Here’s a letter that I sent earlier this afternoon to the Denver Post:

David Harsanyi properly ridicules Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s “fantastical proposition that 450,000 words of new regulations, rules, mandates, penalties, price controls, taxes and bureaucracy will have the transformative power to [as Ms. Pelosi asserts] ‘provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending . . . .’” (“Masterfleece Theater,” Oct. 30).

Ms. Pelosi and her colleagues believe that they can alter reality to suit their fancies.  They should start wearing T-shirts like the one my son wore today to his school’s Halloween party.  The front of that T-shirt – inspired by the television show “Mythbusters” – reads “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

My 12-year-old son understands that his T-shirt lampoons persons who believe in ghosts, cancer-curing crystals, and other absurdities.  But Ms. Pelosi and Co. can take the slogan seriously, for among these other absurdities is the superstition that the cost of medical care can be lowered, and its quality raised, by 535 politicians centralizing its provision through ink-wasting incantations performed beneath a marble dome.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 1:10 am

Mythbusters is a great show. Too bad they cannot take on the really big myths of the day. Like the myth of a benevolent government, or the myth that a minimum wage is a good thing, or the myth that free trade is a bad thing. Or the myth that Obama has a clue what he is doing.

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 1:44 am

I haven’t a clue as to what Mythbusters is, as I avoid TV if I can. But sir, I agree 100% with your comments.

Only we know it ain’t gonna happen. On any TV show.

Sam Grove October 31, 2009 at 7:55 am

It’s called the news.

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 1:26 am

Don,

Surely you know by now that it is a game. Pelosi et. al. do not believe any such thing. It is all a sham to garner more power and to stay in power, it is now, it was yesterday, and it will be tomorrow.

The facade they are showing America today is the same facade they have been showing America for at least 70 years or more. It is a facade, it has nothing to do with the betterment of you, I, or your 12 year old son, nor the repair of pot hole down the street.

Politicians are phonies, crippled in morals and standards, and we would be much better off in this country if we treated them as such, not just in posts, but when we meet them face to face.

Today, there was a news release documenting the the investigation of some 10 or 12 congress people for ethics and morals violations, all but one of the group were democrats. Yawn, so WTF is new?

The tragedy of the system (Art 1, sec 5, para 2 first phrase) is that congress seems to close ranks against outsiders blowing their cover. Remember Congresscritter Jefferson from New Orleans? The FBI catches him red handed with $100 grand in bribes in the refrigerator of his official office in D.C., and even the Republicans closed ranks behind him and voiced disapproval of the FBI coming in and searching that office, saying that it was a violation of Jefferson’s rights as a congresscritter. Give me a freaking break!

But hey, let’s take another whack at the carcass because it lets us vent enough to survive another day.

I for one am sick of beating the dead horse, and I have no doubt your response will be, go away or at least to another blog if I hate whipping that pony’s carcass.

Really I did not mean to slip down this rabbit hole, I was shoved.

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Here here to Vidyohs comment! Our gang in power rules entirely by deception and stealth. We forget that during the entire Bush administration (and Clinton) they were working overtime to create the North American Union/Security and Prosperity Partnership, which is an intended overthrow of our government. Our own leaders acted in collusion with other powerful folks to orchestrate the overthrow of our beloved constitution and to subordinate the will of the people to an international (largely Western, it seems to me) ruling elite, whose rule will come from the UN. It is so hard to find real information anymore that I do not know the current status, but it has been planned to take effect on January 1, 2010. In the meantime, they have passed an endless stream of horrifyingly fascist laws, many modeled on laws by Adolph Hitler, and our very own news media has nearly completely ignored the whole thing. After all that has gone down in the past decade I am endlessly amazed that people still hang on every world that flows forth out of the mouths of US leaders. I guess we don’t know what else to do – but one thing is clear: the public compulsion to believe that what they say is true is a big part of the problem.

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Here here to Vidyohs comment! Our gang in power rules entirely by deception and stealth. We forget that during the entire Bush administration (and Clinton) they were working overtime to create the North American Union/Security and Prosperity Partnership, which is an intended overthrow of our government. Our own leaders acted in collusion with other powerful folks to orchestrate the overthrow of our beloved constitution and to subordinate the will of the people to an international (largely Western, it seems to me) ruling elite, whose rule will come from the UN. It is so hard to find real information anymore that I do not know the current status, but it has been planned to take effect on January 1, 2010. In the meantime, they have passed an endless stream of horrifyingly fascist laws, many modeled on laws by Adolph Hitler, and our very own news media has nearly completely ignored the whole thing. After all that has gone down in the past decade I am endlessly amazed that people still hang on every world that flows forth out of the mouths of US leaders. I guess we don’t know what else to do – but one thing is clear: the public compulsion to believe that what they say is true is a big part of the problem.

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 1:53 am

I am worried. Can anyone explain to me why this is a good idea? Has it worked before?

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 4:37 am

The reality IS that every other developed nation pays LESS then us for their healthcare using a greater percentage of public funded health care dollars. So you would think Ms. Pelosi is being reasonable in assuming we can do better.

We actually ALREADY pay more in taxes per capita funding our public health care than almost all other countries. That’s leaving out private cost.

So apparently politicians , at least in other countries, can lower the cost of medical care.

Where Ms. Pelosi IS absurd is in believing she can overpower the lobbyist and profiteers of our current “market based” system. These profiteers have successfully sabotaged the process such that in the big picture, as it pertains to America, the Professor is right.

macquechoux October 31, 2009 at 11:36 am

Muirgeo, I suggest you look into how Singapore provides healthcare. Our current healthcare system is NOT market based and you know that. Invest a few hours and learn something.

muirgeo October 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Note market based is in parenthesis. It is not market based… it IS profit based. As such it generates huge profits , is terribly inefficient and is able to lobby government to keep the status quo.

People who succeed in markets do NOT like markets because they are competitive. This is the failure, at least one of them, of free markets and free market philosophy. Those who come out on top hold their position by monopolizing, destroying competition and controlling the government to preserve their positions. The logical, philosophical and historical failure of the free market based economic thinking is so obvious except for group think mentality it would not survive. No rational freethinker could support it.

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Those who come out on top hold their position by monopolizing, destroying competition and controlling the government to preserve their positions.

Sounds like the medical profession.

Anonymous October 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Those who come out on top hold their position by monopolizing, destroying competition and controlling the government to preserve their positions.

Sounds like the medical profession.

Rick Caird November 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm

I love your attempt to claim your superiority via “No rational freethinker could support it” It is quite strange to see someone who basically complains the free market system has been corrupted government, so his solution is more government. Please review the definition of insanity.

A counter example to your argument is Microsoft before government tried to hold them up for “campaign donations”. The problem with your assertions is you do not allow for the desire for government to corrupt the market for its own power and aggrandizement. You must be a politician.

Rick

Andrew_M_Garland October 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm

To Muirgeo,

What is the number for the huge profits of the (1) insurance industry, and (2) healthcare in general, or (3) the reference you are using. Would you supply a link?

—–
You wrote: “We actually ALREADY pay more in taxes per capita funding our public health care than almost all other countries”

What is the link to your source? If our politicians spend too much on public healthcare, the care they are managing now, then what is their problem? I thought they were already underpaying hospitals and doctors for Medicare reimbursements?

—–
“So apparently politicians, at least in other countries, can lower the cost of medical care.”

Could you give me your sources for how they are lowering the costs of medical care? Not speculation about various effects, but information from those health plans about how they have lowered costs.

If european costs are lower for unknown reasons, then we can not copy them with any assurance that our costs will decrease also. Just what is it that european doctors are doing that we could copy?

Andrew_M_Garland – EasyOpinions

Andrew_M_Garland October 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm

To Muirgeo,

What is the number for the huge profits of the (1) insurance industry, and (2) healthcare in general, or (3) the reference you are using. Would you supply a link?

—–
You wrote: “We actually ALREADY pay more in taxes per capita funding our public health care than almost all other countries”

What is the link to your source? If our politicians spend too much on public healthcare, the care they are managing now, then what is their problem? I thought they were already underpaying hospitals and doctors for Medicare reimbursements?

—–
“So apparently politicians, at least in other countries, can lower the cost of medical care.”

Could you give me your sources for how they are lowering the costs of medical care? Not speculation about various effects, but information from those health plans about how they have lowered costs.

If european costs are lower for unknown reasons, then we can not copy them with any assurance that our costs will decrease also. Just what is it that european doctors are doing that we could copy?

Andrew_M_Garland – EasyOpinions

Anonymous November 1, 2009 at 12:11 am

So, the hypocrite is at it again: Bashing profits in the health care industry, while profiting in the health care industry himself.

Yasafi is no Mother Teresa decrying wealth and taking a vow of poverty to practice what she preached. No. Yasafi’s profits are so exhorbitant that he is able to take extravagant, carbon-spewing vacations all over the globe.

Anonymous November 1, 2009 at 12:11 am

So, the hypocrite is at it again: Bashing profits in the health care industry, while profiting in the health care industry himself.

Yasafi is no Mother Teresa decrying wealth and taking a vow of poverty to practice what she preached. No. Yasafi’s profits are so exhorbitant that he is able to take extravagant, carbon-spewing vacations all over the globe.

Rick Caird November 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm

As I said before, the reality of other countries paying less that the US is by not developing new drugs, medical techniques, or medical devices, but rather free riding on the US for those developments. Idiots like muirgeo never want to acknowledge that reducing our costs also reduces are results. These same idiots never seem to want to even attempt to put a price on innovation and increased success. For some reason, muirgeo either thinks such things are valueless, free, or will have happen via magic pixie dust.

Rick

muirgeo October 31, 2009 at 4:54 am
Rick Caird November 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm

That chart is one of those silly non comparisons people like muirgeo actually seems to think means something. it doesn’t or at least not what muirgeo thinks. All those other countries are basically free riders on the American system. How many new drugs, new procedures, or new medical equipment have come from those countries spending less. The answer is about “zero”.

In how many of those countries could someone who has already been diagnosed with cancer get an MRI, CAT scan, and PET scan with one week to confirm there is not a new cancer appearing. The answer, again, is zero. Perhaps the lovely and talented muirgeo does not care if someone else cannot get those tests that quickly, but it is pretty well assured if the “victim” was he or, assuming he has any, a loved one, he would much prefer our system rather waiting around for another system to get around to those tests. But, that quick response is a large contributor to the better success of the US system in treating those kinds of illnesses.

Rick

Paul McMahon October 31, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Though the Capitol Dome is white, it isn’t marble. It’s cast iron. Marble would have cracked with all the hot air those 535+ politicos generate.

RL October 31, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I see a post by Don Boudreaux titled “Reality is not Optional”. I then listen to a Cato podcast celebrating the release of two new biographies of Ayn Rand, and hear a questioner in the audience identify himself as Don Boudreaux.

Satori.

RL October 31, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I see a post by Don Boudreaux titled “Reality is not Optional”. I then listen to a Cato podcast celebrating the release of two new biographies of Ayn Rand, and hear a questioner in the audience identify himself as Don Boudreaux.

Satori.

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