less money than the private sector, then do we see signficant savings in the government run medicare, medicaid and veterans systems?

Absolutly we do. Those systems have run with minimal administrative fees…that is until they let private insurers in on the game."

Do you have a source for the claim that the government run systems have "minimal admistrative fees?"

True_liberal September 13, 2007 at 9:07 pm

I cannot comprehend how any person so antagonistic toward a private medical/healthcare system would remain in this country! The US, unlike Cuba and many other countries, requires no exit visa for persons desiring to leave.

In fact, I'll help you pack.

Ray G September 13, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Muirgeo
I asked my highschool German exchange student how health care was in Germany? He said its fine. When we want to see the doctor we go in and see them the same day. It's no problem he say, why do you have to wait along time here in America?

A teenager healthy enough for international travel and extended stays away from his natural home knows anything about health care?

C'mon.

And this teenage visitor to America has so immersed himself in our culture that he also knows enough about our health care system to have a valid, accurate opinion one way or another?

Really man, we can't even take you seriously. You're either seriously naive or brazenly dishonest. . . no offense. . . just calling it like it is.

The Dirty Mac September 13, 2007 at 10:40 pm

I would be interested in learning the percentage of health care expenditures represented by CEO pay.

Mesa Econoguy September 13, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Michael Moore’s latest piece of agitprop is even more deceptive than his earlier tries, because not only is he censoring inconvenient facts from you, he had most relevant information censored from him by numerous parties, among them the communist Cuban government. [Note: I haven’t seen, nor do I intend to see, this movie, unless it is shown free of charge to me as I refuse to pay money directly or indirectly to Michael Moore.] As evidenced by Mr. Stossel’s response, arguments about its content are pervasive and manifold, and the movie’s message is well-known: US healthcare sucks compared to everybody else’s.

A front-burner statistic is Cuba’s supposedly superior infant mortality rate:

“Babies are less likely to survive in America, with a health care system that we think is the best in the world, than in impoverished and autocratic Cuba. According to the latest C.I.A. World Factbook, Cuba is one of 41 countries that have better infant mortality rates than the U.S.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/12/opinion/
12kris.html?ex=1263272400&en=c7ea472ff96519
76&ei=5090

Uh, not really.

Jay Nordlinger, writing in National Review, states “The regime is very keen on keeping infant mortality down, knowing that the world looks to this statistic as an indicator of the general health of a country. Cuban doctors are instructed to pay particular attention to prenatal and infant care. A woman’s pregnancy is closely monitored. (The regime manages to make the necessary equipment available.) And if there is any sign of abnormality, any reason for concern — the pregnancy is “interrupted.” That is the going euphemism for abortion. The abortion rate in Cuba is sky-high, perversely keeping the infant-mortality rate down.”

[The Myth of Cuban Health Care, National Review, July 30, 2007]

These numbers are basically Cuban government-provided data. Ask Mr. Gorbachev how accurate that is. This statistic is itself “survivorship-bias,” in Black Swan terms, as the borderline cases simply don’t exist and were eliminated. These babies would be saved in our system, so this statistic is likely the exact opposite of what it purports to prove, namely a higher survival rate.

The Cuban healthcare “system” itself is 3-tiered, with the Cuban population at the bottom rung receiving far inferior care than even the lowest socioeconomic class U.S. citizen.

Most of this healthcare argument is Moore falling for the state con-job: suuuure, we have good healthcare here in Cuba, much better than America. It’s simply not true. Most of what Michael Moore says isn’t true.

Paris Lovett September 13, 2007 at 11:02 pm

The major reason why infant mortality rates in the US appear to be worse than in other rich countries is that in the US very very premature babies are resuscitated routinely. Of course those newborns subsequently die at a much higher rate.

If 24-week infants are not resuscitated, they don't count in a country's IMR. If they are resuscitated, then die 7 days later, they count. Clearly more healthcare has been delivered in the latter case, more high technology and expertise, yet it is reported by the NY Times etc. as though LESS care had been delivered, which is absolutely not true.

One can of course question the wisdom of resuscitating such premature newborns. But an honest interpretation of infant mortality makes it clear that babies do well in the USA.

Ray G September 13, 2007 at 11:33 pm

Paris:

Thomas Sowell does a bit of writing on the infant mortality rate, and touches on that aspect of it.

cpurick September 14, 2007 at 7:54 am

muirgeo, on Medicare's "low overhead":
Those systems have run with minimal administrative fees…that is until they let private insurers in on the game.

What private insurers really say about Medicare:
"there essentially is a hidden tax on employers and employees because the government is underpaying for the services that are being rendered. That underpayment means employers and other purchasers have to pay higher fees to make up the difference."

Cost Shifting

lowcountryjoe September 14, 2007 at 7:54 am

Healthcare entitlement advocates have got some answers to provide [remember muirgeo, Gil, THL, the burden rests with those who seek the reform in a representative democracy…so start doing some convincing].

On so-called morality grounds, if healthcare ought to be an entitlement, then why not housing and food as well? Yes, I know these are provided to some people through public funding in some cases, however, why not advocate for fully nationalizing those two neccesities before considering healthcare? Would that be too over-the-top? If so, why would it be, they’re arguably more important than healthcare.

If the argument is kept on efficiency grounds then any government solution to a healthcare entitlement cannot be means tested (paid for through so-called progressive taxation – that goes for payroll taxes as well). The only way for efficiency to occur is to have government act just like an insurance business would (controlling costs, maximizing revenues, and SATISFYING THE CUSTOMER by PROVIDING VALUE to them). These three conditions can only be met through discriminatory practices such as charging higher premiums based on poor health history and age & gender factors. It is also absolutely essential that private insurance options be allowed to compete against the state provided solution. If today’s bleeding-heart advocates do not swallow this pill, then they are effectively deluding themselves into believing that incentives do not matter.

Assuming that the advocates can find it in themselves to buy off on all these “market-based” concessions there would still be one sticky point to content with: how to deal with those individuals who drop their insurance (or never had it to begin with) once they develop conditions that require very expensive procedures in order to survive. One of the reasons why insurance works (don’t just think health; think life, accident, property & casualty as well) is because risk is spread and the excess in premiums payments over payout costs – for the “average” beneficiary – cover the outliers, too, who would, without the excess premium charged, be a massive drain to the insurance provider. So, back to the individual who needs medical attention – probably in critical condition with slim chances of survival or just discovered that they have a terminal condition: how do they receive care? Does the government insure them? What should the government charge for a premium and how long does the government expect to collect the premium if it/we did agree to insure? Do the rest of the customers pick up the slack for individuals who wish to skirt the system? Would the bleeding hearts actually have the stones to tell the likely individual, who would skirt such a system, to get pumped?

Will I even see a response from an advocate?

Sam Grove September 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm

When there is private provision of, well, anything, there tend to exist multiple sources of information about these providers and their performance in serving customers. When anything is nationalized, then the source of information about performance is restricted to the sole provider, the government/the bureauracracy, and, being staffed by humans in a monopolistic situation, this source of information can no longer be trusted.

This means that it is impossible obtain truthful assessment of nationalized health care systems for purposes of comparison, hence, citing facts and statistics in this regard is pretty much irrelevant.

Seeing that there are problems with the provision of health care in the U.S. tells us little about why these particular problems exist, but we do have a reasonable confidence that information about these problems is more likely to be accurate than information from sole sources.

We can also assume that proponents of one side or another will tend to magnify the significance of statistics that bolster their position and undervalue those that oppose same.

So, it may be stated that government provision of health care is more efficient, but then we have to ask, says who an how much reliance can we have in their data?

IAC, the purpose of having a health care system is not to 'save money' so much as to save lives, cure disease, etc. Often that means spending money, not saving it.

Also, why do we have to keep pointing out tha health care in the U.S. is over half socialized?

Even the private market is distorted by tax law which promotes the provision of insurance through employment (at the expense of those who purchase insurance individually).

So we see that statistics are politicized which means they are pretty much worthless given how we've seen the performance of government in any other endeavor:

AMTRAK
USPS
HUD
TMIC (the military industrial complex)
DOJ
WOD (war on drugs)

Even a partial list as above should resolve us agaist giving the government any further control over our money and our lives.

Flash Gordon September 14, 2007 at 1:51 pm

The horror story on the front page of Thursday's WSJ is truly unfortunate. However, isn't it clear that it was government regulations that led to this result?

On another point, compare U.S. physician care to U.S. dental care. Some people have dental insurance but most do not. Some employers provide dental coverage to their employees but most do not. So dental care in the U.S. is largely fee for service while physician care is largely third party paid service.

Which works bests for both the providers and the patients? Far and away it is dental care. Patients have a wide selection of Dentists to choose from, getting an appointment is usually not difficult, the prices are competitive [I recently negotiated with my Dentist on the price of a crown and she cut the price by $200], and the quality of care is, to my knowledge, excellent.

The Dentists themselves must be benefiting from a fee for service system because the median income for Dentists now exceeds that of physicians.

But many if not most physicians say they want a single-payor system. I have always thought that one had to be real smart to make it through medical school. I now believe that must be a myth that has been exaggerated.

John Dewey September 14, 2007 at 2:42 pm

"Some employers provide dental coverage to their employees but most do not. "

Really? Statistics I've seen show that over 60% of all employees in firms of at least 100 employees were offered dental coverage in 2005. I haven't seen more recent data.

Smaller firms do not provide dental coverage, so you may be coorect.

DJB September 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Funny that socialist here in America think we don't spend enough on a failing public school system, but spend too much on a successful medical care system.

Additionally when considering any measure of success of the socialist medical systems world wide one should look at the sheer quantity of medicines, techniques, diagnostic and therapeutic equipment that was born exclusively from the American capitalistic medical system.

Floccina September 14, 2007 at 5:25 pm

Not only Dentists Vets. I had a very sick dog and it is amazing what a vet will do for a couple of hundred dollars.

Ray G September 14, 2007 at 7:08 pm

I've opted out of my company's health care plan because of the simple math.

I'm 37 and in perfect health, wife in good health and two small children that I've found I can afford to pay for out of pocket. Now, something catastrophic could really put me in a hole, but the odds are greatly against that.

And our company provides dental for free.

Gil September 14, 2007 at 10:59 pm

Hmmm. I wonder too how an insurance business would handle a lot of life's problems that are currently the preserve of welfare services. After all, insurance tend not to insure those who would have a high tendency to make claims. They also tend to look for any and all technicalities before paying. Actually I thought a free-rider would try to take out health insurance just before they were about to have a health crisis as Homer did.

But I get your gist 'why provide any thing?'. Yeah it's a dog-eat-dog world! Weaklings and do-gooders are horrid zero-summers. They're best done away with. Where do we lefties go off living and annoying righties? I don't know. }>:)

Gil September 14, 2007 at 11:07 pm

P.S. You're know your a leftie when the passing of Alex the genius African Grey parrot makes you stop for a moment.

Alex
1976 – 2007
}

Sam Grove September 14, 2007 at 11:54 pm

What's so difficult to get across to, um, anti-libertarians is the big picture and how the subsets of the whole relate to the whole and each other.

It's this way, if you have a political system, then the common people will be ripped off in so many ways. A political system implies war making, weaponry, industrial policy (subsidies), protectionism, and so on.

So you want national health care? Then you must accept all the waste inherent in a system with the power to manage such a beast. You will not get one without all the rest. You have to understand the incentives such a system creates and how human nature responds to those incentives.

cpurick September 15, 2007 at 9:27 am

John Dewey:
Really? Statistics I've seen show that over 60% of all employees in firms of at least 100 employees were offered dental coverage in 2005. I haven't seen more recent data.

Participation in dental plans is lower primarily because dental expenses are rarely "catastrophic."

People can often afford to pay for their own dental work, so it makes little sense to transfer the risk to someone else.

LowcountryJoe September 15, 2007 at 12:23 pm

vidyohs September 15, 2007 at 10:13 pm

AAAASSSSSS usual muirgeo draws the wrong conclusion from his source material.

"the case for the state's helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong." Hayek.

There is a vast difference between "helping to organize" and "being the organization".

The state can "help" to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance that is entirely privatized and/or is entirely private charity based.

But, what else do we expect from those stuck in religious faith to the extent a true socialist is.

Sam Grove September 16, 2007 at 12:11 am

And, of course, we can differ with Hayek on this point. Givent the nature and history of the state in organizing things, I assert that the state is not the desirable agency for organizing such a thin.

Lee Kelly September 16, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Why would anyone disagree with Hayek's statement? "The case for the state's helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance" is very strong, hence why it attracts more substative debate than any other issue.

That said, just because a very strong case can be made for a position does not make that position correct, though it may encourage us to look upon our opponents with more respect.

vidyohs September 17, 2007 at 9:57 am

Because I know how to read, I don't disagree with it. I pointed that out simply to display muirgeo's (choose one) 1. stupidity, 2. inability to read, or 3. presenting a deceiving interpretation.

Respect is such a great word, but generally meaningless unless one knows what it is being appled to. "Our opponents" is vague and ambiguous. In the general sense I do not respect "our opponents" because in the face of over whelming evidence that their religion causes rot, corruption, degradation, and degeneration in all things, "our opponents" still work feverishly to bring about socialist domination. Why, so they can temporarily feel "good" about themselves, they gave.

That being said, I do respect the socialist's ability to muster hordes of useful idiots to hold placards, march, and protest. I do respect their persistence in their desire for domination.

Gil September 17, 2007 at 10:26 pm

The world's made up of a few noble Libertarians and marauding bands of vile Socialists. Oh ok then gotcha. ;)

Previous post:

Next post: